American dancer and actor Lauren Gottlieb reveals why she left Mumbai at the height of her fame. Lauren, who starred in ABCD: Anybody Can Dance in 2013 and participated in the sixth season of the popular reality show Jhalak Dikhhla Ja, said there were many reasons why she decided to leave and take a break. She explained to Maniesh Paul on his podcast that she just wasn’t happy anymore, despite her stardom, saying she “just kept spiraling”. Lauren she also said she was also annoyed by paparazzi culture, especially around airports.
Lauren said: “I was getting more and more famous, but the more I went up in the spiral. I knew the biggest risk was letting it all go, but I had so much faith in myself that I knew if I worked on myself and felt sane again, I would come back.” Lauren explained that she just pushes hard, to see things through and that she would be miserable every time she returned from the US to India and would have to remind herself that she had to fulfill the contract. “The Depression was when I was in India. I was great on set, I knew it. I’m the type of person who wants to be a part of everything, if I was booked for a film, they would call me back for a sequel. I was always so focused. But there were so many things on set that were out of my control. I had to let it all go. I knew I had to leave because I wanted acting school and I needed therapy.”
She said things were too different between India and the US, “which weighed on her”. “Instead of letting it weigh me down, I just turn everything off. Lauren made it clear that she’s not in competition with anyone and she’s happy for the others who came in her place and did well. “I decided to leave. It took everything from me. With the cultural barrier and the language barrier and the Indian way of coming and asking for ‘ek photo, ek photo’, I got so deep, and it’s never one photo.”
She also explained why she now chooses to wear baseball caps at the airport as well, to avoid eye contact with the parrots, otherwise they would come to photograph her. “I was constantly staring at the ground and that became my comfort zone. That’s not the way to live.” She reiterated that the catalyst isn’t just one thing, but multiple reasons, and that’s why she has to leave for a while. “There were some relationships that were starting to fall apart and it didn’t make sense because they were with people who brought here.”
She also said that being an American she ‘prefers the hard and honest truth’ and she didn’t quite get that in India because people at work gave her several made up versions and she found out that the truth is something. completely different. “My brain was doing mental gymnastics and that’s just not me.