If you meet Sharman Joshi in person, you’d be left questioning – Why so Serious? Then you might have a laugh or two about how funny he is off screen. Sharman is a surprisingly simple, laid back and a straightforward person to talk to. So when asked whether Toh Baat Pakki will manage to be a big success at the box office, the actor got a bit unsettled. Unlike most actors who have a great comic sense and the ones who always seem “on” during an interview, Joshi felt no need to joke around or entertain with his answers. He was quite comfortable in being honest. What an actor! Now you can take this pun however you want, but we for sure believe that he is a great find in our larger than life film industry. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent met Sharman Joshi who is about to get married on February 12…or is he? Whatever the results, we sure are going to be a witness to this lavish wedding. Let the groom take on from here.
You are married, so how well did you associate yourself to the filmâ€¦
I associated myself in a way that I made the right decision on screen and off screen (laughs). Seriously, it’s a film set in a small town on how an elder sister helps her younger sister to find a perfect match and how things go mismatch after the elder sister gives hope to not just one, but two boys for her sisters’ marriage. It’s a light hearted comedy.
How tough is it for a film like Toh Baat Pakki in times where big films with bigger budgets and the biggest stars are getting hyped?
No film in my opinion is big or small, whether it is the star cast or the director or the producer. A film is big or small only after the audiences see it. What you’re asking is very speculative. We’ve made this film because we completely believe in it and we’re sure that the audiences have something worth their time and enjoy themselves.
No film in my opinion is big or small, it becomes big or small only after the audiences see it
Working with Tabu is like working with Aamir Khan. She is the best of the best, isn’t it?
Yes she is. Tabu is a scintillating actor. What a brilliant performer she is! I was a little tentative in figuring out how to break the ice with her during the first few days of the shoot. But she is an extremely friendly and a down to earth kind of a person. We got along very well, enjoyed our lunches on the sets, worked hard and post pack up we used to get together in each others room for more filmy gupshups. Toh Baat Pakki was a unique experience all together.
Nobody talks about the debutant directors now-a-days unless they make a film with big stars.
Kedar Shinde, the director of Toh Baat Pakki is a big name himself in Marathi stage. An actor’s job is limited in a certain sense. Film, is a director’s and a scriptwriter’s medium. It’s how they see the film. I am hoping that Kedar is happy with the work I’ve done in the film. We both are from theatre background and have seen each others work. We’ve also worked with each other on stage. So when I got to know Kedar was directing this film, I jumped on to it knowing that he will handle the affairs pretty well.
Industry has now become a one week wonder. Openings are more crucial than how the film will fare at the box office.
We aren’t going through the worst phase. Yes, we were going through a bad phase last year but things are becoming better. Yes, openings have become vital only to gauge whether the audiences will accept a certain kind of cinema or not. When a good film is made, there are audiences who’ll go and watch. 3 Idiots had its audiences. The potential of our films is tremendous. Audiences are prepared for more or beyond and the intellect they possess, which we assume, is far less. But that’s not right. They are far more progressive then we are. Agreed, that Hollywood’s success rate is much better than Bollywood but that’s the truth. We make so many films that the time gap between two films is hardly there, and then the audiences split.
We make so many films that the time gap between two films is hardly there, and then the audiences split
Are you careful in signing films now as you’re a part of two cult films – Rang De Basanti and 3 Idiots. Are you in a different league all together?
My mantra is pretty much the same from the days I started acting. I do the kind of films that challenge me. First comes, the script and then the actor. That’s the path I follow. I cannot credit myself alone for being in a film which is as successful as a Rang De Basanti or 3 Idiots is because there are so many factors that go into making a cult film. Those cannot necessarily be acting. But what you must do is to be a part of the film that excites you and take up the role of a lifetime.
Which is your next release?
There is a film called Allah Ke Bandey which is a redemption drama. It has Farooq Sheikh, Naseeruddin Shah, Atul Kulkarni as the principal cast and my director, Mr Farooq Kabir and myself are playing the lead roles. It’s about two boys from the slums of Mumbai and their life story. It’s a hard core drama with part real life story.
But would you ever imagine Sharman Joshi not smile?
(Laughs) Why do you say that? I did a film called Raqeeb which wasn’t very successful. It was a serious thriller drama. Yes, I have been synonymous with light hearted comedy but I am not a comedian. I hate being tagged as an actor. I’ve been playing parts which are different from what I’m generally associated with. It’s again exciting and challenging…not to smile (laughs).