Sasheh Agha: With Aurangzeb, I get to live my mother’s dream as well as mine!

Salma Agha’s daughter talks about being friends with other heroines, her alleged scandalous MMS and singing in her debut film co-starring Arjun Kapoor

Sasheh Agha is petite and almost childlike at first glance. Her brown eyes full of mischief intensify her Lolita-like charm and don’t give away the fact that she is doing some rather risqué scenes in her debut film, Aurangzeb. Sitting all prim and proper at the Yash Raj Films office, munching on pizza, Sasheh – a fourth generation actor and daughter of Salma Agha who was an icon in her time – looks completely at ease. There is no sign of the burden that those pretty shoulders carry, of standing out as an actor and a singer in her debut film and fielding the comparisons with her mother that will be made. For now, she believes she has given her best to her first assignment, and wants to focus on promoting Aurangzeb. And this is what the pretty 21-year-old is made of…

Your mother Salma Agha’s thoughts on your debut…

My mother was obviously very happy with the fact that I am debuting with such a big film and a prestigious production house like Yash Raj Films. I’m a fourth generation actor. So although it was kind of natural that I would be doing movies, since my mother and her mother and my grandfather were all into films, my mother wanted me to be ready when the time came. Plus, she is a singer too, and I really wanted to sing in my own debut. With Aurangzeb I got to live out my mother’s dream as well as mine, so yes, she’s very pleased!

It’s a rather daring role for a debut….

If my role was based only on how much I would be exposing, or doing ‘risky’ scenes, as you put it, I wouldn’t ever have accepted it. I have been chosen for this role because I look a certain way. Because the directors wanted a certain kind of a face and an attitude for the role. Being a professional, it isn’t like me to back down just because there are a few intimate scenes in a film. Plus ,it is Yash Raj, and they are known to project their women aesthetically. So, yes, I am in safe hands and I had really no apprehensions doing my job.

Tell us about your character….

My character is that of a power hungry rich girl from Gurgaon. She is someone who knows what she wants and how to get it. She is also very young and pretty, and is not afraid of speaking her mind. The role is, of course, a performance based one, as opposed to me playing just another pretty young thing. How I landed this is another story. Adi sir had seen me, and he approached my mother. I guess he saw that I had it in me. But I did have to audition for the role, just like any other actor. There was no special preference that was given to me and I would have it no other way. It is sweeter when you get work based on your own merit. But the fact that the song happened to me was incidental. During casting I revealed that I could sing too. And they weren’t looking for that. But I guess they liked what they heard. Lucky me!

And that MMS…

See, I know that people gossip when you are a part of the industry. But there is some gossip that can seriously harm a person. So when people were talking about my past link-ups and all, I was okay with it. But then this whole MMS thing started; I couldn’t take it any more. I myself went to the police station and reported it. In fact, I even called a press conference to clear the air. I held the phone next to my face for the media to see that I wasn’t the girl in the MMS. Many other actresses too have suffered in the same manner, and I feel it’s wrong to take such discrimination lightly. But that hardly affects me. That was a hoax MMS and it’s behind me. All I can think of now is my current film, future projects and my singing.

The contemporary actors you are close to…

Not too close. I mean, I really appreciate all my contemporaries’ work onscreen. I am not particularly close to anyone, but I don’t have any hang-ups either. I respect Deepika Padukone and Anushka Sharma for the kind of work they have done, and the way they have risen to be top actors. They are so young and have made it so soon – it really inspires me. I also like Parineeti’s work. I remember bonding with her when she came on our sets to chat with Arjun. I also loved what Shraddha Kapoor did in Aashiqui 2. I would love to do a similar role some day.

Your ex-flame Ruslaan Mumtaz’s and your films hit the screens on the same day. And while you have a big ticket movie, he has a rather more small-budget flick….

(Laughs) I don’t think like that. I wish him all the best with his movie. We were just close friends at one time, so I don’t really care about what the media is saying. I have also heard the media say that his film is about the whole MMS thing and that they’re banking on it. I think that’s all totally false. My brain doesn’t work like that, I’m sorry. I am just happy, and a little nervous, as my debut comes closer. I have no space in my head for such sidey thoughts.

Worry about watching your diet….

(Laughs) I love to eat. I am totally not diet conscious. What’s the point! I have great genes and they will look after me. Baba, I cannot give up on things I love, no?