Hebah Patel seems to have gotten busier than ever during the pandemic. The actress has been shuttling between the sets of four films since last year.
While acknowledging the unusual situation with a smile, Hebah is quick to remind us that her last release as a lead actress was in 2018.
“Except for a couple of cameos and a special appearance, I didn’t sign any film after 24 Kisses technically, so I barely worked. But now I have my hands full,” she says, adding that ever since she started to focus on content-based films, she has been getting interesting projects.
The Kumari 21F star admits that she initially took up all projects that came her way. Since she was new to the industry, she did not have much to choose from.
“I guess I have been listening to too many people. But now I have decided to pick up only films that suit me, and the idea of doing projects that give me creative satisfaction came after 24 Kisses,” the actress says.
She shares that she wasn’t happy with the kind of work she was getting and the fear of being forgotten was creeping up. “At one point I panicked a bit and got desperate for work,” she reveals. A cameo role in Radhamohan’s production, Orey Bujjiga, enabled her to bag another film — Odela Railway Station — in July 2020. In fact, Hebah was surprised but grateful that he honoured his promise of another film.
“After listening to the film’s writer Sampath Nandi’s narration, I was blown away. But at the same time, I was doubtful whether I could pull off the role of a rural woman. I was apprehensive whether people would like it or not,” she reveals, adding that it was at this point that she decided to change her thought process.
Hebah believes that people appreciate honest performances and interesting portrayals. Her layered role in the film made her realise her own potential.
“I consider myself a decent actor and my role in Odela Railway Station was so different that I was able to get what I was craving for all this while – creative satisfaction,” the Andhhagadu star says.
Since then, she has signed two films in Telugu and one in Tamil. Hebah credits such progress to the change in her mindset. “I think I took my work for granted, that’s my biggest realisation. For all the love the audience has showered on me over the years, I now want to reciprocate with choice films,” Hebah asserts.
Having been on a signing spree, the actress feels the recent lockdown came as a well-deserved break. “Till April I was shooting and doing workshops for my films. With so much happening work-wise, this break gave me the chance to regather myself,” the actress says, signing off.