Bollywood actor Sharman Joshi who played Raju Rastogi in 3 Idiots, amongst many other characters, considers the film to be a turning point in his acting career. He believes that being choosy with one’s work is the responsibility of every actor as it ensures respect and values the money and time that the audience has spent to watch the film. Here we have the actor in conversation with us on his journey so far and his future plans.
You have done a couple of very layered roles, which one of them was the most daunting or demanding?
It was Ferrari Ki Sawaari. I think the character was beyond my age and just to play a father to a child at that point of time was a little difficult and exciting at the same time. Now I am a father of a child of the same age, so I understand the emotions. But back then there were plenty of layers to the character.
Are you choosy when it comes to picking a role?
Yes I am. Being choosy is looked down upon strangely in our country, but being choosy actually means you are trying to get the best for your work. In fact, people should be happy that we are being careful about what we act in or produce, or even reject, because it shows that we respect and value the time and money that the audience puts in to go and watch a film. If I am doing work just for the sake of it, then I’m not respecting my audiences, and so it’s very important to be choosy, according to me. And of course you might fail after that too, but the point is that at least you tried your best.
What according to you was the turning point in your career?
It was 3 Idiots for sure. It got me a lot of love, reputation, and fame, and it’s a film that is remembered by everyone. It was an honour to be a part of the film.
With movies like Mary Kom, Neerja, and Dhoni becoming commercial successes, would you say that the audience is more interested in ‘real’ cinema now?
The audience was always interested in it; it was the problem of the makers—the creative people who refrained from making many such films. The audience has always been willing and waiting to see interesting and exciting stuff. There is an audience for all kinds of films and genres, like the kind of work Guru Dutt sahab, Raj Kapoor sahab, and Mehboob Khan sahab have done in the past. Although their work was far from the popular formats, they were still huge commercial successes. We really forget what great work has been done in the past.
How was it to share screen space with veteran actress Rekha ji (in Super Nani)?
It was a pleasure and an honour. Rekha ji is an institution in herself, and getting a chance to work with her was a blessing.
With a career spanning more than 17 years in the industry, what advice would you give someone looking to start a career in Bollywood?
Learn your craft, whatever it might be, as deeply as you can, with patience and perseverance as these are the virtues that are required in large measures in the film industry.
What are the most challenging aspects of being an actor?
Patience. Things will happen when they have to, I can’t make it happen when I want it, so I always pray that interesting work comes my way.
You have had the chance to work in a horror film, 1920: London. Do you feel that horror is the least covered subject in B-Town?
Yes it is. Commercially, and from the producer’s aspect it’s a daisy genre to be in.
So, what’s next?
There is a suspense thriller, Kashi, and a romantic comedy called Bablu Badshah in the near future.
Any message to our readers?
It’s a new year, a new start. I want to give my work my all and think about the future and not the past. This year, I’m going to make the most of my life.
(Connect with Jaideep Pandey on #Twitter: @PandeyJaideep)