I don’t think Anurag can harass a woman: Harshita
For actor Harshita Shekhar Gaur, the lockdown has been “peaceful and productive”. The 27-year-old, who rose to fame through Mirzapur and Sacred Games 2, says that the whole situation has been sad and that she was lucky that she had work that helped her sustain the last six months. Gaur plays the role of Dimpy in Mirzapur. Speaking about her character, she says, “I play the role of Dimpy who is a classic girl-next-door character. Anyone can relate with [her] very easily. She hails form a Pandit family and has a lot of importance to family values. She loves her brothers and acts as a bridge between them and her father. The character has a huge transition from Season 1 to 2. There is more depth to the character now. I believe the audiences will enjoy Dimpy’s character graph. It was amazing to be back in Season 2 and all the characters will have a lot more to do and offer.”
The Kanpuriye actor admits that things have been rough for Bollywood due to the recent mishaps. However, Gaur, who shares a good professional relationship with filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, doesn’t believe the sexual assault allegations against the Gangs of Wasseypur director.
“I really respect the #MeToo movement and how it had encouraged many women to come out and speak up, but I can tell you things from my personal experience. I met Anurag four years back when I wanted to make a transition from TV. I remember him telling me that ‘you’re a good-looking girl and can make a good career, but if you want to survive, you have to work on yourself and acting skills’,” she says.
Gaur further adds, “Anurag is experimental, he has no qualms in casting newcomers. I don’t think a person like him can harass and exploit anyone. I have known him for [the last] four years, and got an opportunity to work in Sacred Games season 2. It was wonderful to work with his team, he is an institution by himself. His whole team is filled with girls and the kind of respect and comfort I’ve seen on his sets is amazing. I don’t believe he can harass a woman.”
Ask her about the whole insider-outsider debate, and she says, “The nepotism debate is useless, as it happens everywhere. When I wanted to be an actor, my parents never said, ‘yes please drop what you’re doing and go become an actor’. My parents are doctors and they don’t know anybody from the industry. They would have ideally wanted me to be a doctor, since it would have been easier. Whether I would have proven to be a good doctor or not, that would come later. When I came here, I was fully aware that I don’t know anyone and my peers from film background will have better opportunities but I still came here anyway because this is my passion. I agree, some people have had personal experiences that are bitter. But I don’t think its right to take the whole industry down and discourage people like me or others who want to come and work and fulfil their dreams.”
About the whole debate around groupism and favouritism, Gaur says, “What is favouritism? You have some favourites; you’ve worked with and you are comfortable. If the Mirzapur team wants to work with me again, people might call it favouritism, but it’s not. Having said that, if you are unnecessarily blocking a lot of people from auditioning for a role because of favouritism that’s wrong. But that’s a balance that a lot of production houses are maintaining. Many newcomers have got a chance to make their mark and it’s a fact that outsiders are being tested for lead roles as well. Now, with many OTT platforms, so many opportunities have risen and actually favouritism and groupism has gone for a toss. Favouritism in this industry or elsewhere is nothing but professional comfort.”