From being iDiva’s sassy content creator and essaying iconic characters such as the inevitable ‘Raju Ki Mummy’ to essaying major roles in OTT shows, Dolly Singh’s journey has been one of a kind. With more than a million followers on Instagram, Dolly Singh has been a force to reckon with owing to her diverse talent.
Here she takes out time from her scheduled and juggling roles to talk to us about her collaborating with Terribly Tiny Tales for the short film ‘Dream Boy’ in December last year, BTS anecdotes, and answers some fun Rapid Fire questions.
How was your experience of shooting your first ever short film?
The experience was amazing. I have said this so many times that working with TTT was such a dream for me because I was hooked to watching content on Youtube.
I think all of us were and TTT was one platform where they were making amazing stories and videos. They are made with that sensibility and honesty so I loved their work. I always thought to myself one day if I could work with them that would be amazing.
I remember somehow I got in touch with Sharanya maybe two years back or something. It was about something else but I just told her that I’m being very honest. One day if I could work with you guys that would be really nice and then this audition came for this short film.
They did take me so I think I was okay. It felt like a full-circle moment overall working with the cast. I am so not used to working on set. As influencers we are used to working with the camera, auditions also these days happen like in a closed room. So sometimes going on a set can be very draining, overwhelming, scary, and confusing.
But these people were so nice and sweet from the very beginning. We had a few readings on zoom and when I went on set it just felt like everything came together. Our director, Sharanya, Anuj our DOP even my co-actor Sayan he was so good.
I remember once I wanted to rehearse my line and we were a little short on time and he was like you know Dolly take all the time that you need for rehearsal I’ll stop the shoot if I have to. That was a very beautiful experience for me overall as an actor.
How difficult or challenging is it to justify and portray its characteristics in a short period of time?
Honestly, I haven’t experienced so much to really bring depth to this answer. But to me I just try to imagine what their backstories would be like or what they would be like apart from this script. My character was Riddhima and so what Riddhima’s life would generally look like, what kind of company does she work in, what kind of friends she has.
She’s dating Utkarsh for a reason so why is she dating him? What does she see in him? So once you kind of tackle these questions even though you’re doing the character for a short time but you’ve to build that character to justify it.
I think that’s how I function and sometimes you can ask these questions to the director, to the writer. And sometimes you’ve to make up things, kind of cook up that character in your own head. Build it up so much so that when you take out a little piece of that character on camera, it comes out nicely and doesn’t come out very broken.
Please share any of the behind the scene anecdotes that live rent-free in your head?
One of the things that I already said was Sayan being very supportive. When we were on set and didn’t meet before shooting it, we only rehearsed it online. It’s not obviously the real deal, when you meet a person in real life that’s when the chemistry can come alive, and working with him was beautiful.
Another one that I really like is once we finished the shoot on the second day we were shooting at a café. After the pack up we all just decided to chill at the café and we were all together- sharing stories.
From sharing how they have a scar on their body and the story behind it and it was so funny and at the same time so emotional. We all came together so nicely and the bonding was real I think that was also one of my favorite moments. I don’t really go out and meet people so much. It felt like I was chilling with very genuinely nice people.
I made some friends and it’s very hard to make friends these days and I’m really happy about that.
How was it working with fellow digital creators Yutik Palresha, Sayandeep Sen Gupta?
So when I first saw the script and everything, I had no idea to be honest who Yutik was. I had seen him around on Instagram and reels and his dancing skills. I didn’t follow him as such, so he first came to our reading and we all said Hi to each other and he seemed like a nice guy.
I was like okay he is the one we are talking about in the video. But when we met him on the set, Yutik is such a sweetheart. I met him and I was like I’m so happy that you’re the one whose talent we are promoting in the video. He deserves it and people are more than what he does.
Of course, his dancing skills are so good, I can’t dance to save my life, so even that is enough. I feel like he as a person is so beautiful. It was just such a nice moment in my heart and also I think me and Sayan also discussed this separately.
Cut to Sayan, as I’ve already said it five times, it was so comfortable working with him. Being the lead for the first time was nerve-wracking and you had to really bring the chemistry alive.
I remember we did not have so much time for too many takes. We did 3 or 4 of that big chunk of climax. In between shots, we would keep talking about our dogs and about our other halves.
