Patralekhaa of Citylights fame told IANS: "One of the most important lessons that I have learnt from the tough phase of my career is that if I am not convinced, I won't play the character. I think for a performer, for an actor, conviction is one of the most important elements and if I am not fully convinced, it shows in my performance.
"So from now on, everything I will do, I will do it with conviction. Also I have stopped taking nonsense from people because we actors are here by choice and we cannot be on anybody's mercy... No one should make us feel insecure or vulnerable just because an artiste has a sensitive mind."
Releasing on the OTT platform ZEE5, the film Badnaam Gali tells the story of a young surrogate mother named Noyonika Ganguly, played by Patralekhaa.
The film was shot in Delhi.
"We shot in summer. The temperature was around 42 degrees and I was wearing that prosthetic belly as you know I have played a pregnant girl. It was physically exhausting under that heat. I was sweating all over and I was getting tired, but everything was worth it when we saw the end result," she said.
Asked about how the story of a surrogate mother has become acceptable for the audience, she said: "The good thing is that time is changing. An unmarried pregnant girl is always a taboo in the society and that is why earlier when actresses like Preity Zinta did that film 'Kya Kehna', it was an example.
"Now it is great to see that the audience is receptive towards these kind of stories. That is how actors like us are getting chances to work on good stories. I always choose my films as an audience because I am the first audience of my film.
"Though it is a story told in a lighter manner, it raises some important questions. She is a surrogate mother, an independent girl with a very unapologetic attitude and how society treats her... Digital platforms really have given us the opportunity to some of these progressive stories."
After Badnaam Gali, Patralekhaa has another film in her kitty. It is directed by Pradeep Sarkar, and the actress says it is quite dark and different.
"We have room for versatility too," she said.
Starting her career in Bollywood with the film Citylights, Patralekhaa has also appeared in the web series Bose: Dead/Alive.
She has been through few years of struggle to get good film offers, though critics always praised her performance.
While she has an inclination towards playing a strong woman on-screen, she knows that as an actor, she shouldn't say that "I only want to play such character."
"Yes, my character should have a strong opinion, but she could be vulnerable too. I think that is the intriguing point for me that I look for in every good script," added Patralekhaa.
Images: Patralekhaa on Instagram