The actress talks about her daughter's debut film and more...
My first meeting with Sarika at the Taj Lands End turned out to be quite a revelation! From whatever I have heard about her, I expected the veteran actress to duck a few questions. Instead, I was greeted by a down-to-earth, charming and a cheerful lady! She answered all my questions (even the tricky ones). Here the veteran actress talks about why she doesn't work in films and also about her younger daughter Akshara Haasan's upcoming debut. Read on...
Akshara is making her big debut this year with R Balki's Shamitabh. What are you expecting from this film as her mother?
I think it's bad to have expectations. I believe expectations come with a lot of pressure and that's not cool. On the other hand, with R Balki at the top of this project, I am assured that everything in this film will be good, and great quality cinema-wise. People may or may not like the film, that will be their personal choice, but I am assured that Akshara couldn't have had a better debut.
You have seen Balki. He is not one of those run-of-the-mill filmmakers who will make just about anything. He makes quality cinema and that's why stalwarts agree to be a part of his projects. That's also why all his films have been superhit in the past and been loved by critics as well.
So you believe that he is the best launch pad for your daughter....
Not just for Akshara. For any actor, Balki is the director for any actor. Period! Also when it's your launch pad, it doubly increases your security as an actor. You know that you are in safe hands.
The films stars Amitabh Bachchan and Dhanush in the lead roles. Don't you think Akshara would have to stand very tall in order to match their acting talent? Won't it be something too big to aim for in her debut film?
Balki, Bachchan, Dhanush, Ilayaraja and many such stalwarts are in this project. It was like Akshara going to a college. I can't put it in any other way. They are all teachers and you can't ask for better teachers. Now that the courses have finished, the results will be out soon and everyone will get to know how well she has fared in the exam.
You have worked with Amitabh Bachchan in the past and also recently in Yudh. How was your experience with him?
To be very honest, Mr Bachchan is very rocky. The reason I say this is because of his filmography. Look at his work. He has done practically everything in a lifetime. I don't know which other actor would have done roles as varied as Mr Bachchan has done. I would really like to do the kind of work that he is doing, when I am his age.
You have shifted to being a character artist these days. As an actor does that change happen naturally?
My last release was Club 60, and I had a perfectly leading lady angle in that film. I had a romantic angle with Farooque Sheikh. So you can't say that was a character role. What basically has to be understood is that the role should be good. Else, I wouldn't want to waste my time working in projects that I know may not see the light of the day.
So you are saying you have not become choosy in picking up roles?
I believe filmmakers need to start writing more and more roles for actors and less for characters. In a general scenario we have roles written for hero, heroine, villain, item girl, etc. But ideally it should be written for the actors. If you have seen Rajat Kapoor's last film Ankhon Dekhi, that was a film written for actors. Even Club 60 was written for actors and that's why I chose to be a part of it. When this happens in our film industry, the actors start flourishing and that helps them better the quality of acting that they do.
Do you think your daughters are also getting victimised by this? Because most of the roles that they pick up are character-driven and not actor-driven?
Let's not jump the gun with Akshara right now. You will have to see Shamitabh to know what has been written for her as an actor. I can't say that in future she wouldn't give in to the craze of character driven roles, but we can't say that now.
And what about Shruti Haasan?
Shruti has taken her decisions and those seem to have worked for her brilliantly. As long as it works for her there is no harm. She has already proved her mettle as she is an established actor. Let's get all our focus towards Akshara now.
You have been part of TV. Do you think it's not as good a medium as films? Would you suggest TV to your daughters?
See as an actor my basic need is to perform. If the role that I have been offered, I feel that the actor in me can do well, then I would definitely do it. Now whether that is shown on TV or on the big screen doesn't really matter. However it is imperative to check fully before you sign any project as many a time a project starts with great intentions but doesn't see the light of the day. That hurts an actor. That's why it is very important to see if the producers are good and if the director is capable enough of steering the film in the right direction. At the end, more than the money, it's the recognition that an actor gets is what matters to him/her. The medium is just secondary.
You reportedly hold Akshara back from going out and having boyfriends and make sure that she spends most of her time shooting and working for her film. How true is that?
No. Never have I done anything of that sort.
What other future projects are you working on?
I am reading a lot of scripts these days. Whenever there is something I find interesting to do, I will sign it then and there.
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