Anjum Sharma: Insiders getting contracts, meetings easily have more pressure, as an outsider there are no expectations from you
Actor Anjum Sharma’s journey in showbiz involved a lot of changing jobs — while earlier he has assisted filmmaker Anand L Rai, and also handled the camera under the guidance of a veteran, acting happened much later in his career.
He is getting noticed for the portrayal of the scheming Sharad Shukla in Mirzapur season two, who actually changes the entire story in the last episode. He says, “I would get to know which character has more meat ever since I was a child and watched films. While growing up, I developed an interest in acting, and before that, I went into assistant direction. I happened to watch some plays once, starring Naseeruddin Shah and more people, and that’s when I started chasing acting as a career.”
Doing theatre came next, and it’s when he was assisting Rai on a film, that he finally decided to take the plunge into acting, when he would do rehearsals for the main actors. But it wasn’t easy.
As an outsider, he says it has been a lot of struggle to reach here. “It is hard, there are a lot of hardships. The thing is you need to prove your mettle, and that goes in any field. In this field, art is so subjective, that one person for example might like your painting, but six others might not.,” he says.
But doesn’t someone with connections get those chances easily? Wasn’t it hard for him to get that chance to prove his mettle?
Sharma agrees. “There are plus and minuses. The counter point could be people who are getting contracts and meetings easily, they have more pressure and expectations. The audience sees them in a particular way. As a newbie, you don’t have that pressure, you can get accepted as your slate is clean, you don’t have any baggage,” he says.
And it finally happened with Mirzapur for him. The feedback, he says, has been overwhelming. “We all knew magnitude of the show was huge, especially with the way season one had turned out to be. For me, the major part of my character was going to unfold in this one after the post credits scene had in season one. All these things personally made me anxious,” he confesses.