Image was shared by Sushmita Sen. (Courtesy: sushmitasen47)

Sushmita Sen is basking in the success of her web series Taali. The actress plays the role of transgender activist Shreegauri Sawant. The Ravi Jadhav directorial is currently streaming on Jio Cinema. The former Miss Universe recently opened up about her initial days in the industry. In an interview with Siddharth Kannan, Sushmita said a lot of people used to say that she is “difficult to work with.” She also shared her experience of working with superstars like Amitabh Bachchan, Shah Rukh Khan, Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar. “When I joined the industry, if you have a film with one of the Khans or one of the major A-lister actors, you don’t talk about shift time, number of days and all. You just bend backwards and do the film. And, I started asking for 8 or 10 hours with makeup and hair. Mai time par aaungi, time par chali jaungi [I will come on time and will leave on time]. It is a system I follow even today. I will never be late but I will leave on time. Sometimes when you are finishing a set, an actor is leaving or unwell. Of course, you accommodate but not as a way of life.”

Sushmita Sen added, “So, first everyone had a problem with that. Attitude de rahi hai samajhti kya hain apne aap ko [She has attitude. What does she think of herself?] Then someone very audaciously hired me with those terms and conditions and then realised that because of me, production is experiencing cost-cutting because everything is happening on time. There is Bachchan sahab (Amitabh Bachchan), Paresh Rawal and Akshay [Kumar] (in the film Aankhen) everyone is there and Sushmita [Sen] leaves at 6. Not to offend anyone but to follow discipline. That might have backfired then and a lot of people were like she is difficult to work with. Nobody says that you come on time and wait for the hero for 6 hours. But when it’s 6 o’clock, it’s my pack up time, I leave then I am difficult. At that time it was difficult to tackle. But today, people respect that.” 

“It has taken me 30 years for people to respect that time is how we measure life. You cannot waste someone’s time,” she said.

Sushmita Sen also spoke about the time when she suffered a heart attack. She said, “My family history has a heart condition. When it happened, I was surprised as I check my heart regularly. This magnitude of such a heart attack is hard to survive but I survived beautifully. There is a reason why am I still here.” 

Sushmita suffered a “massive heart attack” on the sets of her web series Aarya 3 in March this year. She had a “95 per cent blockage” in the main artery.

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