Garnering glory for his performance as a Bollywood buff who accidently crosses over into Pakistan
Sharib Hashmi has come a long way. After watching him in Filmistaan producer-director Nikhil Advani has
signed Sharib for a political satire.
It is again political satire, though not dealing with the Indo-Pak issue at all. This time, Sharib will be looking
at the politics within the nation and how corruption in official services and the bureaucracy has stymied the
growth of the aam junta.
Exultant and relieved Sharib says, “I look like a common man and I am happy playing the role. The role in Nikhil
Advani’s film is far removed from Filmistaan. There’s no comic element in my next outing. That’s a welcome
change. I don’t want to be known only as a funny-man.”
Acting ka keeda had bitten the Filmistaan leading man Sharib Hashmi when he was just a child.
“When I wasn’t getting anywhere with those dreams I decided to store away my acting ambitions. I got busy working
on television doing MTV’s Bakra and other spoofy stuff. But my heart was clearly not in it. However I got married
and I had a child. So my dreams had to be buried alive, only to be exhumed because of my wife’s support,” says
Sharib’s wife not only allowed him to give up his job but she also funded his acting aspirations. “She sold all
her jewellery, so I could pursue my acting ambitions without worrying about the food on the table. Eventually we
even had to sell our house. But I didn’t give up.”
If now Sharib has finally found his acting grooves, he credits it only to two people in his life. “If it wasn’t
for my wife and my friend Nitin Kakkar (the director of Filmistaan) I’d have given up the fight to become
an actor long ago. They kept encouraging and supporting me in my crazy ambitions. When Nitin offered me the lead
in Filmistaan it was as though he was telling my story.”
Now Sharib has made another lifelong friend, “Inaamulhaq who plays my friend from Pakistan has
become a friend for keeps. Our friendship started while we played friends in Filmistaan. It continues
beyond the film.”
Like the character that Sharib plays in Filmistaan he too is obsessively attached to Bollywood cinema. Like
his character, Sharib too ended up as an assistant director while waiting for the acting opportunities to come his
Not too many know this. But Sharib played Shah Rukh Khan‘s best friend in Yash Chopra’s Jab Tak Hai
around? I don’t blame anyone for not selecting me to do a film. I hardly look like a movie star. But my passion
for acting is all-consuming. You can’t keep me away from the camera,” promises Sharib.
He firmly believes India and Pakistan have a lot in common. “They had Reshmaji. We’ve Lataji. They’ve their
cricketers. We’ve ours. I couldn’t understand why my friends would take offence if I said I was a fan of Imran
Khan’s cricket. I am so far removed from the Partition by my age. Researching on the Partition of India into two
countries I came across so many incidents of families being separated on the two sides. It broke my heart. I hope
we’ve been able to bring forward at least some of the pain that the people felt in 1947.”
“I’ve grown up watching and worshipping them. What you see in Filmistaan is not faked. Just like my
character I truly worship Hindi cinema and all things in Bollywood. To be part of it I sold my home and my wife’s
jewellery. No sacrifice is too big to be part of the movie world,” says Sharib emotionally.