She is gutsy, talented and speaks her heart. Actor and personality development trainer Ipsita Mallik on a one on one with IAD
How did you journey as an actor begin?
As a child I was a very shy and introverted girl. Till my 12th grade, I never had any friends. I never wanted to come out of my comfort zone and so, I was happy with my own world. After I finished my 12th grade, I went to Chennai for my graduation and that brought a lot of changes in me as a person. I always admired my sister for always being the chirpy one and I wanted to become like her. Entering the acting field never ever crossed my mind but somewhere I knew that I can change my personality only if I challenge myself and only if I face my fears. Then I heard about auditions for a South movie. One of my college friends was going for it and I accompanied her. When I went there, there were already many girls and I was asked to audition too. I never wanted to, but something within me motivated me to give it a try. It was tough; they told me to cry. I do not know what I did, but the next day, I got a call saying I was selected for this movie. Nevousness started building up and when I told my parents, they were equally shocked. The next thing I knew, I was a shy girl on the sets of a movie. I was just 19. It was an art movie. I was playing the role of a young mother. I did not know how to swim and I had to jump in the water. I had to do action scenes in a saree. I was playing a psycho character. Other than that, I had to learn the dialogues in Tamil. It was tough for me; I cried for days trying to learn Tamil. I always wanted to come out of my comfort zone, but never thought that it would be so extreme. Anyway, the movie Kaipesi yen got released, and my acting was appreciated. I did a lot of short films, print ads, commercials and anchoring after that. So finally I was in the profession where I needed to talk all the time and it helped me become a confident person.
Could you tell us what are some of your favourite brands?
I have worked with various brands but I am quite attached to the first print ad which I did in Chennai. Right after my movie, I was approached by Pearls Beauty Parlor for their print ad. I learnt to pose, learnt to express; it was a bridal shoot and I loved it. After 3-4 days, my hoardings were all over Chennai. You can still some of those hoardings in the city. I did other print ads which became hoardings and were eventually taken down but this very first one for Pearls are still up there and whenever I see that, it brings back all the old memories. That’s why I will choose it over other brands.
What’s the one weapon every model needs to survive in this industry?
Patience is very important in this field. You have to work hard every single day. You go and give your best audition but there are many others who give the audition for the same role and then only one out of so many get selected for the role. You keep trying but you are not selected and somehow it depresses you. Then you think about taking some short cuts for reaching your goal. Trust me, those “short cuts” can be harmful. There will be people who will openly advice you to indulge in casting couch for getting roles and out of impatience, many will tend to agree to take that route but do you know there are so many who even after indulging in all this don’t get a single role? Even if they get a role, will they ever get inner peace/inner satisfaction after forcing themselves to sleep with someone? No, right? So one should learn to say No.One should be patient and wait for right time. There are good and bad people everywhere. Even in the industry, not everyone is bad. So be patient.
A best moment and a worst moment in your profession for you?
Well, my mother wanted me to be an engineer, but I studied commerce and so I am sure my mother was upset then. But after doing my first movie and then a lot of shows down South, I was called as a chief guest at Infosys Chennai and then I called up my mom and told her “Mom I am the chief guest in the same place you wanted me to work. I hope this made you happy”. I could bring a smile to her face.
One bad thing is everyone starts judging you too fast. I do not smoke and if I tell this to someone they do not believe me because according to them, if you are in the media, you would drink, smoke, make many boyfriends and be a little dumb (smiles). Everyone in every field is different, so judging someone by their profession is not right.
What to do you do when you get free time?
I love sleeping (smiles). Tell me to sleep and I will sleep the entire day. I love watching Bollywood movies and watch almost every movie. I love reading and writing and I have a lot of creative stories in mind. I hope I could go into direction some day. I love travelling; my parents are settled abroad and so I travel quite often. I love kids, so most of the time you will find me playing with my niece Suhana and finally I celebrate all my birthdays, New Year’s and Christmas with orphanage kids. They bring a lot of positivity in my life.
One handy technique to beat quick and unpredictable stress moments in daily life?
As a personality development trainer, I would like to say that whenever you are stressed, try to speak about it to someone you can trust. The moment you keep it within yourself, even the smallest problems become big thereby spoiling your mood and health. When you share your problems with someone, you feel relaxed and better; plus new ideas come out of it which can help you deal with your stress in a better way. Your loved ones bring an instant smile on your face.
What are some of your upcoming projects?
I have taken a break from acting for a while as I have started my own business and right now I’m concentrating on that. I found that there are many people who are not able to excel in their career because of shyness, communication problems and public speaking skills. I have gone through the same and I decided to help them out. In a place like
Mumbai, where you have so many good-looking people around, you might develop an inferiority complex. I help them come out of it. I groom them and I also help them come out of depression and come out of their past relationships. It always used to affect me a lot when I saw people in depression and people committing suicides. I always wanted to do something about it. I would be glad if I can do something for them. Yes, I love acting and know it will stay forever, so I am sure I will get back to it soon.
What does success mean to you?
I would like to keep this short and sweet. The day my parents would hug me and say that they are really proud of me, I would be the most successful person.