‘Fortunately, God has been kind to me so far for not letting me compromise on my morals.’
‘But I am not taking anything for granted.’
‘If that situation comes up and if it’s a question of life and death as opposed to my morals, I might do it.’
Sharman Joshi has had a rollercoaster of a career ever since he first burst onto the scene in N Chandra’s Style in 2001.
He then appeared in a string of roles that range from impressive to disregarded to passable, including in Shaadi No 1 (2005), Golmaal (2006), Sorry Bhai! (2008), Ferrari Ki Sawaari (2012), Hate Story 3 (2015) and Mission Mangal (2019).
Critical acclaim came his way after he played a disgruntled engineering student in the 2009 blockbuster 3 Idiots.
Besides his Hindi film career, the actor keeps himself busy in Gujarati theatre which helps him to “improve the craft”.
Sharman was recently seen playing an intense role in Director Sahil Sangha’s drama Web series, Kafas, where he plays a father who chooses to remain silent after knowing about his teenage son’s sexual abuse.
In the chat with Mayur Sanap/Rediff.com, the actor unpacks his experience of working in the film industry, as he says, “The highs and lows are too sharp and sudden. Actors have to take care of their emotional health. Being patient is very critical in this profession.”
How did you become Raghav, this morally conflicted father, in Kafas?
The script is my Bible, Quran, Gita, or whatever you call it. It has all the information I need to prepare for the role.
Also, sometimes, it is a job of an actor to create the subtext for the character. I confirm it with my director if that subtext is going with what’s written on paper.
Similar to your character in the show, have you taken decisions in your personal life that didn’t fit into your moral compass?
Fortunately, God has been kind to me so far for not letting me compromise on my morals. But I am not taking anything for granted.
If that situation comes up and if it’s a question of life and death as opposed to my morals, I might do it.
Kafas is such an interesting word. It means Cage. Tell us what the trappings of an actor’s life are.
The highs and lows are too sharp and sudden.
Actors have to take care of their emotional health.
Being patient is critical in this profession.
Does your theatre background make the acting process easier for you?
Nothing is easy. We are always learning through the various roles we play.
My theatre experience has definitely been a great boon.
My personality is such that it takes me some time to open up, know myself and understand the stuff. This quality of mine reflects in the work I do.
Theatre gave me an understanding of my talent and craft.
I come from Gujarati theatre, which is very commercial. When I say commercial, it means we have a large audience and a reasonable amount of money is at stake.
When you are performing on stage, the audience’s reaction is instant and that makes you aware of your acting.
You made your directorial debut with a play in 2016. Have you thought of directing a film?
I don’t think I can. It’s a different ball game altogether.
I am not very good at visualisation. I can visualise how my character will play out, but I cannot visualise the entire script as of now.
Also, directing requires a lot of patience.
It also needs people management skills.
I don’t have the necessary skill set to direct a film.
3 Idiots became a landmark film in your career, but you had a mixed career graph post that. Did any decision backfire on you?
Nothing succeeds like success.
I am full of gratitude that a film like 3 Idiots came to me.
I am very blessed to be a part of some legendary films in the short span of my career, be it 3 Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Life… In A Metro, Style, Golmaal…
Certain films don’t work because of a multitude of reasons. I am not the only actor who has been through this.
Film-making is teamwork. If any one department, however big or small, fails to deliver, it impacts the entire film. It is not in your control.
You recently spoke about asking Rohit Shetty to include you in the Golmaal series again. What’s the status there?
I don’t know.
Whenever it does happen, I hope to be a part of it.
We had spent time during the ad shoot that we did together.
I told him that I would love to be a part of the franchise if possible.
What are your upcoming projects?
Penthouse is directed by Abbas-Mustan, and has Arjun Rampal and Mouni Roy besides me.
There is Aankh Micholi with Umesh Shukla.
Anurag Kashyap’s Sab Moh Maya Hai with Annu Kapoor. It is a father-son story.
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