Utkarsh Sharma, who first appeared on screen in Sunny Deol’s Gadar, is all set to make his Bollywood debut as a lead actor with Genius. In this interview with indianexpress.com, the young actor talks about how he prepared for his role and how he plans to tackle the nepotism debate.
Q. How was it working on Genius with your father as the director?
I am getting a lot of love from people in the industry and the audience. I am enjoying this ride.
My dad is a taskmaster. He expects nothing less than the best from his actors, so he expects the same thing from me too. As a child actor also, I have had to work many nights without sleep. While working for this film, we were not sharing the father and son relationship at all. We were sharing the relationship of an actor and the director. He doesn’t look at me as a son on sets, and I don’t look at him as a father on set either, because that would only cause hindrance to the script, the story and the character. The film would suffer. He treated me the same way he treated Nawaz sir (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) or my co-star Ishita (Chauhan).
Q. How did you prepare for Genius?
Since I am from the film family, people are going to say things. While I do agree that my lineage has given me an easy access to the industry, I believe I still need to earn that opportunity or the audience will outright reject me. Whatever lack of experience I have, I have tried to cover it up with my preparation, training and education. I was in the US where I got my film degree and took acting classes. I also worked in a few plays there. I had also assisted dad on Veer. So whatever practical experience I could gather from working on different sets, I am trying to use it here by amalgamating everything and making sense of it.
Q. Since you already spoke about it, how are you preparing yourself to face the nepotism debate?
When I worked in Gadar as a child actor, I was about 5-6 years old. We didn’t have social media and people didn’t know the word nepotism, but there were talks that I must have got the role because of my father. So this debate has been there forever. I also knew that whenever I would become an actor, I would have to answer the question whether I got the film because of my father or I really deserved it. Because whatever I would be, an actor or a sound recorder or anything in Bollywood, it would be seen as I got the job because of my father. But, I never considered myself as a star kid. I was never in the limelight. My father has worked hard to be a part of this industry and I really respect that fact.
Genius is scheduled to release on August 24, 2018.