Crisp and frank, Swara Bhaskar does not mince words. Equally daring in her choice of roles, Swara has done consistently well in Bollywood with movies like Nil Battey Sannata, Tanu Weds Manu 1 & 2 and Prem Ratan Dhan Paayo to her credit. She is fond of travelling and trying local cuisines and believes in avoiding substandard roles as cinema lasts forever. The Raanjhanaa girl in a candid talk with Trujetter…
How difficult is it to manage in this industry without a ‘godfather’?
Difficult but clearly not impossible. After all, our biggest superstars like Shah Rukh Khan and Amitabh Bachchan were once outsiders. I think with a timely combination of talent and luck, godfathers may be avoided.
Indian film industry is now 103 years old. What do you believe is our strength?
The ability to express emotion genuinely and yet differently is our greatest strength. Also the ability to keep absorbing new talent in all fields and to remain true to its local roots.
How selective are you when it comes to choosing roles?
Very selective! I don’t want to be seen like an idiot after I am dead and some researcher pulls out a film of mine from the archives. I want to build a credible body of work because cinema lasts forever.
Your dream role would be…
I want to play a male role (not pretense male, but a real male role) to overcome even gender through my performances.
How was your experience of smoking a bidi and eating paan for Anarkali Aarawali?
Awful. Tasted horrible and the first few days gave me a bad headache but I got the hang of it. I was very glad when those bidi smoking shoots finished.
How do you manage to mix travel with work?
I try and take off on OFF days, else I make the most of the real shoot locations and ensure that I always taste the local cuisine.
How has the industry evolved?
When so many new stories are being told in a different manner, it gives you a chance to play various kind of roles.
How did your parents react when you told them that you want to become an actress?
They were stunned and scared but agreed to my plans and even funded them. 🙂
What was it like to put on 8 kgs for your role in Nil Battey Sannata?
I was concerned about how I would have to lose the weight by having to exercise and follow diet restrictions. I’m very lazy and undisciplined, so this proposition scares me.
Things you enjoy apart from acting.
Reading, travelling, online shopping and watching Last Week Tonight Show with John Oliver.
When a film doesn’t do well?
It feels like failing an exam.
When your personal life makes news?
It bothers me when the news is false or inaccurate. But sometimes it entertains me.
When being interviewed…
I like interviews with rapid fire kind of questions with one word answers or multiple choice questions.
What matters to you most in a film. The Script, director or the banner?
What matters most often differs from film to film, such as the reason for being a part of Nil Battey Sannata was the script. I did Raanjhanaa because I loved the script and wanted to work with the director, Anand L Rai, as well. Listen Amaya was because of late Farooq Sheikh sir and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo was because of the director and banner.
Written by Jaideep Pandey