'I don't care what opinion people have of me. I am God's favourite child.'
Sherlyn Chopra knows how to whip up a controversy, sometimes with her bold on-screen avatar or by dishing out polarising opinions or going nude in a magazine.
After taking a brief hiatus from the limelight, the actress is making her comeback in Ekta Kapoor's streaming show Paurashpur Season 2.
Sherlyn will play a temptress named Maharani Snehalata, which she finds quite similar to her real personality.
She says the role came to her after going through the toughest phase of her life.
Brimming with rejuvenated energy and a new-found love for life, an introspective Sherlyn tells Mayur Sanap/Rediff.com, "I feel very anxious and lonely sometimes. I still face certain medical issues, butit is important to tell yourself that this too shall pass."
We are seeing you on screen after a long time. What has kept you busy so far?
Court cases and controversies. (Laughs)
I am finally back on track because of Ekta Kapoor ma'am, who took a leap of faith in me by giving me this show. I will do whatever it takes to make her proud.
How did you feel portraying this fierce and powerful queen in the show?
When I was offered this role, I asked myself, 'What do I have in common with her?'
I realised I share a lot of qualities with this character.
When someone calls her 'Rani', she tells them to address her as 'Maharani'.
She is someone who knows her worth.
Just like her, I consider myself nothing less than a winner.
I don't care what opinion people have of me. I believe I am God's favourite child.
It was great to play such a powerful character because I encountered a series of adversities in my life recently.
I was severely ill due to kidney failure. Doctors told me I had only three months to live. I told myself I have many more things to achieve in life and I will not give up.
After three months of taking medicines, my kidney failure was reversed.
Today, it feels like a miracle that I am here, promoting my new project. This new lease of life is a gift that I have received from the Almighty.
Now I want to live each day to the fullest and just keep working.
I always wanted to do quality work but never really got those opportunities.
Do you think Bollywood has turned its back on you?
I did get good parts initially but after that, people started judging me.
They belittled me.
They would reject me for work.
I was also embroiled in controversies because I speak with honesty.
When I introspected myself, I came to the conclusion that it's better not to be a people-pleaser and just be me.
Also, after my illness, I became more willful to dream higher.
I did not worry about having anyone's support to achieve my dreams.
How do you reflect on your journey in the industry so far? What have been your biggest learnings?
There are many challenges in the entertainment industry.
Everyone wants to snatch your place away.
It is tricky to pick friendships in this industry.
People are jealous of others' happiness.
People are wearing masks and it is difficult to tell who is your real friend.
I believe and trust only myself and I am living each day as it comes.
I have become more powerful now.
I feel very anxious and lonely sometimes.
I still face certain medical issues but it is important to tell yourself that this too shall pass.
Every human being goes through tough times.
That is exactly what I want to tell the youth. I want to be their support system and I want them to be here for me.
Sherlyn's sudden friendship with Rakhi Sawant raised eyebrows after their public spat last year. But the actress clarifies she is no more friends with Rakhi and blames the latter's unsteady nature. Watch Sherlyn's piece of advice for Rakhi:
You once spoke about having a billionaire husband. Are you still looking for your dream man?
(Laughs) I am looking for nobody!
I wish to become a billionaire myself so that I become someone's billionaire wife.
I trust a relationship that's built on mutual respect, love and friendship. It's alright if he doesn't have money, I can help him.
The deciding factor for me would be whether the person believes in himself or not. If he doesn't believe in himself, how can he believe me or the goodness of the universe?
You have been a contestant on Bigg Boss in the past. Are you watching the current season?
No. I am busy with my own show.
What advice would you give to anyone who's trying to survive house politics?
It is challenging to maintain your sanity in a house where there is constant conflict.
It is also a valuable experience to learn about people and how they behave under immense pressure.
If given a chance, I would like to go back to Bigg Boss and my motto would be just be myself, without any pretence at all. This is how one should behave in that house.
You had featured in Playboy magazinev earlier. If you were offered another chance, would you take it?
Yes, but only with Ranveer Singh!
Just like me, he has also experienced this (posing nude for a magazine).
It will be more fun if we do it together. (Laughs)