She started her career opposite her beau Rajkummar Rao in Citylights. Two years later Patralekha spoke to us candidly revealing her journey in the industry...
Did you always aspire to be an actor?
I did aspire to be an actress since my childhood. I was in a boarding school where we had cultural activities. That’s where I started taking part in dance and drama, and from there it kicked into me that I enjoy this more than anything else.
There is a fine line between aspiring to be an actor and to becoming an actor. How did you manage to blur the line?
I came to Mumbai to finish my graduation and not with an intention to become an actor. I am from Bangalore, so I could have become an actor there. I was getting offers for Kannada movies. But I didn’t take it up back then because I wanted to finish my studies. In school I just wanted to be an actor irrespective of the language or place. It took me two years to only settle in Mumbai. Mumbai can be a scary city. In my third year I found a friend who was a casting director. I told him that I wanted to become an actress, and asked him as to how to go about it. He told me to get a portfolio done and send it to agencies, coordinators and production houses. I started getting ads, then film directors started calling me, and that is how I bagged Citylights.
Do you still get offers from South?
At the moment? No.
But do you wish to act in South films?
If there is a good script then why not.
Films by Bhatt have known to be bold. Were you sceptical before taking up Love Games?
No. An actor should never be sceptical about their character if the script is good.
Are you okay with bold scenes?
Yes, I am okay with doing bold scenes because I'm an actor first.
Citylights came two years back. What took you so much time to bag another film?
That year a lot of actors came, Fawad Khan, Tiger Shroff, Kiara Advani, Kriti Sanon... And leaving Kriti nobody came up with a film in these two years. I guess it takes some time for a new actor to get offers. Then of course you shoot the film, then the film goes for post production, promotions, all this takes time.
Are you being choosy with your offers? What kind of offers are you looking out for?
I am a little choosy. I'm just looking for good characters and good roles. I want roles where I have something to do. I am looking for good scripts.
How did you bag Love Games?
I went to Mahesh Bhatt saab and I told him I don’t have work. He told me to go to Vikram (Bhatt) Sir as Vikram was making a film. Vikram told me that he knows how I look, but he wanted me to get a glamorous portfolio done. So I went and got a few glamorous pictures clicked. I showed it to him and in the evening I get a call that I'm in the film.
Being alien to this industry how are things shaping up for you?
I'm very happy just being a part of this industry. I'm only looking towards good work. I never strategise. I didn’t strategise to get my first film. How much ever strategies you make, if something has to happen it will happen, and vice versa. Strategies don’t work in this industry.
What are your upcoming projects?
I haven’t signed anything yet, but I'm in talks with a few directors. Let’s see what materialises.