Sushmita Sen says she didn’t get roles in Bollywood due to her reluctance to networking: ‘I’ve never been good at that’

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Sushmita Sen made the leap from beauty pageant winner to actor rather smoothly. The actor went on to have a successful career in films, winning both critical acclaim and the audience’s love. But after working in films for over a decade, she took a hiatus for almost ten years. Post that, Sushmita chose to return to acting with a web series and not films. Talking about it in a recent interaction, the actor said it was because mainstream Bollywood wasn’t offering her the kind of roles she wanted. (Also read: Sushmita Sen reveals she’s proud of her ‘item numbers’, recalls saying ‘take me’ when it was frowned upon)

Sushmita’s last film before her break from acting was the 2010 comedy Dulha Mil Gaya, which also starred Fardeen Khan along with Shah Rukh Khan in a special appearance. She returned to acting with the Disney+ Hotstar web series Aarya in 2020. In between, the actor said she prioritised raising her two daughters- Renee and Alisah.

In conversation with film critic Sucharita Tyagi for a video interaction on Critics Choice Short Film and Series Awards’ Facebook page, Sushmita said, “I think the 10-year hiatus set the priorities in order. It told me what I need to do and what not to do. Mainstream cinema wasn’t giving me what I wanted. A lot of it was a pre-conceived notion of my age and my screen age and that I hadn’t worked for ten years.”

The actor added that her own inability and reluctance to network with people meant she missed out on opportunities as well. She said, “I don’t know what the mindset was or maybe I was not putting myself out there. I have never been good at that. I am no good at networking. It did not work for me.” Sushmita currently stars in Aarya. Two seasons of the show have aired and a third is under production.


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