The first-time actor didn’t jump into films, but waited for the right character and script to come her way.
By Mayur Lookhar
Amidst the unending storm of #BoycottBollywood, an industry insider will have to confront the nepotism barb even more. The nails have been sharpened more in the current socio-political environment where industry insiders ought to have a thick skin.
The late Gulshan Kumar’s daughter Khushalii is all set to make her Bollywood debut with director Kookie Gulati’s Dhokha Round D Corner  that is a home production. T-Series is currently headed by her brother Bhushan Kumar.
Was it a privilege considering it is a home production? Khushalii was asked at the teaser launch of her debut film in Mumbai on Thursday [17 August].
“I would say this privilege hasn’t been easy. Otherwise, you would have seen me arrive long time back,” replied Khushalii.
Kumar has appeared in T-Series’ music videos before. She has a sizable social media following too, but the first-time actress revealed that it’s been some journey for her before she took up acting.
She says, “I have given many auditions. [casting director] Mukesh Chhabra used to send me for auditions, but hide my identity. The moment they [casting team] used to know who l am, they used to back out fearing she will have tantrums.”
The 33-year-old further added that her brother only introduced her to Kookie Gulati, but her selection in the film was going to be the director’s call. She had done her homework, read the whole script, her character sketch. Gulati liked what he saw and decided to pick her for his film.
Khushalii was perhaps quietly confident about her chances, but her brother feared whether she will be able to live up to the task. However, Bhushan didn’t hesitate in saying that her sister has done a beautiful job.
Kumar got nostalgic remembering the journey of her late father, who sadly was killed in 1997.
Recalling her father’s journey and vision, Khushalii says, “Very few people know that my father came to Bombay to become an actor, He didn’t have money. He stayed at Dadar gurudwara. He felt Mumbai is tough. He went back after a week. He decided to make a company that will give chances to new people. I consider myself lucky that I’m able to live his dream firstly.”
Post her father’s death, Khushalii moved to Delhi with her mother and siblings. So, she was perhaps not raised in the filmi environment.
“After the tragic loss, mom took me and my sister to Delhi. I had to take up fashion. But somehow, I had this feeling inside me to become an actor. So, I managed to convince my mom,” Khushalii says, “Finally one day she agreed, Then the script happened, this role came to me. Then Covid happened. Things were difficult but I think God has always written something better for you. What is best for you will come to you. I can’t thank enough I got this wonderful character to play.”
Khushalii will be sharing screen space with experienced actor R. Madhavan, who gave her the vote of confidence. The latter revealed that the duo was first supposed to do another story, but that didn’t materialize. “I was blown away by the fact that she was not interested in doing… At that time [before Covid], it was so easy for her to get launched in the best possible manner. She wasn’t interested in that. She was really looking for character driven roles, where she wanted to invest time in getting into the character and stuff. For me, that was a big tick point,” said Madhavan.
Dhoka Round D Corner  is set to be released on 23 September.