Actor Anushka Sharma has spoken about her massively successful Amazon Prime show, Paatal Lok, and how she has been navigating a two-year break from acting. Anushka wrote that she was heavily involved in the production of the series, which was released to unanimous acclaim on Amazon on May 15.
In an interview to journalist Rajeev Masand, the actor was asked about what drew her to the project. She said, “What stood out to me was the idea that how we as humans often fail humanity at large, how for our own personal gains and power we can oppress people and somehow that is okay.”
Calling creator Sudip Sharma’s work on the show, “genuinely unprecedented writing,” Anushka, noting the highlights of the series, said, “Sudip Sharma is one of the best writers in the country. He has the ability to say something so complex in such an economical way. I’m always in love with Sudip’s writing. I love the performances. They’ve been unbelievable. Jaideep Ahlawat is an institution in himself. She did, however, add that films are her first love. She said, “Films are like the test matches of cricket.”
About her involvement in the show, she said, “I’ve been involved right from the inception of the idea to the final product. We believe you have to give that creative freedom, and you have to empower them to express themselves.” She singled out the scene in which Ahlawat’s Inspector Hathi Ram Chaudhary unleashes a barrage of Haryanvi abuses at a local goon, and wins the respect of his son, only to get a tight slap from his wife moments later, as one of her favourite scenes.
Anushka, who last appeared on screen in the critically and commercially unsuccessful Zero, opposite Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, said that she doesn’t let the reception of a project affect her. “I’ve been working on not letting things affect me. Today Paatal Lok has done really well, but I’m not thinking that my worth has increased. When Zero happened, I don’t want to put myself through that, it’s extremely unhealthy… I’ve always been someone who’s very introspective,” she said.
Masand also asked her about the break she has taken, and Anushka said, “Acting is my first love. There were things that I wanted to do and I am going to do, but I reached a place in my life where I don’t want to sign films just to do something. You don’t have to do films to be relevant, you have to do relevant films. For creative people to take breaks is extremely important. After Zero I genuinely wanted to take a break.”
Anushka will return as producer on Bulbul, which will release on Netflix next month.
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