I clearly remember it was in a movie theatre almost a year back when I first saw Salony Luthra on screen. I was seated inside the hall waiting for the movie to begin as ads after ads streamed only adding to my irritation at the long wait. And then along came some TV ad. I was just about to give it a pass when something in the advertisement arrested my attention. It was the appearance of a tall, beautous actress. She had intense eyes, an angelic smile and nice lustrous hair. In other words, a captivating face. And then she spoke a few lines (whatever the brief advertisement could afford) extolling the virtues of the TV she was endorsing and I could easily hazard a guess that here was a trained actress. Unfortunately the TV had a name Vise but the actress remained unnamed. I then embarked on a rigorous Google search mission to unearth the name of the actress and after some hard research I discovered the name – Salony Luthra. Being not exactly a prolific social media user like most other creative souls, it took me a year to finally establish a connect for an interview with Salony. And it certainly was worth the wait.
Far away from the hustle and bustle of Bollywood, Salony was born into a family of engineers and lawyers in Shimla. But then she always had a passion for performing arts.
“For a while initially it did look like I will opt for either of these professions but I always had a passion for performing arts. Unfortunately my family was not very encouraging and parents wanted me to pick up a more stable job. However I was determined to give my passion a chance and moved to Delhi soon where I joined NK Sharma’s Act One theatre group. He is my guru and taught me so much about acting and importance of craft. I have invested a lot in my acting and I keep doing theatre.”
Very soon Mumbai beckoned and she arrived in maximum city after finishing her course in Delhi. Here it was the cycle of auditions that Salony soon got busy with.
” I had two choices when I started my career as an actor here. Either to do anything and everything that came my way like all the glamorous roles or to take the route of theatre. It was a difficult decision to make initially but I chose the latter because I wanted to train myself more and invest more time in the craft because I wanted to establish myself as an actor first.“
Near around this time, South cinema lapped her up when Tamil cinema Sarabham happened.
” Someone recommended my name to C V Kumar who is big producer in the Tamil industry. He is known for doing parallel cinema. I went to Chennai and did an audition. The script blew my mind and I just wanted to do it even if it meant learning Tamil. It was a coming-of-age film and I had a performance oriented role in it.”
While her performance in Sarambham won her critical acclaim, her turn as a visually challenged girl in Tamil short film Oliyum Oliyum garnered her rave reviews too. Looking at her choices of film, it may seem that she is more inclined towards parallel cinema but Salony is eager to dive straight into the glamorous world of commercial masala films too.
” I love commercial cinema. Infact not many know that I love dancing and I am good at it. I am a people’s person. So commercial cinema is something I am quite interested in taking up.”
And when it comes to Bollywood, there is ofcourse no escaping nepotism.
“It’s difficult because you need a strong recommendation or someone who is a godfather and you see it very prominently.There is nepotism. I would be lying if i say it is not present. It is difficult for girls to break in here. I have really no support in the industry. I am doing something that my family too never really acknowledged being very service oriented. The only way I can break through is by showing my work and putting it out there.”
For the moment, she is awaiting the release of her Indo- American project Forbidden and Pakhi Tyrewala’s short film Kajal. While the former is based on a true story about a girl who follows her heart and pays a heavy price for it, the latter is about a normal middle class working woman and how she finds her inner strength.
” Pakhi asked me to put on weight for the role and I gained 7 kgs by gorging on a lot of sweets.”
While Salony is particular about choosing the right script, she doesn’t have any preconceived stereotypes about selecting only particular kind of roles.
” I am extremely open as an actor and I am looking for interesting meaty roles. I don’t have any steretypes. I am looking for roles that get something out of me.“
And is there one actor she would particularly like to romance onscreen?
“Ranbir Kapoor. He is a terrific actor and is very sincere about his craft and I admire that quality about him.”