A Multitude of Styles - Adah Sharma

Soon after finishing her schooling, Adah Sharma began her acting career in 2008 with the film 1920. She earned lots of praise for her bold decision to work in a horror film for her debut, and her portrayal of a possessed woman was highly appreciated. That was just the beginning, as she says. Since then, she has worked in over 12 films, in languages ranging from Hindi and Telugu to Tamil to Kannada. This week, You & I caught up with the actress to hear about her film choices, love of dance, and more.    

After beginning your career with a horror film, you’ve worked in genres including romance, comedy, drama, and thrillers – but never in an out-and-out mass entertainer. Was that a conscious decision?
I’m very fortunate to have worked in a film like 1920 for my debut. It was a horror film, but was high on emotion and had a lot of romance and drama. We also had 30 days of shooting for the action scenes; for instance, the scene in which I’m on a harness when I’m getting possessed. What was a conscious decision was to try not to repeat the same character that I’ve played in the past. So with Hasee toh Phasee, Heart Attack, Rana Vikrama, Kshanam, and now Commando 2, I’m trying my best to pick different roles. I’m lucky that directors trust me with these author-backed roles.

Which genre do you enjoy the most?
Whenever I do a film, I love the genre I’m working on. When I did Kshanam, I told everyone that emotional dramas were my favourite. But now when I’m doing Commando 2, I feel that comedy is what I love most. The same goes with Heart Attack.

You’ve worked in the Hindi film industry, as well as Telugu, Kannada, and even Tamil. What’s next?
I don’t know! I’m open to German and Spanish, too. As an actor, language shouldn’t be a barrier. I’d love to do a silent film someday too!

Did the languages come easy?
I love mimicking people and accents, even in real life. So I always record the person training me, saying the dialogues in that language, and then mimic it. It’s a lot of fun, and great way to learn the dialogues!

You’re also a dance enthusiast with formal training in several dance forms. Did you ever consider taking it up as a profession?
I dabble in too many styles of dance; if I did take it up professionally, I would want to commit to one style and give it my all. I don’t do things half way. I can either be crazily obsessed, or not take it up at all. Right now I like flirting with all the styles so, no, I never wanted to take it up professionally.

What about item numbers? Ever thought of doing one?
It depends on the song and what exactly I’m doing in it, what I’m wearing, or singing. There are too many things to hypothetically think about. I guess I’ll decide when it’s offered.

Anybody who looks at your photographs can tell that you’re really stylish. Who’s responsible for that?
Thank you, that’s very kind. My parents, I guess, are responsible. They never curbed my creativity as a child; they always allowed me to think freely,and I think that translated into my style when I grew up. I was also allowed to wear whatever I wanted to, so that freedom allowed me to make some brave fashion choices.

What’s your personal style like?
Bohemian, like in these pictures. Shorts and tank top with lots of rings, layers and messy, wavy hair.

What are you most comfortable wearing?
I prefer non-synthetic materials. In real life I completely avoid any kind of synthetic fabric. But in the movies I wear whatever the character requires, so if my character isn’t too stylish, I don’t wear any cool looking stuff. I’m comfortable with anything: Indian, Western, pants, dresses, shorts... all of it. I love wearing very high heels as well!

What do you do in your leisure time?
I watch lots and lots of movies, hang out with my friends and watch more movies (laughs)!

If not an actor, what profession would you have taken up?
I don’t know...maybe writing poems or stories that rhyme.                  --- as told to Niharika