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Sobhita Dhulipala comments on criticism against her performance in Made in Heaven, says she would’ve liked to ‘play Tara differently’

Despite gaining widespread recognition for her portrayal of the socially mobile wedding planner Tara Khanna in the first season of Zoya Akhtar and Reema Kagti’s web series Made in Heaven, actor Sobhita Dhulipala faced significant criticism when the second season aired. The complaints predominantly focused on her performance, with many claiming that her acting in the series was poor, while some others stated that she “did not act” at all, and was basically playing herself.

In a recent interview with Film Companion, Sobhita expressed her desire to play the character of Tara differently. She said, “It would be interesting to depict the same Tara in identical circumstances and with the same inner landscape, but different disposition. What if she was snappy and snarky? What if she was loud as opposed to cold? I believe this could alter how people perceive me as well. It’s easy for me to look cold, leading to assumptions that I didn’t do any acting and merely played myself on-screen. I want to emphasise that I am not a psycho bitch.”

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Elaborating on the impact Made in Heaven and her character have had on both her personal and professional life, Sobhita commented: “It’s unfortunate that people think I got discovered in the mainstream through Made in Heaven. The character of Tara is so well-written, but I am worlds apart from how she is.”

“I am emotional, messy and expressive. Tara is very cold and distant. She could be going through the most horrid inner turmoil but she won’t let it break her,” the actor said.

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Emphasising the difficulty of portraying a character like Tara, Sobhita explained that it’s more challenging than playing characters who openly express their emotions. She pointed out that Tara’s character is designed to be emotionally resilient, yet as an actor, she must convey her inner feelings.

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Pointing out that people often associate that characteristic with her, Sobhita noted: “I hope I get to play parts that are very different in temperament. I have just lent my physicality to a character, but I am not her. I mean, there are days when I think ‘what would Tara do?’ because I love how she prioritises herself. She is unwilling to feel like a victim.” She also noted that when a character becomes strongly associated with an actor’s identity, it can be quite scary.

In her review of Made in Heaven Season 2, The Indian Express’ Shubhra Gupta wrote: “Everything is so gorgeous and shiny, even the grime, in the show, but Akhtar and Kagti and directors Nitya Mehra, Alankrita Srivastava, Neeraj Ghaywan detail their characters and fill them in with specificity, reflecting a sense of inner knowledge and empathy.”

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Sobhita is currently gearing up for the release of her first English project, Monkey Man. Helmed by Dev Patel, the actioner will be released on Netflix.

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