IN AN industry where fitting in is the expected way to succeed, actor Swara Bhasker has made sure she stands out. Be it the choice of her roles or the fact that she voices her opinion on all matters political and social, Bhasker has broken the glass ceiling in Bollywood in many ways.
She was first noticed in the mainstream Tanu Weds Manu (2009), where she played the assertive friend to Kangana Ranaut, and has since gone on to make every role her own. The Delhi-born actor has made sure that her presence on the screen has registered, no matter how small the role. In her decade-long career, Bhasker has successfully balanced the two distinct worlds of commercial and independent cinema.
While her films Tanu Weds Manu, Tanu Weds Manu 2, Raanjhaana and Prem Ratan Dhan Payo made her a dependable staple in the Bollywood mainstream, films like Listen Amaya, Adda
Nil Battey Sannata in which she plays a strong single mother, and Anaarkali of Aarah in which she plays an unapologetic nautch girl, established her as a bankable actor in the independent film space. Bhasker will be in conversation with Shubhra Gupta, The Indian Express film critic, and Devyani Onial, National Features Editor, at the Express Adda in Delhi on Thursday. The Express Adda is a series of informal interactions organised by The Indian Express Group and features those at the centre of change.
Bhasker is a representative of the new breed of thinking actors. She is known to speak her mind in an industry that very often doesn’t. She has been vocal on the social climate of the country and has lent her support to campaigns such as the one for the Kathua victim. Her open letter to Sanjay Leela Bhansali after the release of Padmaavat went viral, drawing flak from various sections of the film industry and the country.
On screen too, she has represented women of strength. Bhasker, who started her acting career doing theatre in Delhi, has also acted in It’s Not That Simple, a web series where she plays a modern Indian woman who chooses to walk out of a bad marriage and live life on her own terms. In her latest outing in Veere Di Wedding, in which she is part of an all-woman cast, she portrays a character who is unapologetic about her desires.