Surbhi Jyoti, best known for her roles in TV shows such as “Qubool Hai”, “Naagin 3” and now OTT drama “Gunaah”, says it is a good time to be an actor as there is space for all kind of stories to be told. The 36-year-old actor is happy that the focus is on bringing relatable content whether it is in television, streamers or cinema for “every type of character, actor and age group”. “You don`t have to look a certain way to be able to play lead roles and that`s how it should be because when you say that cinema is a reflection of society, then it better be a reflection of the society. It`s a good thing that new stories are leading to a more inclusive space by presenting realistic and relatable characters,” Jyoti told PTI in an interview.

“Gunaah”, streaming on Disney+ Hotstar, follows the story of Shiva, whose world is shattered after he is betrayed by loved ones. “Taking a new identity as Abhimanyu, he endures many trials for a bloody vengeance, carved with love,” according to the show`s official synopsis. Jyoti said “Gunaah” gave her a chance to portray an unconventional character of a businesswoman named Tara, who plays the love interest of Abhimanyu.

“It was an intriguing character and different from what I have done till now. When I read the script, I just decided that I have to play this role,” she added. The Jalandhar-born actor, who completed her masters in English literature and was planning to apply for a PhD, said she entered the acting profession by chance as she grew up believing that she would be a great teacher. “I used to do a lot of theatre in college as that was my passion, but I always planned on becoming a teacher and was focused on that. I never thought acting could be my profession because in a small-town middle-class family, it`s not the first choice, especially for girls to go to Mumbai and find a career in the field of acting,” she said.

Jyoti also shared how she got her breakout role of Zoya Farooqui, a fun-loving NRI woman who comes to India in search of her father, in “Qubool Hai”. Show`s producer Gul Khan had come across a video clip of her theatre work on social media, following which she offered the actor the leading role in the Zee TV show over a phone call. Jyoti recalled how her mother thought it was a “fraud call”.

“My mother said `It just does not happen that you are sitting in Jalandhar one day and you get a call from Mumbai to become an actor`. My father was like, `If you want to give it a shot, go ahead and if it is not right, you can come back`. The producer ended up being a genuine person and that`s how I came to Mumbai,” she said. For now, the actor is happy with all the praise coming her way for “Gunaah”. “I am not going to bound myself to one space that I now I will only do OTT, TV or just films. I am open to new stories and working with talented people.”

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