Monali Thakur is known more for her singing than her acting.
The Sawaar doon girl recently discovered her acting talent with her hard-hitting performance as a child prostitute in Nagesh Kukunoor’s Lakshmi.
Recently, Monali bagged the Best Actress award at the South-Asian International Film Festival in Washington DC, making her the first Bollywood singer to have won an award for acting.
"It was a bolt from the blue!" Monali exclaims. "I thought the movie was forgotten, though the pain and suffering I went through in portraying the prostitute will remain with me forever. Now this award has strengthened my faith in my decision to pursue a double career as a singer and actress.”
"I will continue as both an actor and a singer," she adds. "When I did Lakshmi, the buzz in the singing world was that I was giving up singing for acting. In fact (composer) Amit Trivedi asked about my plans. That shook me up. But now I feel I have the confidence to overcome people’s doubts and go ahead with both careers.”
Monali says she isn’t happy with the quality of songs on offer. “I am in no hurry as a singer or an actor. I won’t accept everything that comes my way. The songs I sing have to have something to offer me. The same goes for the roles I accept," she says.
Monali has already completed a second acting assignment. “It’s a comedy called Mango, directed by Abbas Tyrewala. I have a different role from what I did in Lakshmi. I play a feisty girl, who cons three men -- played by Rannvijay, his brother Harman (who makes his acting debut) and Chandan Roy Sanyal -- into believing she loves each one of them. I enjoyed this naughty comedy," she says.
Now, she's looking at other acting assignments.
“I want to be known as a good singer, who can act,” Monali says ambitiously.