Swara Bhasker is known for her straightforwardness on screen and off it. So, it was just a match made in heaven that she landed the role of a tough cop, ACP Radha Nautiyal, in the Eros Now web series Flesh. Here, Swara plays a police officer who is fighting the heinous crime of human trafficking, and it looks like the role is just as tough as her public persona.
In an exclusive conversation with indianexpress.com, Swara spoke about playing a cop, human trafficking and completing a decade in the film industry.
The Veere Di Wedding actor declared that playing a cop was a “big first” for her and she was “excited” to take it up. She shared that for male actors, something like this is a milestone. “Of course, like Amitabh (Bachchan) sir has a whole identity on-screen as a cop.” She also mentioned that there are so many female actors “whose entire career goes by, and they don’t get to don the uniform.”
Speaking about her web series Flesh, Swara Bhasker shared that the issue of human trafficking demands as much attention as it can get. “It is such a shameful thing that in the 21st century, human trafficking is still a thing that is happening. The most gruesome reality about trafficking is that there are people in this world who would do that to children. That’s just unforgivable, it’s pure evil. I was most stunned and disturbed by the complicity of the civil society in this whole thing,” she said.
As there are parallel tracks on the show, Swara said that she was lucky in terms of her part as “it represents hope.” She described the basic narrative of Flesh as a story of good vs evil, where she is fighting the good fight. While the subject matter in itself is quite emotionally draining, the actor said that she “would find hope in the fact that like my character in the show is fighting against this heinous crime, there must be people in real life who are doing the same thing.”
Since she was playing a cop for the first time, there was a lot of research involved in her preparation. During her research, Swara Bhasker shared she spoke to a lot of cops and found something in common. “I was very struck by the fact that there was a very palpable frustration that I felt in all of them. Everyone said the same thing which was basically that ‘We work so hard, we risk our lives but the system gets manipulated so easily by the criminals’. So I took that and used that frustration as Radha’s motivating factor,” the actor said.
The final battle is about to unfold tonight right before your eyes!
— Eros Now (@ErosNow) August 20, 2020
Flesh comes soon after Swara’s Amazon Prime Video Show Rasbhari, but the Anaarkali of Aarah actor is actually a veteran in the digital space. She first ventured into this medium in 2016 with Voot’s It’s Not That Simple. Speaking about the basic distinction between web vs any other medium, she said, “I think the best kind of art will be created in the most free atmosphere.”
As many already know, Swara Bhasker makes her presence felt on social media from time to time. She summed her experience on Twitter rather eloquently and said, “My experience has taught me that Twitter and social media represents a very twisted, often echo chamber-ish kind of reality. It’s not the reality of the entire audience.”
The release of Flesh also marks Swara’s completion of a decade in the entertainment industry. Looking back at her varied experiences, the actor recalled working with Farooq Shaikh, Shyam Benegal and Sooraj Barjatya. From her journey, she also shared that prepping for her roles in Anaarkali of Aarah and Nil Battey Sannata, and the “exhilaration for shooting” for Raanjhana remains close to her heart. “Also, the awards that I won!” she added.
In the next decade, Swara Bhasker has plans to work behind the camera as a writer and producer and hopes that she continues to do good work as an actor. “I hope to have more say in the stories that I act in,” she concluded.
Flesh starts streaming on Eros Now on August 21.