Poonam Dhillon says Bollywood is more competitive today, reacts to nepotism debate: ‘You cannot say that…’ | Exclusive

Poonam Dhillon talks about her film Ek Kori Prem Katha and reacts to the nepotism debate in Bollywood.

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Poonam Dhillon's still from Ek Kori Prem Katha (Image: Screengrab)


Poonam Dhillon is currently busy promoting her recent release Ek Kori Prem Katha which tackles the deeply ingrained practice of Kori, a ceremonial ritual that subjects women to a test of their purity. The film also stars Raj Babbar, Khanak Budhiraja, and Akshay Oberoi in key roles. 

The film hit the theatres on April 5 and recently in an exclusive conversation with DNA, Poonam Dhillon talked about her role in the film and also opened up about the increased competition in Bollywood and shared her thoughts about the nepotism debate in the industry. 

Talking about playing a doting mother-in-law in Ek Kori Prem Katha and said, "When you believe in something and even if it is outdated, you’ll keep believing in it until your thinking is changed and to change that thinking, this movie has given a strong message. This generation and their parent's generation have a huge gap and they both are right on their part. So when the two generations together change the thinking and the younger generation tell their parents that their thinking was wrong, so that is a huge achievement. So my character is a good character that believes in this pratha and is not doing wrong with her daughter-in-law intentionally, but she understands it later and then comes in support of her daughter-in-law." 

When the actress was asked if she feels today the competition has increased in the industry compared to when she started out at the age of 15, the actress said, "Definitely it’s more competitive and nepotism has been much talked about topic on social media but it’s not true at all because yes, one might get an introduction with someone but that doesn’t mean he/she will give you a role. Unless you are talented, no one will give you a role as a favour." 

She further went on to add how both her children Paloma and Anmol got their debut film without any help from her and said, "Both of my children have done their debuts and both of them got the roles on their own. I didn’t even know my son met Sanjay Leela Bhansali. So when he selected my son, I was stunned. I didn’t even have his number to thank him. And my son is very proud of it. And so my daughter gave 5 auditions and between 100 girls, she was selected to do Rajshree films. So I think it’s everyone’s capabilities. I was also an outsider, someone gave a recommendation. In today’s time, you cannot say that someone can get a film as favour, impossible. There is a constant comparison. People also unfairly compare."

Khanak Budhiraja, who made her debut with Ek Kori Prem Katha also shared her experience working in the film and revealed what made her say yes to the film. The actress said, "We hesitate a lot while talking about Virginity, whether it’s in our family or friends and people have still accepted sex but not the V word. So, with this film, we want people to normalize it. I would like to give an example of Akshay Kumar’s film Padman. After watching that film, every girl can ask for a sanitary pad without hesitation at the medical store. Even if a guy goes to buy it, people will not see him in a bad light because people have seen Akshay Kumar doing it in his film." 

She added, "So I think the film is a big medium to reach a larger number of audience and our director has tried this only we should not only entertain but also educate people. So obviously I was scared when you get a debut role which is so challenging. So I had to quite a few preparations for the role. And when you have such legendary stars like Raj Babbar sir, Poonam Dhillon ma’am, so it becomes more difficult and you have to prepare more but yeah I did have apprehensions but now I am proud and happy that if I can make a change with my character, then I will be more than happy." 

Helmed by Chinmey Purohit, Ek Kori Prem Katha revolves around the story of Sabhyata, who falls in love with the village pradhaan's son, and has to decide how she will fight the ceremonial ritual of Kori in order to have a happy and respectful married life. The film was released in theatres on April 5. 

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