1. The theatre is the best kind of training there is for an actor. You get to emote, shout and most importantly learn to take stage lighting. Theatre also teaches you the most important thing to be used in the world of acting i.e., discipline.
  2. It’s OK if you are not a health freak. It is not required but a well-toned body might help you get employed faster.
  3. Attitude matters. When you are going to auditions be enthusiastic, energetic and positive.
  4. Initially, you wouldn’t get paid a lot and it doesn’t matter. You are not a celebrity, so come out of fool’s paradise.
  5. If you have thoughts for becoming an actor for glamour sake, then immediately retreat because that will not happen unless you are related to a big producer who keeps launching you till you are accepted by the society.

Personal Details

Name – Sawan Rupowali

Profession – Punjabi Film Actress (Harjeeta)

Age – 22 years

Gender – Female

City – Amritsar

Industry – Film Industry

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born and raised in Amritsar. I completed my 12th from a private school in Amritsar and graduation in BCA from DAV College, Amritsar.

My family is a well-educated family. My father works at Rail Coach factory. I have two younger sisters.

Emmy Virk and Sawan Rupowali pose together on the sets of 'Harjeet' | (Acting)

Who had the most influence on you and how?

I had always been interested in acting, ever since I was 4 years old. No one, in particular, had an influence on me; it was my dream and passion. My parents have been extremely supportive of my decision to pursue a career in Acting.

Please give us a summary of your career.

As earlier stated I started acting since I was four. I participated in a lot of skits and dramas in school and college as well. After my graduation, I joined the theatre and gave auditions for movies. I got selected many times and even after getting selected, I was told that there is no suitable role for me in the movie. But, I didn’t leave hope.

Finally, I got a break as a very short role in a movie ‘Saab Bahadar’. After this, I got the role of the leading lady in the movie ‘Harjeeta’. This movie did really well.

I also got the best female actress award from GNDU. Now I am getting a lot of offers and I am happy.

Sawan Rupowali (Acting)

Which institutes are best for education/ training of this profession?

No course or institute can ensure a high success rate in this profession. It totally depends upon your talent and luck.

No particular institute is best in this field. I would recommend joining theatre along with acting course from wherever it may be and keep giving auditions.

You must also participate in street plays and Nukad Nataks. What I want to say is that you need not waste your precious time and money on some expensive acting schools.

What are the costs associated with the education/training of Acting?

Doing an acting course could cost you as less as 20,000 INR to as high as 2,00,000 INR annually based on your choice of the institute.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in Acting?

You could be hired as a junior artist or you could be given a small role. If you are really lucky or talented enough, then you could also get a really important role in the movie.

You shouldn’t expect to get the lead role at the start of your career unless until the movie has a low budget, or you are a relative of some really powerful person.

What is the range of remuneration one can expect when starting out in the film industry?

It totally depends on what kind of roles you are doing and what your background is. From the background, I mean that how well has your previous movies worked.

I could tell you the range of remuneration I got initially and what offers I am getting now.

Starting out — INR 10,000/role

After 2 years of starting out, I got the lead role — INR 3,00,000/movie

After my movie has done well, now I am expecting — INR 6,00,000/movie

And when I will be successful, I could earn around INR 15,00,000/movie

The above remuneration is at a regional level (Punjabi movies).

Emmy Virk and Sawan Rupowali from 'Harjeeta' (Acting)

Please describe your work.

It’s not easy to be an artist. It is much more than a 9 to 5 job. A lot of hard work and layers and layers of makeup are involved. The happy scenes are fun but emotionally taxing scenes and characters tend to fatigue me at the end of the shoot day.

Besides shooting, I plan my next movies by attending to phone calls from different projects, reading scripts, auditioning and meeting people. If I have no work, I watch movies or visit the theatre.

What are some of the positives that would encourage someone to consider Acting as a career?

  1. A career in acting is highly determined by your talent and creativity, hence you are never bored.
  2. You get to try new haircuts and new dresses every single time you switch projects.
  3. Aside from when you are shooting, there is very little stress involved. You are well-paid and get to live a life of fame and luxury.
  4. You get to meet new people every day. Also, you get to travel to different countries.

What are some of the challenges you want someone to be aware of when considering Acting as a career?

  1. You could be upset when there is no work. You could also get rejected even if you are good enough which is extremely annoying.
  2. When you have a small role in a movie or serial, the way you get treated by the lead artists is very humiliating. Not always but the majority of the times.
  3. Your personal life gets affected a lot once people start recognizing you. They will start clicking your pictures wherever or in whatever condition you are.
  4. You also have to be strictly conscious about your diet and figure that is really difficult and can affect your mood.

What are the relevant trends/skills technologies that are commanding a premium in Acting?

That are probably the subjects liked by the audience and they keep on changing from time to time. But in Punjab, the comedy genre movies are always preferred.

What kind of person would be happy in your career?

The utmost quality required is patience. It could take you a lot of time to get established in this industry. Apart from this a hardworking and a person who is fond of meeting and greeting people and who can wear a fake smile meeting his/her seniors whether how much you hate them. A person who has good communication skills at least to handle the deadly questions of media during your interviews would prosper as an actor.

Give another choice what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I would be working in a bank if I were not an artist.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours?

I would like to say that give your best and never think of quitting as good things take time to happen. All the best!

Interested in reading more on Acting? Check out our conversation with TV Actress Vandana Pathak (famous for her role of Jayshree Parekh in Khichdi, Meenakshi Mathur in Hum Paanch).