In conversation with Shruti Sharma
When someone mentions Shruti Sharma, you immediately think of her iconic character Dhanak. However, what one usually forgets is the girl beneath Dhanak and now Palak, Shruti herself whose body of work reflects her sheer dedication towards her profession. Recently, I saw a clip of a scene from Nazar 2 which compelled me to binge-watch the entire series. After watching, I wanted to know what motivates Shruti to do what she does. Asking her why she chose an acting career, Shruti responded, “Well, when I was a child, I always knew I wanted to be an actor as it’s the thing that gave me satisfaction.”
In a span of a year, Shruti has surely made her mark on Indian Television. So, I wanted to know what inspired her to play Dhanak and how she feels about working in the TV space. To which Shruti responded, “Through Gathbandhan I understood the importance of TV as a medium. The character itself was so inspiring, as it was meaty and strong. Dhanak was not a common character as only two actresses before me played an IPS officer and so that is what inspired me to play Dhanak.” She further adds, “I believe that all actors wish to play such strong characters.” Well, I completely agree, who wouldn’t want to play an empowered character?
Gathbandhan which ran for a healthy 11 months journey ended back in November 2019. After that Shruti made her comeback after 3 months with Nazar 2. However, Shruti does not believe it was a comeback per se, “I will not say it is a comeback, simply that I took some time away from TV whilst working on my Hindi Feature Film Pagglait. For those 2 months I just wanted to relax and rejuvenate myself and my emotions and then utilise that in another project. I was also waiting for a good project. So, in November when Gathbandhan ended I started shooting for Pagglait and then began shooting for Nazar 2.”
One will notice that Shruti’s current role as Palak is completely different from Dhanak. I asked whether it was difficult to get into the shoes of Palak after playing a strong IPS officer like Dhanak? To which Shruti responded with, “After playing Dhanak I do not think it was difficult to play Palak because Dhanak was a larger-than-life character. Dhanak was confident, she was an IPS officer, a mature character but Palak gets worried easily and she is a normal ordinary girl allowing me space to play with my emotions. Whilst playing Palak I am not bound by emotions whereas with Dhanak I had to create this ideal character and therefore had certain boundaries in my performances. Playing Dhanak allowed me to become mature which made it easier to play Palak.”
Whilst watching Shruti play Palak, it was evident that the excellent cast dynamics translated nicely on-screen. Asking her how her dynamics are with her co-stars Shruti admits, “Although I am an introvert which requires some time to open up to others, I am lucky that in all my projects I have gotten good co-actors. In Gathbandhan, the co-actors were like my family and even too on Nazar 2. My co-actors are very supportive and caring and are good in their craft which means we share a comfortable dynamic.” Well, that completely makes sense, doesn’t it?
4 Lions Films which produces Nazar 2 is known for its aesthetically pleasing scenes in terms of art direction, lighting and cinematography. So, I asked Shruti what her favourite scene has been to shoot so far. Shruti believes that “I think my favourite is yet to come but there was a scene between Apurva and Palak which was filmed in slow-motion and it was flowers falling on us. I liked that scene a lot. However, I am still waiting for my favourite scene because the moment Palak realises her Daivik powers, I believe It will give me a lot of good scenes that will become my favourite.” Well, we surely waiting for those scenes.
Shruti who entered the industry during a time when channels were resorting to tried-and-tested tropes and genres, broke the mould with Gathbandhan sending a breath of fresh air. Hence, I asked her where she thinks the TV industry is heading and what she believes are the biggest hurdles facing Indian television in terms of evolution. To which Shruti responded, “Although I believe TV has a bright future indeed, the TV audience has its mindset. There are a certain proportion of viewers who want escapism and watch unrealistic content to get out of their daily lives. So that is what they primarily look for on TV. I mean there are several shows with realistic storylines, but given the majority of viewers look for escapism, it means they end up shutting down. This is the biggest hurdle; the audience needs to change its mindset which will allow for realistic storytelling.” TV audience are you listening?
Besides TV, Shruti recently shot for the film Pagglait. So, I asked her how it felt when she bagged her first Bollywood film. Shruti responded with, “I was so overwhelmed and felt super blessed that God is giving me the results of my hard work. I thoroughly enjoyed shooting for Pagglait in those 2 months and the best thing was that the entire shoot took place in my hometown Lucknow. Honestly, I feel blessed overall, because from doing a reality show followed by a music album to then doing a Telugu film to Gathbandhan and now Nazar 2 I am truly grateful.”
I then probed her if she would ever like to take up a web-series. To which she said, “Honestly, although I received offers for doing web-series, I turned them down as I am still waiting for something that will give me creative satisfaction. I am a very specific person and the content/character matters the most for me.”
Finally, as my main objective was to find out what motivates Shruti, I realised the answer was in front of me all this time. Shruti believes that the fans are her strength and that is what motivates her, “Even when they criticise me, I take that as a compliment and I try to change and work on myself. I want my fans to be happy and satisfied as they are my judges. They have every right to judge because fans are the people that give actors their fame. I respect them and will try to be their favourite forever. I love all my fans. Thank you.”
Well there you go, that is Shruti Sharma folks. Keep reading UrbanAsian and I shall be back with another article soon.