This dusky beauty from Andhra Pradesh towers over everyone else as she enters the room. Well literally! At 5.9 ft. Sobhita Dhulipala is clearly taller than every other girl around and walks as if she owns the world. And why not? She has all the reasons to do so. With fantastic reviews second time again for the second season of Made in Heaven, she has set the OTT world on fire, yet again. Sobhita who won the Miss India Earth 2013 crown at the Miss India 2013 pageant and represented India at Miss Earth 2013 made her acting debut in Anurag Kashyap’s thriller film Raman Raghav 2.0 and soon rose to fame with many of her talented projects. She also made the Telugu film industry notice her after her acting in the Telugu film Goodachari and Malayalam films Major, Moothon and Kurup. The film critics loved her in her Tamil two-part epic Ponniyin Selvan: I and Ponniyin Selvan: II. Sobhita has been on a roll ever since. We caught up with the stunning Sobhita at Diageo Reserve’s 14th Edition of World Class India where she was announced as the World Class Ambassador. Here are a few excerpts from an exclusive tête-à-tête.

What are the current movie projects you’re working on?
It’s a really exciting year for me as I’ve had the release of PS Part 1 and Part 2 and also The Night Manager Part 1 and Part 2.

We have been gearing up for the release of season 2 of Made in Heaven so there’s a lot of excitement. A lot of great feedback has been rolling in.

There’s also Monkey Man and my debut in Hollywood and Dev Patel is celebrated for all the right reasons. He’s a very creative man. So, it’s a year of a lot of releases for me so I’m super happy and can’t wait.

I will speak about Sitara when something more substantial develops on that front.

What is your take on the South Indian film industry and your experience working in Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu films? Can you share some fun memories from the shoot of Ponniyin Selvan and other movies?
South Indian film industry is a bit skewed. There are four different industries – Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. I’ve had the chance to do Moothon with Nivin Pauly in Malayalam and it was wonderful. I did Kurup with Dulquer Salmaan which was in 2021 and I was so happy that it did so well. With Tamil I had the chance to do a magnum opus with Mani Ratnam which was a dream and with Rahman sir’s music. It was amazing and I got to dance which I love so it was great. I’ve also done two films in Telugu and both have done so well and they have been made so much heart and soul. I loved both the films – Goodachari directed by Sashi Kiran Tikka and with Adivi Sesh and Major directed again by Sashi Kiran Tikka Adivi Sesh and again with Adivi Sesh – the same teams.

When I share this as I recall all of it, I realise how rich my journey has been and how wonderful all these moments have been. It’s been great and we have all made a lot of fun memories. There are so many fun memories from the shoot of Ponniyin Selvan. I could write a book on the good times of my life.

What have been some of the biggest highpoints of your journey so far?
A lot of my highpoints in my life have been quite private. On the work and professional front, moving to Mumbai was a highpoint for me. Of course, Miss India contest was another highpoint and after that modelling and backpacking were emotionally rewarding. My first film was another huge highpoint and then going to Cannes Film Festival with it. Being nominated for my performance was also a highpoint and an exciting moment for me. Having the chance to go to a bunch of film festivals with my films in the beginning for performance, was a great recognition for me. Made in Heaven blowing up and doing so well was also a fantastic feeling and it definitely added to my confidence.

In the past few years I feel so privileged working with such talented film makers like Anurag Kashyap, Zoya Akhtar and Mani Ratnam. I feel blessed to have worked with other such talented film makers too, so it’s really been such an amazing ride. I’m fortunate to have had a whole lot of highpoints and hope to continue having them.

What is your fitness and beauty regime?
I’ve not been very consistent with my fitness and beauty regimes because of my hectic work schedules. I’ve not really worked out like I used to. I would have sporadically worked out here and there maybe two three times a week, but otherwise not really.

Regarding my beauty regime, I have literally just started googling – What is skincare for dummies. I’ve not really done anything for my skin so far, but I very much intend to get it all in order and start working on it.

How would you like to describe your style statement? What do you like to do in your me-time?
My style statement is all about being experimental. There are many facets to my personality and I like for those facets to find a gateway through fashion or style. Having said that I find myself gravitating towards two styles – one is something that has a little more towards androgyny, punk with elements of goth and something sexy. And the other style being something very ethnic and Indian and nearly South Indian and vintage aesthetic.

My me-time involves reading and occasional cooking. I also love travelling and taking pictures on my camera.

What were the challenges initially and how did you overcome them to reach where you are today?
I’m sure every person has challenges in their life, irrespective of where they are in the ladder of their lives, be it professionally or personally. I’ve come such a long way and there is so much to be grateful for today, so I don’t think it is healthy as an attitude to constantly look back upon tough times. It’s not going to serve you any purpose. It’s not optimistic so I let that be. It’s a phase that’s over and good times are here.

What is your dream role and your favourite director and actor / actress?
I love to do action, comedy and also period films. I have a whole list of favourite directors – I would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali sir. I would love to continue working with the film makers I’ve already worked with so far and also Shakun Batra, Sriram Raghavan, Anurag Basu, so many actually. In the south, actually there’s a really long list and I can go on and on of so many talented film makers that I would like to work with.

What is your view on romance and relationships?
Love is a necessary luxury!

What should your ideal man be like?
I don’t think there should be any ideals in love. There can’t be a list. I don’t know if I match up someone’s idea of an ideal woman, then how can I expect to have an ideal man. These pedestals and standards should not be there. That has been my learning when it comes to relationships, because the more we look at these pointers, the more we will end up putting that person in a box. And nobody wants to be put in a box. Perfection or being ideal is so anti-life and it’s so anti-growth. Everyone’s a work in progress. I would appreciate someone who is honest and sincere. I would like someone with a good heart and someone who’s kind to people around. One also should be curious about life – these are attributes that really make someone special and wonderful.

What is your favourite South Indian food? Your favourite destination to travel to?
Honestly right now I miss my home and my parents so much. Although it’s not a destination but whenever I get some free time I would like to go back to Vizag where my parents are.

My favourite South-Indian food is idli with ghee podi or gongura chutney and coconut laddoos. I love very native Andhra food. I also love khichdi. I just love hot, crisp jalebis.

What is your association with World class?
World class has provided me with an extraordinary journey. Through my association with Diageo Reserve, I have gained access to a wealth of resources and a platform that showcases the exceptional skills of mixologists. The community fostered by World Class, promotes collaboration and knowledge sharing among professionals in the Industry. It has been an exceptional opportunity to learn from the expertise of others and exchange innovative ideas, ultimately elevating the craft of mixology of new heights.