In Bollywood, out of sight means out of mind. Besharam actress Pallavi Sharda believes otherwise. She says she’s a private person, who doesn’t even have a publicist. “I want to play various kinds of characters. I have done films in Bollywood, Australia and in the US too. But I didn’t publicise it. May be I need to smarten up,” laughs the actress.
Pallavi is busy shooting for Srijit Mukherji’s debut Bollywood film, Begum Jaan, where she will be seen playing a sex worker alongside actress Vidya Balan. The film also stars 10 other actresses, but Pallavi is least concerned about her screen time. The actress, who was into theatre before debuting into films, says that ‘performance’ is her priority.
“For me, the screen time doesn’t matter. In the film Dus Tola (2010), I played a village dance teacher and that film too had many actors, However, I got noticed and my role ended up becoming more than what was originally written. In Srijit’s film, my character Gulabo is well sketched,” says the Perth-born actress.
Pallavi has worked with the likes of Ranbir Kapoor in Besharam and Ayushmann Khurrana in Hawaizaada. However, both the films didn’t fare well. Pallavi doesn’t let the box office affect her performances. “Every film of mine is different from the other. People say that they find it difficult to recognise me in my films. I think that’s a good thing. It means I am playing my character well,” says the Love Breakups Zindagi actress.
The actress, who is a trained Bharatnatyam dancer, also says that she doesn’t believe in the popular ‘hero-heroine concept’ in Bollywood. So, she is happy with Vidya Balan playing the lead role in her next film. “After working with Ranbir and Ayushmann, Vidya is the next ‘hero’ I am working with. For me, there’s absolutely no difference between a man and a woman playing the lead. I come from a different school of acting in Australia, where this hero-heroine concept doesn’t exist,” smiles Pallavi, who considers herself ‘an honorary Bengali’ as her godmother belongs to Santiniketan.
Up next, Pallavi will be seen in director Garth Davis’ international film Lion, which also stars Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara and David Wenham. She will soon be heading to Australia for another film. Ask her if she’s interested in acting in American television shows like Priyanka Chopra and Nimrat Kaur, and Pallavi’s prompt reply is, “There have been discussions with my agent in the US. It’s always about the right thing at the right time. My career crosses over between India, Australia and the US. I consider myself to be an international actor and not a Bollywood actor.”
On working with Srijit Mukherji, Pallavi said: “I connect with Srijit on a lot of levels. Both of us come from a non-film background. He was into theatre and studied in JNU (Jawaharlal Nehru University) and the same goes for me. He is the most competent person I have ever worked with. His leadership qualities are impressive.”