Carefully selecting roles in hit serials has enabled Rubina Dilaik to make an incredible impact on television and show off her versatility.
The talented actress has continued the trend of taking on challenging roles with her latest serial Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki on Colors TV.
Dilaik has taken on a controversial role of a transgender lead, which was turned down by other established stars, and won universal acclaim.
The award-winning star is enjoying playing perhaps the most challenging character of her career and looks forward to expanding her acting horizons further in the future.
Rubina was also recently voted into the top 11 of Eastern Eye’s 2016 popular 50 Sexiest Asian Women in the World list.
Away from work, she has won over fans with her humility and positive outlook on life.
Eastern Eye caught up with Rubina to talk about her acting journey, latest serial, future hopes, and more.
How do you look back on your journey?
I am indebted to my parents for letting me pursue what I loved. My heart lies in art and creation, and I feel blessed to be an artist. The art of expression and emotion is the greatest of all. And now when I look back with gratitude, I see myself evolving not only as an actor but as a human being as well.
Today, what is your biggest motivating factor?
My growth as an actor is my greatest motivating factor. I am always in a learning process, which helps me improve myself day-by-day. It not only builds my confidence, it polishes my skill.
What attracted you to your latest serial Shakti – Astitva Ke Ehsaas Ki?
Well to be honest, apprehension was my first reaction to it. The challenge of portraying an unusual character was exciting. Though almost all my contemporaries had turned down the offer, I took it up as I intuitively knew that it was going to turn the tables for me. And I am glad I paid heed to my inner feeble voice.
For those who haven’t seen it, tell us about the serial and your character?
The show is based on the life of an intersex (a person whose genitals are not fully developed), Saumya. Since childhood, she was over-protected by her mother because her father wanted to kill her at the time of her birth.
Nimmi (her mother) didn’t let her interact with the world as she knew that society would not accept her. She brought her up with utmost care and love, and educated her at home. Saumya learnt all the skills from her mother and as she never stepped out of the house, every interaction with the outside world was a new experience for her.
Finally, when she gets married to Harman a dreadful truth hits the fan, and Saumya’s myopic world shatters. She somehow manages to gather herself, her identity and her loved ones, who unknowingly put her life in a disarray with the revelation of her identity as a eunuch.
You have delivered one of the greatest performances of 2016. How did you approach creating the character?
I have breathed my life into the character. From adding nuances to polishing my skills as an actor, I did not leave a single stone unturned. I had to unlearn everything just to recreate this character, which was the most challenging of all.
What has been the best compliment you have received for it so far?
My friends from the industry said they could have never imagined me portraying the character of an intersex so well. I take it as a compliment as it remarks my growth as an actor.
Are there any memorable behind the scenes moments you can share with us?
(Smiles) Yes, I have many memories tied to this show. I fondly remember my first day of the shoot in Ludhiana (outdoor location) where we were shooting the promo. That nervousness, anxiety and burning desire of creating a benchmark still blazes afresh within and keeps me going even today as well.
You have a very positive outlook on life. What is the root of that?
I am a seeking soul. The concept of life and karma has always intrigued me. Whenever I have hit rock bottom, I have taken it as an opportunity to grow and rise even higher; that burning spirit is my motivation. I constantly read about numerous inspirational stories and real-life heroes. I have pledged to evolve as a human being, and thus I keep learning something new every day.
You are an accomplished fashion designer. What is happening on that front?
I believe in creating for myself and then letting the rest follow. Fashion is purely you in your own unique way, and anyone can achieve that.
How did you feel being voted into the top 11 sexiest Asian women in the world for 2016?
Such acknowledgments give a great boost to remain steadfast. And I am extremely grateful to each one for such adulation.
According to you, what makes a person sexy?
The way of conducting oneself makes them sexy. Attitude does the talking.
What qualities do you find sexy in a man?
His sense of humour. A man’s intelligence and presence makes him sexy.
Which leading man would you love to be romanced by on onscreen?
I would want to romance Ranveer Singh because he is fiery and I am flowing water. I am sure we would create great chemistry.
How much do your fans means to you?
For me, as an entertainer, my audience is everything to me. Fans’ love, acceptance and support is more than any award, and I am truly blessed to be loved worldwide.
What has been your best encounter with a fan?
I remember once an auto-rickshaw driver was completely enthralled looking at me and he called the rest of his friends saying that his dream had come true. The most interesting thing of all was that all his auto-rickshaws had my character’s name (Radhika) etched on them! If I am alive in the hearts of my fans through the characters I have played and my work is remembered for years, I believe my life becomes preciously meaningful.
Who are you a big fan of?
I am a very big fan of motivational speakers like Daisaku Ikeda, Wayne Dyer, Tony Robbins and Oprah Winfrey. They have transformed millions of lives through changing their own suffering into examples for others to follow. And similarly, I also aspire to inspire people through my own life.
If you could learn something new, what would it be?
I want to learn business and marketing skills; I completely lack in it. I have been fooled and cheated on different occasions just due to my limited knowledge (on that front).
What is your greatest unfulfilled acting ambition today?
Working with (filmmaker) Sanjay Leela Bhansali is my dream and it still remains unfulfilled. I hope the universe is listening to this.
What inspires you?
My personal growth inspires me and motivates me to continue pressing forward.
What is your idea of happiness?
Happiness is a state of mind. I achieve it by merely striking a balance between my personal and professional life. I am not an over-ambitious lady who would sacrifice her personal life; this life happens only once and I want to live each day giving and receiving the best it has to offer.
Why do you love being an actress?
When I look back and connect the dots, I realise that this is what I came for. I have unconditional love for art. I clearly remember bunking my classes for a dance or a play rehearsal. My parents used to rebuke me when I sat in front of the mirror talking to myself, and my friends used to laugh when I attempted to sing, but I never gave up. I really love what I do and do what I love.
Finally, would you like to give us a message to your fans?
Thank you so very much for your love, it means the world to me. And as a performer, I will never cease to entertain you.