Sharman Joshi is in a happy space. His first film has a lead 'Ferrari Ki Sawaari' has opened to good reviews and has been appreciated by the audiences and critics. Soft spoken and always politically correct, Sharman has had a slow and steady rise. The actor has been a part of many box-office multi-starrers like '3 Idiots', 'Golmaal' , 'Rang De Basanti' to name a few. In a free-wheeling chat, Sharman tells us about the film and the pressure of starring in a solo film.
Excerpts from the interview
What inspired you to take up the project?
The first time I heard about 'Ferrari Ki Sawaari' was when Rajesh (Mapuskar) and I were working on '3 Idiots'. When I heard about the title, I went up to him and told him that the title of the film is very catchy. That's when he casually mentioned the plot and I loved it so much that I wanted to be a part of the film but other actors were being considered for the film at that time so I wasn't sure if I would make it. But after a year and half, I auditioned for the role and sure enough, I got the part and Rajesh had the patience to give me the space to let me analyse and understand the character. After that, we worked on the physical aspects of the character but what excited me the most was the way the emotional quotient of the character has been sketched- the honesty, the ever smiling fellow, the gentleness. But coming back to your question, it was the simple script which attracted me in the first place
Read: Boman Irani on 'Ferrari Ki Sawaari'
Since this is your first film as a solo hero, what were the challenges and expectations?
I don't look at films as ensemble films or single starrers, the audiences would look at it that way. But I am in the thick of this profession , it is a rather shallow way to look at films that way. What is more important for me is to be a part of a great film and as long as that is in place, I don't mind working with an ensemble cast. Yes, this is a very important film for me. I am honoured that Mr Vinod Chopra cast me irrespective of my box office standing which is not strong but because I am possibly more suited to play the role. That sense of conviction comes from the love and passion he has for cinema. The way I approach my work is I don't give into pressure as that will only mess up everything.
You are known to be choosy about your films. Do you want to please the masses at any point in time?
I have been part of films like 'Style', 'Golmaal'. Entertainment is what I work for and pure entertainment is still undermined in Bollywood. I am not here to bring a social change but just perform well as an actor. And I can entertain only through the films I do. If it does give a social message which the audience can appreciate, then it is wonderful. But if it does not, then it is just the film which is going to entertain you and make you have a good time. My job as an actor is done then. But at the same time, all the masala films have to have a certain quality and I have certain rules for that. And if it matches with my vision, excites me and has certain edge to it, then I don't see why I would stay away.
Review: Ferrari Ki Sawaari
Your father has been a major influence in your life and since this is a story about a father-son relationship, did you draw from your personal experiences?
I make a sharp demarcation between my personal and professional life, consciously. For me, the script is my bible and a lot depends upon the character I play, my co-actors and situations, conditions and the emotional state of the character I am supposed to play. If I use personal references to play a character, then it is being derived and not created there. I rely on script, the director's vision and my instincts to take a character forward.
Vidya's sizzling item number
You have said in a recent interview that Ferrari stands as metaphor for larger than life expectations. Since you also had to see your share of struggles, how did you relate to the film?
As much as I say this, people are not willing to believe it. I have never struggled and I have been doing what I love to do. Everyone has been kind enough to me. I am in a happy situation. I have understood from people's perspective that things are gloing to be bigger with box-office standing but that has not being my drive. My drive has been to be a part of quality work and I was willing to stick my neck out for that.