Renee Sen could be just another 21-year-old artiste who has made her debut with a 15-minute short film, but her wisdom and confidence make you do a double take. She sounds supremely upbeat about taking on the world with her craft.
You aren't surprised with those traits when you know guiding Renee is her mother Sushmita Sen, Miss Universe 1994 and Bollywood star.
Renee's rendezvous with the camera starts with Suttebaazi, a strong and relatable story helmed by new director Kabeer Khurana.
"'Suttabaazi' is a relatable story for every household," shares Renee, adding: "The simplicity with which an important message is being conveyed of not seeking validation from the outside world is what truly attracted me. I hope everyone relates to this because it is so close to my heart."
Being the daughter of a personality like Sushmita, wouldn't it be easier to be launched for the camera the Johars or the Chopras? "Everything I am doing is based out of the fact that I want to be independent, because my mother has always encouraged that. If that means setting an example, then I couldn't be happier. But I am not consciously trying to do things differently. I am just lucky and blessed that everything is falling into place, with however independently I am doing it. I am doing it step by step. It is not a conscious decision to set an example. 'Suttabazi' is a beautiful film and I am lucky to be a part of it," shares Renee.
Will an association with the big banners happen soon? "I truly believe that a big launch will happen, yes, but with time when I am more prepared for a big launch. Right now I am taking it step by step, and slowly. Right now the only conscious decision is to be more independent."
With star kids being in the limelight from a young age, it isn't surprising to hear about them losing focus. When questioned, Renee reveals she always has her eyes on the prize.
"I can only stay focused if I am grounded. My mother reminds me to stay grounded, to keep my head on my shoulders, and work hard. That is the only advice and simplest advice, which I feel will help me build and sustain my career as an individual. So, I don't want to lose my sense of self. I will stay grounded and work hard. The rest is upto God," shares the young artiste.
"To me, Sushmita Sen is my mother and I am aware of the privileges. I am very blessed that I am her daughter but at the end of the day she is my maa. I, along with my sister, am being raised to be strong, and to have an identity of my own. She is teaching us the values she wants us to have, and I feel like I am learning from the best but, most importantly, she is my maa and I love her the most," she says.
Renee reveals that she wanted to be an actor ever since she went on the sets of her mother's films like Maine Pyaar Kyun Kia and Main Hoon Na. However, she only took the passion seriously during lockdown.
"I started serious preparation during lockdown. That is when I actually got time to sit with myself, assess what I do, take the necessary steps to achieve my goals and my dreams. During lockdown, I started it," she says.
Renee's mother became the first Indian to wear the Miss Universe crown in 1994. Ever since, she has become an iconic figure in the world of fashion. Did being part of the fashion world ever entice Renee?
"Walking the ramp does excite me. I do love getting ready. I love beautiful outfits. So, yes, if I am asked, I would not say no. I am open to that opportunity as well," she says.
Ending the interview on a positive note, Renee emphasises on how it feels to be the daughter of a woman who inspires millions around the world.
"My mother being a role model to so many women is something I take pride in. I am very proud of my maa. It will only and always have a positive effect on me because I have got so much love. I really hope I earn the love and respect that she has with the work I do, and during my journey and the person I become through all of this. I try to learn from her. I am so lucky that I am her daughter. I would not have it any other way," Renee claims.