Riding high on the success of ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’, Sara is enjoying her time in front of the camera, not letting the few flops dampen her chirpy spirit.
In this week’s Big Interview, ETimes spoke toBollywood’s royalty about success, social media, her outspoken personality and much more…
How affirming has the response received by ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ been?
I think as an actor, since I put my life and soul into my characters, it’s always great to receive love for it. But honestly the very overwhelming amounts of love and appreciation that ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ has received, has left me just thoroughly grateful. Grateful to the audiences and the media for their love, and grateful to the universe that people are still going and enjoying simple films in theatres with their families.
You tagged ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’ as a second debut of sorts, so what is the striking change that you see in yourself as an actor from ‘Kedarnath’ to this film?
It’s been almost three and a half years since my film received a theatrical release, hence it felt like a debut. And honestly, every Friday I feel we have to re-earn the audience’s love and hearts. And when one has been kept away from the theatre experience, post the pandemic and when personally the stakes for me were so high, it was very important that ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’gets the love that it has. And as an actor, every film, every experience should make you grow and inshallah I hope that process continues for me.
Do you want to remain exclusive to films, whether it’s a theatrical or OTT release, or are you open to exploring long-format web shows?
To me, content, the story and the script are of utmost importance. And I want to tell different kinds of stories – the language, format and platform comes later.
What’s an emotion that you struggle with while acting?
I think anger, because I don’t personally ever feel angry, so it’s difficult to understand it.
What’s the secret behind your forever cheerful public appearances?
I think it’s because I usually am cheerful. Life is too short and we have way too much to be grateful for. And sometimes if I’m low, I just cheer up because I know I have to. So sometimes the public persona does help. On low days especially, because you have to get up, smile and do your work. And I find healing too in that.
Social media adulation and hate can be overwhelming. How do you cancel out that noise, good and bad?
I hear everything, but listen to only what’s constructive, if people don’t like my work that’s a problem. So any inputs regarding my work I listen to, but comments made on my personal life and beliefs are always ignored by me.
Do you strategize your choice of scripts depending on the fate of your last release?
My films choose me. I think the directors I have worked with prove that. I am a director’s actor and I am here to learn. I just want to be part of stories that I feel deserve to be told.
You are quite outspoken, is it good or bad for an actor?
Honestly, I don’t know whether it’s good or bad. A lot of people have told me that I should have a filter. But there are some things that you can’t help, you know. I work so hard and so sincerely on all my characters that when I get to be Sara, I just want to be unabashed, unfiltered Sara. It’s better if I keep the filtering and nuances for the characters.
What kind of discussions do you have with your father about movies? What advice does he give you?
I discuss movies with my mother and father. The advice that both of them give me is that ultimately your heart has to connect to the character and the script. That’s a very personal selection process. So, they both always encourage me to develop my own instinct about what films I want to be a part of and which I don’t.
In the earlier days there were a lot of stories about catfights between actresses, which isn’t the case with the present generation. Case in point being your friendship with
I don’t know if it’s truly general or not. I know that if you’re secure in your own skin you can be friends with everyone. And in this industry, there’s a place for everybody. Sabke liye kaam hai (There’s work for everyone). So, I think you should just do your work and keep your head down. And that’s what I do.
What is that one advice from your family that you keep in mind when you step out to do a film
When I step out to do a movie, I treat every chance like my last chance and give every film my hundred percent.
We have seen you in a commercial with Amrita Singh and now with
God willing, whenever the chance presents itself! I am a huge fan of them both and would love to work with them.
Which of your upcoming projects are you most excited about and why?
I think ‘Ae Watan Mere Watan’ is going to be very special for me. Like I said, I believe in telling stories that I believe are worth telling and listening to. Usha Mehta is an anonymous warrior who did so much for the Indian freedom struggle. Her story is one of bravery, strength and sacrifice, yet very few know her name. Therefore it’s a film that I’m most proud and excited to share.