Her performance as a Naxalite (Maoist) in Prakash Jha's Chakravyuh has won rave reviews for Anjali Patil across the board, but the actress says she never aspired to act in movies.
"I never aspired to be a movie actress. Being from the National School Of Drama (NSD), acting was and is my passion. I also used to design sets for the stage. So I've been associated with theatre from the time I became an actor," Anjali said.
"There was no yearning to be in films. But now that Chakravyuh has opened a new window in my life I'd be foolish to shut it. I welcome the attention. Though I never craved for it, nor did I ask for it," she added.
The actress has already signed a three-film contract with filmmaker Prakash Jha and will be next seen in Satyagrah.
Anjali says playing a Naxalite in Chakravyuh wasn't difficult for her.
"Though I've gotten over that phase in my life I can never be a capitalist. Acting would never be my bread and butter. I can't see myself as a Bollywood movie star living in a duplex with a fleet of cars parked in the basement. I will always be a misfit, though I wouldn't like to play misfits all the time," she said.
Prior to Chakravyuh, Anjali was part of Prashant Nair's Indie film Delhi In A Day and an Indo-Sri Lankan co-production With You Without You, which was based on Fyodor Dostoyevsky's short story The Meek One.
"I was noticed in both films, though not by enough people I guess," said the 23-year-old Nashik girl, without any pretence at modesty.
Anjali has all praise for co-star Abhay Deol, too.
"I wouldn't say we're method actors, though considering how seriously we take the business of acting, people seem to think we are. But like me, he (Abhay) follows a process to arrive at his characterisation. I enjoyed working with Abhay," she said.
"Like me, he is always looking for logic and asking the director thousands of questions. He also helped me with my scenes since I am relatively new to the movie camera," she added.
Anjali says she's open to doing all kinds of roles, even if it requires her to be glamorous.
"After Chakravyuh, I am open to all sorts of movies. I don't want to be typecast playing rebellious outcasts. There is a danger in mainstream Hindi cinema of actors repeating themselves endlessly if they're liked in a role. I am not open to doing variations on Chakravyuh."
"It's presumed by the film industry that there are a certain kind of actors, who don't approve of glamorous roles. I don't mind being glamorous. I don't think it's easy putting on loads of makeup and running around trees. Yeah, I'd like to give it a try," she added.
Anjali says she "hated" Mumbai earlier, but has now accepted the city as her home.
"Back home in Nashik I was used to a quiet peaceful life. Mumbai with its traffic, noise and ambitions, overwhelmed me. I wanted to run away from the city. Now I am no more intimidated by the city. I love the city and the city loves me back," she said.
"I live in a cosy rented place here surrounded by books. I'm happy with my existence. I don't need anything else. I am looking at offers for films. But if I don't like them I don't mind waiting," she added.
However, there is one area where Anjali would like to put her money.
"I've seen a lot of writers and actors suffer for the lack of funds. I want to do something to help them."