You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust. You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t. You have wings. Learn to use them and fly. Rumi
From Ludhiana to Nescafe poster girl, Teena Singh has come a long way. A small-town girl making it big in Mumbai is like a dream come true. But it was Teena’s determination and hard work that turned this dream into a reality and today aroma of her talent is spreading fast and thick. With three films – Akira, Fitoor and Kabir Singh and many ad campaigns under her belt, Teena has become an inspiration for every the girl next door who wants to reach out to stars on her own.
Shruti Misra of Haalo had a tête-à-tête with Teena Singh over a cup of coffee.
Q.1 TELL ME SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND FAMILY AND SCHOOLING?
- I come from a very conservative family from Ludhiana. At the age of 17, I decided to pack my bags and left Punjab. My father was very upset but I was very sure because if I had stayed in Ludhiana, my parents would have got me married.
I have studied in boarding school Dalhousie, then moved to Delhi and then Mumbai. It was all without my parents’ consent
Q.2 YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO BECOME AN ACTOR?
- No. To be honest, I wanted to experience big city exposure. I left home with zero plan in my head. I was just going with the flow. When I came to Mumbai, I got some offers and I grabbed them because I needed money but then eventually with time I started liking it. I feel the harder you work, the luckier you get.
Q.3 IF NOT ACTING WHICH OTHER PROFESSION, YOU WOULD HAVE CHOSEN?
- I don’t know. Whatever I do in my life I just want to be the best at it. Like, I am really good at my job.
Not average at anything….umm but if I have to choose then it would be PR. My first job was in PR. I am not a desk person.
Q.4 YOU BECAME FAMOUS WITH NESCAFE AD AND PEOPLE CALL YOU NESCAFE GIRL? DO YOU LIKE BEING CALLED LIKE THIS?
- Ya. It was really sweet. I love being called by that name but it’s all the sweeter when people recognize you. That makes me happier. I have done 50-60 ad campaigns before that but this once really touched the hearts of people, I feel.
Q.5 HOW DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST BREAK?
- I had done 15-20 ad campaigns. During that period, I got a call from a casting guy for a movie from Fox Studio Films. I gave the audition literally in the park of his building where kids were running around. I didn’t know for which film I was giving an audition. And after 2-3 months, I got a call from Fox Studios. A.R Murdinga Sir called me for this role.
Q.6 HOW DIFFICULT IT IS FOR AN OUTSIDER TO BE A PART OF THE GLAMOUR WORLD?
- No. No. It’s very difficult but not impossible. Star kids have the backing but we outsiders have to work very hard to break the barrier.
Q.7 YOUR LATEST MOVIE IS A BIG HIT…EXPERIENCE WORKING WITH AN ACTOR LIKE SHAHID KAPOOR?
- He was very sweet. During the shooting, we had an aggressive scene and Shahid always asked me before every shot if he can hold me or touch me. He is a gentleman and treated me nicely.
Q.8 ANY OTHER PROJECTS YOU LOOKING AT?
- I have got another movie, the trailer will be out very soon. It’s a big commercial film. But I can’t talk much about it
Q.9 WILL YOU EVER GO ON ANY REALITY SHOW?
I have got offers from various reality shows but I want to be a part of great movies and act well. That makes me happier. I want to act that’s it.
Q11. YOUR DREAM CO-STAR YOU WANT TO GET PAIRED OFF AND WHY?
- There are a lot of actors I would like to work with Irrfan Khan and Amitabh Bachchan. Ranbir Kapoor is also one of them. I feel he’s naturally gifted actor.
Q.12 RAPID FIRE ROUND:
- DESCRIBE TEENA IN ONE WORD OR SENTENCE- The girl who made it happen
- The FIRST SALARY WAS- Rs1500/-
- KABIR SINGH – Life Changing
- BOLLYWOOD IS- Home
5.FAV FOOD- Italian
- FAV CITY- Mumbai
7.FAV ACTOR- Currently! Vicky Kaushal
8.MESSAGE TO PEOPLE WHO WANTS TO BE AN ACTOR?
If you’re an outsider, you need to have very thick skin! Ready to take rejection every day and bounce back the next day. One must have lots of patience because it takes a lot of time.