Thursday, July 18, 2024

Actor Sharman Joshi talks about the social impact of his movies (Exclusive Interview)

Edited by – Robin Bhuyan (Editor-in-Chief)

Interviewed by- Robin Tyagi (Sub-editor)

Written by- Vaishali Adwant 

Sharman Joshi is an actor who gained prominence for his role in Bollywood movies such as 3 Idiots, Dhol, Rang de Basanti, Golmaal, etc. The actor is known for choosing meaningful and thought-provoking films that have a positive impact in society. He has also acted in thriller, drama and comedy genres. Joshi comes from a family of actors and has also done theatre. Currently, he is enjoying the success of his recent Gujarati film Congratulations.

Do you consciously choose movies that have a social message, or does it happen on its own?

I feel that the script chooses the actor. Once the script is written, we can say that it has a certain aura that attracts the right actors towards it.

You have done a film recently called ‘Congratulations’ with a unique story that depicts that giving birth to a child need not be a woman’s right alone. In movies like “Chachi 420,” we have seen male characters in women-centric roles. Ritesh Deshmukh, too, has done such roles. So, why did you want to choose a women-centric role?

As actors, we always look for different roles in stories. We feel joy in playing those characters when we come across exciting stories. Plus, it was a lovely experience doing this role. I have put in a lot of hard work and dedication to do this role.

You have depicted what a woman has to go through in their journey of being a woman, a mother. Can you elaborate?

Women are fortunate to an extent. But I find it unfortunate that their anatomy is such that they have to deal with a lot of hormonal changes post-pregnancy to get back to normal health and shape. Despite the challenges the women face, the beauty of giving birth to a child forms a special bond between the mother and the child.

Let us talk about your early life. What was it that got you interested in doing movies? Were you under pressure to do films?

My family members were in the acting and theatre profession. My father was a producer, director, writer, and actor in Gujarati theatre, and he has played antagonistic roles in over 100 Gujarati films. I would say that my family background inspired me to make movies and choose the field of acting. It is not easy to be an actor. So, I also kept my options open. I thought that in case I wouldn’t make it as an actor, I would be a lawyer or a businessman. My acting began with a play during my college days, and everybody loved it. I had acted in the play and also directed it without any kind of prior experience. Soon, I got to work with big directors, who guided me through my journey.

Out of Rang de Basanti and 3 Idiots, which are your most popular movies, which one is your most favorite?

Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots are both quite popular movies, and people have liked my character in both of them. But 3 Idiots has gained a lot more popularity, and my role of Raju has also been loved by people because everybody can relate to the story and the character.

Student suicide is a common issue that is depicted in the movie. Do you think the government and colleges must take cognizance of these issues and bring about a solution?

I think parents must take responsibility for nurturing their children and making them understand not to take the pressure of failure. There are many fields and opportunities nowadays. Not everybody is academically bright. Children must be taught that they should not be disappointed if they fail in one field; they can choose some other field that brings them success.

Will we be seeing you in the upcoming Golmaal movie?

All the movies in the franchise were made with a lot of fun, and yes, I will be happy if I am a part of the upcoming Golmaal movie.

What would you say about social impact of movies?

Movies do have a deep impact on society. There are thought-provoking movies like 3 Idiots and Rang De Basanti and there are others that are made for entertainment where you can just relax and enjoy the movie. I realized how deeply 3 Idiots has impacted society when several told me how the movie convinced them to give up their luxurious career and pursue their passion instead.

The movie has impacted even my near and dear ones. When I would go to a party, parents would come to me and tell me that they have decided to give their children more freedom after watching the movie. This movie has impacted society at large, and I was pleasantly surprised to witness it.

Was there pressure to do meaningful and socially impactful movies after this film?

I think there should be a middle path. Movies should be both entertaining and have a positive impact. It is important that we don’t take movies extremely seriously either.

Do you think Artificial Intelligence can impact how movies are made?

I am not very knowledgeable about this subject, but from what I have heard, I think A.I will have an impact on every aspect of filmmaking. But I think that is not just in the field of filmmaking, but other fields too. I feel governments will need to draw a line on its use and misuse.

Do you think the viewership of movies is reducing because of OTT platforms?

OTT has good content that people enjoy watching in the comfort of their homes, but it may not be able to replicate the experience of watching a movie in a theatre. In time to come, OTT will gain leverage over other entertainment platforms, but people will still go to watch movies like they would go out for dinner.

The recent movie Animal is being criticized for having a negative social impact. What is your take on the film?

The collection of the movie reflects that people love it. I may or may not like the film, but becoming moral police and overly criticizing the movie is not something I would stand for. Plus, if the censor board has approved it, there is not much left to do.

Your recent film Sab Moh Maya Hai also has a positive message for society. Did you choose this film because of its thought-provoking message?

I play the role of a son, and Annu Kapoor plays my father. I liked the script and how it is written about how we don’t value those we live with but realize their value when they leave this world. Annu Kapoor is a fantastic actor whose knowledge in various fields is commendable.

Let’s talk about the Kafas series. How is your relation with your co-star Mona Singh, with whom you worked in 3 Idiots?

Mona Singh is a good actress and is easy to work with. I enjoyed working alongside her in 3 Idiots, and even if we didn’t work together in that movie, we would have definitely loved to work with one another in the Kafas series.

Can we talk about your upcoming projects?

I am doing a film called Teesari Manzil, which was initially titled Penthouse. It is coming out in few months, and the film is definitely going to provide a unique experience.

What, according to you, is social media’s impact in society?

There is a huge impact. Even I watch reels and shorts on Instagram and YouTube, and sometimes do learn a lot in a short time.

What is your advice for newcomers who want to enter this field?

Do theatre or join an acting school. You can learn a lot as an actor if you work in theatre.

Thank you for your time! We wish you the best in your future projects!

Thank you!

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