Ishita Raj: I am a fan of Salman Khan and would be honoured if he took note of my work (Exclusive)
They said, “Bachpan se hi mujhe heroine banne ka shauk tha.” This one sentence from Ishita Raj says it everything about her dedication to the acting profession. She had her big break in the first Pyaar Ka Punchnama, directed by Luv Ranjan, and then went on to star in the sequel and Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety. But the pieces didn’t fit together very well for her. Ishita has spent almost a decade in the business without seeing the breakthrough film.
Ishita opened up to ETimes about her acting career, including her recent lack of employment, her meeting with Salman Khan, the support she receives from her family, and more.
I was wondering how your latest hit, Kenda Hai Tu, was received.
It’s an adorable love song, and we did our best to capture that sweetness in the music video. The reception has been positive so far. Thus, it’s a pleasant experience.
We have missed seeing you on the big screen.
Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety came out in 2018, thus it hasn’t been that long. The following year, Prateik Babbar starred in the film Yaaram, which unfortunately was not given a proper release. Covid ate up all of 2020, and my filming plans for 2021 were interrupted by the second wave. After then, in the year 2022, I will have finished a movie. It’s a major motion picture, and it’s coming out this year. I still have two more films. I have one project in production currently and another set to begin production next month. That means new material from me will be available soon.
Pyaar Ka Punchnama has been out for over a decade, but it hasn’t lost any of its popularity. What are your reactions?
I have nothing but gratitude for the opportunity to have played a role in a picture that became a smash blockbuster, spawned a sequel, and is still widely discussed. This movie was the first step in my path. A native of Delhi, where I currently reside. This chance presented itself, and thus here I am in Bombay. I’ve recently become an actor’s actor and am actively seeking out new roles. That was the apex of my evolution. I had recently graduated from university and purchased this film. Indeed, that was a lovely event.
In reality, after Pyaar Ka Punchnama’s massive success, I set ridiculously high standards on myself. Nothing was coming my way that I was interested in doing, and nothing was coming my way that I was interested in doing. The positive reception I received for Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety encouraged me to believe that I had achieved some measure of success. People always tell you that all it takes is one hit movie to make it big. Now I only need to see that one movie. But until then, I’ll be here, putting in my time and effort, and making the most of any opportunities that present themselves.
So, tell me, what sort of tales were you hoping to find?
The problem was that I kept hearing variations on Punchnama’s tales. Real cinema, a love tale, and collaborating with other dream directors were all things I was eager to do. There just wasn’t a compelling script that I could do anything with. However, I will wait patiently. I am still in Mumbai because that is where most of my job is being offered. I am taking action and caring for myself; my loved ones are really encouraging. The continuation of events must thus be due to some cause. So, I’m going with my gut and hoping that God has a purpose for me.
Where did you stay in Mumbai?
Nothing is wrong. I am spared from facing any. Every performer faces that ordinary challenge. There will be a fight over how much more I need even if I succeed. Your aims are also constantly changing. You wish for upgrades and expansions. That, then, will be present.