Be it Tanu Weds Manu or Raanjhanaa, Swara Bhaskar’s best known films have her in supporting roles. The films where she played the lead, have mostly been indie films. Bhaskar is aware that she is an outsider. “When you are an outsider, your journey is going to be different. I always knew I would never be launched with Salman Khan or a big star. I wasn’t a Miss India, nor did I come from a film family. But the two major commercial films I have done, I have been lucky,” she says. With recognition pouring in post Raanjhanaa’s Bindiya, the strategy has changed a bit. “I am very careful about the kind of work I choose,” she says.
Post her stint as the anchor of Samvidhaan, the mini-series by Shyam Benegal, she will be seen in Abbas Tyrewala’s Mango, and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s Nil Battey Sannaata. While the former is a confusion caper with an ensemble cast, the latter is the story of a mother and daughter and their curious relationship and constant tug-of-war. On playing a mother, she says, “I’ve been asked if I’m scared of being typecast. I just felt it was a great part and I didn’t want to pass it up because of any insecurity or speculation,” she says. Mango, she believes, will be an exception. The biggie in her kitty is Sooraj Barjatya’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo starring Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor.
She’s always been fascinated with cinema. It was with Chitrahaar and Superhit Muqabla that she understood the seduction of cinema. “I am not formally trained as an actor. I am formally trained in Bharatanatyam,” she says. Bhaskar was exposed to theatre while pursuing Masters in Sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). “My association with theatre is actually quite brief. It was just two years in JNU.
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Basically, I am a half-baked everything,” she says. Her biggest fear is that she will forget acting. “If I don’t act for two months, I get psychotic.
I don’t know what else to do. I am also a very insecure actor. If I know that I am in the hands of a good director who would be able to extract the performance from me, I feel safe,” she says.
Bhaskar, who is also increasingly making her presence felt at red carpets, is at odds with her fashionable side. “I was one of those girls in college who used to sit in the back and make fun of girls who wore make up. So in Mumbai, it has been my struggle, to get over the laidback and jhalla aspect of my personality,” she says.