Of all the actors that I’ve worked with I think Sayan is definitely one of the most incredible people.
How much do you relate to your character in Dream Boy in real life and what is your key takeaway from it?
I don’t have too many crushes online anymore, that’s something I don’t relate to. I think Riddhima overall was quite like me, I think she is definitely more outgoing and more fun than I am. But she has a thing for nerds and me too. So there we connect and again like I don’t want to give the ending away.
I don’t know but I feel like the ending was so beautiful that’s where I really connected with Riddhima because that was also something I would tell my partner.
The skeleton of both of our bodies match but like our personalities outside don’t match too much. Our values match but our characteristics don’t. I hope I’m making sense but yeah I’m not as outgoing. I’m a big introvert and Riddhima seems to be very extroverted and fun. She’s always looking out for a boyfriend and sweet as a girlfriend also.
My key takeaway from playing Riddhima was to make your partner feel very comfortable. You know sometimes in relationships, knowingly or unknowingly you can make your partner very insecure. You don’t realize it and I think this short film was also such a good way to say that jokes or fun banter between friends can really affect your friend or your relationship. It’s always good to have that kind of communication between each other and have that honesty.
How does it feel to debut with Terribly Tiny Tales and how did the association pan out?
It was a full-circle moment for me and was a really big deal for me. The association panned out beautifully and I hope everyone had fun. I don’t know about others, I think for me it worked really well.
At least now I’ve stopped looking at projects with an outlook- like ‘oh this is what I’m doing and this is or what is going to bring me a lot more projects. A lot more work or if I do this now that means may be next I can do this.
I’ve stopped looking at projects as stepping stones to other things and more as final destinations of their own. My short film Dream Boy was such a cute destination for me and I really loved it.
I think it’ll always be very special to me, it is my first short film.
You’ve worked in a web series before and keep creating short film content on social media, what is the one difference that you noticed while filming the short film?
I have worked for a show called Bhaag Beanie Bhaag on Netflix and yes I make content. As a content creator, I work as one unit, like I’m just one woman working. 90% of the work that I produce is me writing it, shooting it, editing it. I’m a person who doesn’t get impressed with other people’s work so soon.
It’s always like I can do it better and I should do it by myself which is not the most fun to be honest. When I was working on the show with Netflix, I think that was such a huge production, it was my first time. I had a gala time learning so many things working with the likes of Swara Bhaskar and directors like Debbie Rao and Ishaan Nair.
Meanwhile, working with TTT was a dream come true. I’ve come so far with my acting career whatever that has been so far.
When I did my show I was pretty naïve. I didn’t know much about acting not that I know too much now. But I feel like there’s definitely been some sort of growth. I’ve always done supporting roles, best friends and sister. For the first time, I had the responsibility to kind of take the story forward on my own shoulders with another co-star.
A lot of times we talk about women’s emotions and we kind of stereotype it like that. We also stereotype in a way that men don’t feel these emotions, so it was really nice to look at how a man was feeling insecure in his relationship and he was trying to up his game.
I never at any point felt I was under too much pressure or that I was crumbling which I feel a lot on sets.
Fast five with Dolly Singh
- One relationship advice you would give to today’s youth?
Communication! I myself am not the best communicator in the world but, communication is always the key, not only for the youth but for everyone.
2. Which internet celebrity are you currently crushing on?
If I had to be really honest, I would always crush on Daniel Radcliff, he’s been my forever crush.
3. Who among your single creator friends would you like to see dating soon?
Ankush Bahuguna. I think I want to see Ankush date, someone, soon.
4. What is the mantra to have a healthy relationship?
The mantra to have a healthy relationship would be, yet again, the communication I guess. I think being honest with each other is very important.
Also how that person makes you feel. Because a lot of times I feel like in my past relationships I overlooked how that person was making me feel. It would always give me anxiety or the presence would make me nervous.
I would never realize it but I would feel so anxious in their company and stressed out. I feel like if you’re at ease with your partner if you’re comfortable – that says a lot.
5. Three toxic traits in a partner, you would warn your friends about?
If they say bad things about their exes. Secondly, they only want to meet you in private and don’t want to take you out, especially for girls, than always trying to meet at night. So yeah big red flags.
With inputs from Sarika Tiwari