‘Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain’ actress Soma Rathod has gained a lot of popularity with the portrayal of her character Amma Ji in the comedy-drama but she says that her journey as an actor was never easy and she had to face rejection and body shaming in her career.
Soma said: “My journey as an actor in this industry has been like a roller coaster ride. While one has probably heard stories of actresses going under the knife or undergoing weight loss regimes to get into this industry, my story is different as I had to gain weight.”
Soma Rathod shared that she was getting rejected in auditions as she was neither thin nor fat so she decided to put on weight. “When I decided to become an actor and started attending auditions, I was neither too thin nor too fat. Because I did not meet any of the criteria, I was rejected. Then one of my friends suggested I gain weight to be listed among the oversized actors.”
“I gained weight to get noticed by casting directors for plus-size roles that are not so common in our industry,” added the actress, who also worked in shows such as ‘Pyar Me Thoda Twist’ and ‘Jija Ji Chhat Par Hai’.
Not only rejected but the 38-year-old actress was also body shamed for being overweight and this was quite painful for her. Soma Rathod said: “Being overweight makes us feel like we don’t belong in this world. People tend to body shame us. We can’t even get clothes our size because they don’t make them.”
Despite all these odds, she never thought of quitting the entertainment industry. “Yes, it was painful, but I never considered quitting my job because of it. I chose to be strong and made fun of my obesity, so you have no power to make fun of me. Others may not be as courageous as you, but you should always accept and love yourself,” she added.
After carving herself a place in the industry, the actress is not keen on losing weight and said that this is her ‘distinct identity.
“I am thrilled to play Amma Ji because it has given me a distinct identity on Indian television. There are very few people who are in my competition in the industry when it comes to character. So, being overweight, I have the benefit of roles specifically written with me in mind,” the Bhabiji Ghar Par Hain actress said.
Soma Rathod continued that initially when the role of Amma Ji came to her, she was sceptical about it as she had to portray the character of the mother of Manmohan Tiwari, played by Rohitashv Gour in the sitcom.
She said: “I was nervous about playing a mother’s role when the role was offered to me. I was asked to portray the mother of Rohitashv Gour, who is not just 20 years older than me but also 20 years more experienced than me in the industry. But our director, Shashank Bali, and writer Manoj Santoshi persuaded me to take the role because they saw the character’s potential and my involvement. “
“And today, I can’t thank them enough for giving me the character of Amma Ji, which has made me a household name. I personally also enjoy this character. She is someone no one dares to meddle with. But at the same time, she is someone who supports her bahu rani (daughter-in-law) most uniquely. Honestly, I want all the real-life saasu maa (mothers-in-law) to support their bahu similarly.”
On the bond she shares with her co-actors Rohitashv and Shubhangi Atre, Rathod said: “My bond with Rohitashv Ji and Shubhangi Atre is beyond anyone’s imagination. We are best friends and partners in crime on set. I have always been a happy, free-spirited, and full-of-life person. At the start, I used to get nervous about sharing the screen with Rohitashv Ji because of his seniority, but he made things much more comfortable, and we now have a strong bond off-screen as well. We try to spend time with each other while we are on set. And I love making funny reels with the cast,” she concluded.