The pretty Manushi Chhillar is just three films old, and two more coming up.

She sees her journey so far as on target. “My journey in pageantry only instilled the confidence in me for trying new things. I met so many wonderful people and travelled the world, which did empower me as a person, and I carry all those experiences with me as an actor today. The platform gave me immense popularity, which did interest Filmmakers to launch me. But with films I had to start from scratch because I had to learn so much and understand a completely new field. Pageantry empowered my life, and not just as an actor.”

Perseverance, according to Manushi is the key to success. “To succeed in any field, specially when you’re not from that industry, you have to keep trying, keep working and stay focused. One cannot give up because it takes time to establish yourself in any new place. I don’t know if I’ve cracked the code yet, but I know that I have never shied from hard work or trying something new. I like giving everything my best and I enjoy each day on a film set. I feel those two are very important.”

Although her films so far have not worked, Manushi has no regrets about doing them.“It has been a long journey of growth and learning, and nothing has been easy. But I believe that anything that is worth it never comes easy in life. Being an outsider, every single day I’m learning something new to better myself as an actor and create my space in the industry.”

Interestingly she doesn’t see Samrat Prithviraj as a failure. “It was a dream launch and working with Yash raj films, Akshay Kumar, Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi, Vaibhavi Merchant and everyone else only added to my skill set today. Personally it was my first experience on a film set and I’ve learnt so much from everyone around me. So I still have only to gain from that film and I’m grateful.”

Operation Valentine was a good film and Manushi had a graceful space in the project. The transition from the traditional costumes in Samrat Prithiviraj to the soldier’s uniform was a challenge for Manushi. “Every role comes with its own set of challenges and each character has been different. I loved the script and my character the minute I finished reading it and I am very proud of this film because of its emotion. Right from body language, tonality of commands, to emoting enough for the audience but maintaining the decorum of an officer, I had to polish everything apart from the general character preparation.”

Manushi now awaits her next two releases Bade Miyan Chote Miyan with Akshay Kumar and Tiger Shroff , and then Tehran with John Abraham.

Who are the directors on Manushi’s wishlist ? “Sandeep Reddy Vanga,⁠Atlee,⁠Sanjay Leela Bhansali and SS Rajamouli.”