It is safe to quote that acting runs in her veins….She has grown up watching her sister become the heart and soul of Punjabi Film Industry. Now it’s her time around !! Meet Rubina Bajwa, sister of much-liked Punjabi actor Neeru Bajwa. Rubina is all set for her debut movie ‘SARGI‘ – the directorial debut of her sister Neeru! Rubina shares her heart out in a conversation with TLJ correspondent Divjot Kamboj
You were quoted saying that you are born to act. At what age did you realize that you want to be an actor?
Rubina Bajwa: While growing up, we always watched films and I was deeply intrigued by cinema. I love it! The drama, music, romance and everything in it. It was always in the back of my head that what if one day…. it was when Jatt and Juliet was being filmed in Vancouver and I happened to be on the sets… it was then that it struck me that I want to be part of the film world in the cinema!
Any special childhood memories related to acting? Who is the Drama-Queen at home- Neeru or you?
Rubina Bajwa: I have so many memories as a child with my sisters playing ‘dress up’… and dancing to our favorite songs and watching at least one film a day…. I think drama queen would be me as I am the youngest and I’m very expressive and emotional so the drama just comes out naturally.
You were born and brought up in Canada, what kept you connected to your Punjabi culture?
Rubina Bajwa: I have been connected to my roots since I was born. My parents have always kept us very close to our culture quiet naturally and it’s not something they had to force in us. During school holidays we were in Punjab, right from the food to the language to our religion, we have been nurtured organically.
What are the really ‘Pure Punjabi’ habits of yours?
Rubina Bajwa: Pure Punjabi habits are that I am fun loving and a jolly person. I have a very loud laugh. I just laugh my heart out!!
What is your all-time favorite Punjabi food?
Rubina Bajwa: Sarson ka saag makhi di roti with salted lassi
Rubina Bajwa: Salwar kameez, I prefer my salwaars very light
Rubina Bajwa: Punjabi jutti goes well with western and modern
Rubina Bajwa: Jatt and Juliet, Naughty Jatts and Ardaas
Rubina Bajwa: ‘Sajna Ve Sajna’ by Gurdass Mann, ‘Naina Nu’ by Jassi Gill and ‘Heerey’ by Amrinder Gill
Rubina Bajwa: Actors that I have grown up watching are Daljit, Gippy and Amrinder … I like their films and in the newer lot I like Ammy Virk’s work and Of Course- Jassi & Babbal.
Favourite Punjabi actress?
Rubina Bajwa: Always Neeru Bajwa!
Favourite Punjabi dialogue?
Rubina Bajwa: One dialogue that has stuck in my mind is from RSVP- ‘je sanu kuch chaiyda ta pura chaiyda nahie kuch nahie chaiyda’
Is there any special training that you received or acquired in acting?
Rubina Bajwa: I watch a lot of films in which I observe situations and people. I also did a three-month acting diploma course in Anupum Kher School.
You are playing a lead role in the movie – SARGI which is your sisters’ directorial debut. What does this assignment mean to you ? When is it set to release?
Rubina Bajwa: ‘Sargi’ is my dream debut. I feel so blessed and lucky to be launched in this film. My character in the film is a sweet, innocent and a strong girl. The film has everything from comedy to romance to family connection. It’s hard not to fall in love with ‘Sargi’ and once you watch the film…..I am sure you will!! When it comes to Neeru Bajwa ‘the director’ on set it wasn’t that we are sisters, it was any regular film set and I feel fortunate that I was directed under such a big talent for my first film but after pack up it was family fun. We do not take our work home. But what I can say about her is that she knows her craft so well from behind the camera and in front! The film is releasing Feb 24.
Do you value your sister’s acting career and her journey more after becoming an actor yourself?
Rubina Bajwa: My life as an actor has just started….. I love it more and more as each day goes by. Being on a set is my happy place. I now value my sister more after debuting because growing up I have witnessed her hard work her ups and down. She is my role model and I look up to her whether I am watching Neeru Bajwa- the actress or my sister at home- just Neeru! She is very firm minded, loving and supportive. Our closeness apart professionally I feel more connected to her after working with her.
Another sister question! Could u share some lessons that you have learnt from her that you feel will go a long way with you?
Rubina Bajwa: Neeru has great work ethics. I think anyone who has ever worked with her would agree that she has an amazing attitude toward her work and life. She is very down to earth. She has never taken anything for granted from her work to her family. She has always told me to be one’s own self. She is very true to her craft.. when she’s on set, her mind is just there and nowhere else….so that is something I learnt!
A pop up quiz for Rubina Bajwa…about her acting experience
Being able to get lost in another world and step into another character’s shoes. I love music so filming the songs is an enjoyable experience for me.
Not so favorite part-
There is nothing in acting that I don’t like. I love each and everything about it.
Fear that you have about acting-
Fear of acceptance
Funniest incident while shooting your first movie-
My first shot was with Karmjeet so you can imagine what a laugh riot it was during the scenes with him.
Is there any difference that you wish to make through your acting?
Of course, films are the best way to communicate with the masses, particularly inspiring youth, and I hope to do films that are socially responsible. I wish to do powerful roles that depict equality and contribution on the part of the females so that I can leave a message of empowering girls. I believe that Punjabi cinema has changed and it is changing. Women are getting better roles now.
An honest one now! Did you find any difficulty in recalling or speaking dialogues?
This field requires your full attention on set and you can’t take your problems in front of the camera. When you are there you are not you! You are your character who has to gel with the story and every other character. My co-star Jassie helped me to understand the scene and situation and how to deal with it.
When Rubina is not acting, what keeps her busy?
When I am not acting I am at the gym, hanging out with my friends, eating, chat with my niece Aanaya. It’s just a regular day.
February- the month of valentine! So what’s your relationship advice to the readers- What love is not?
I would say be with someone who makes you feel good from inside out and can make you laugh when you feel like crying. Never settle. According to me love should never be forced. It’s a natural feeling you should never think of change yourself for your partner to accept you.