He was noticed in Style (2001), Golmaal (2006) 3 Idiots (2009) and has a penchant for comic roles. Mumbai-born Sharman Joshi set foot in acting field via theatre after completing B.Com from NM College, Mumbai. He considers theatre as his training ground. Late theatre personality Satyadev Dubey suggested him to the director of Godmother (1999), Mr. Vinay Shukla after watching the Gujarati version of the play All the Best, where Sharman played a deaf character. Since the role was not substantial, he initially did not want to do the role. But his family convinced him to take it up.
He has married Prem Chopra’s daughter Prerna. Being the illustrious actor’s damad, about his father-in-law, he states, “Well, it’s a privilege. Prem Chopraji is a wonderful human being over and above being an actor. Work is just a part of our lives. The most important aspect of our lives is the persons that we are. I feel very honoured, very happy and privileged to have the pleasure of spending time with him. And he is very wonderful, humble and down-to-earth kind of a person, who’s been a big achiever, yet so much in touch with reality.”
We can look forward to watching 1 movie starred by Sharman-Hate Story 3 soon.
Coming from an illustrious family of theatre personalities, do you think acting was bound to happen to you too?
Possibly, in most cases, it may happen. But not with me I think. For me acting comes by nature. I have not worked up on it honestly. It’s an instinct. I really want to make sure that what I am stepping into is really what I want to do, which once decided I make efforts towards that goal. So even when I decided to take to my career as an actor, of course, I was influenced largely by the family, but I had also considered other career options to study law or business management. Being a Gujarati, I would have probably made a good businessman (laughs). Well, after all these things, the calling seems to be acting.
Again coming from an illustrious family of theatre personalities, do you think work came in a platter for you?
I was given a lot of love and acceptance akin to the star sons and daughters, who come into Hindi films. The first few films were very easy to come by. But there are many of us who do not come from a film background and spend most of our lifetime to get the first break. I had the good fortune to get that kind of break in theatre thanks to the background I come from. I got a lot of love and acceptance. It was almost predetermined in their minds that I am Mr. Arun Joshi’s son and I am bound to be a fine actor and I obviously know my craft. But this is not the case. But I thankfully learnt it on the job. And it all worked out well.
What did your parents say, when you decided to enter Bollywood? I mean theatre has more respect that films.
My father felt that our family had given a lot of time and effort to theatre. And they have also got a lot of love, respect and money out of it. But they felt that as far as cinema was concerned it was time for me to break through. And they believed each generation can do only this much and then they leave the rest to the next generation. They also believed that their part of the job was done. And the larger picture is to get into films and take it to the next level. And they wanted and wished all the success for me.
As a medium, my father comes from the background he believes in. And what I have also learnt over a period of time – an actor is an actor, whatever medium it might be television, theatre or films. Things are changing, where all the lines are blurring between the different mediums. And the actors are working across the medium as long as they are working on something interesting and something they want to. My parents and everyone at home, 30 years back when I decided what I wanted to do, said as long as you get to do work that you want to do as an actor, medium is not important really. But if films happen it’s wonderful really. That is the mother of all entertainment.
TV, Theatre and films all the fields have their own uncertainties. In a sense all the people in the fields, the technicians included are a little crazy, because they live on the edge. They may not do well. They may barely survive. But they risk it. Initially because they are young they don’t realize the uncertainties. Once they are older they realize that the uncertainties are going to be acute. But yet your desire and your love to be in the art, drives you. I have many friends who can’t do that. They say that they need job-security. It’s really a mind-set. So my parents knew that once I had made the choice of becoming an actor, the uncertainties come along with it. And that’s something I will have to learn to cope with. If I am not ready for it now, time will teach me. So they have always supported me.
Tell us about your perception of the way Bollywood movies are going today.
I think there was a golden period in the 50s and 60s. There were extremely talented people then. These talents did immensely beautiful work. Then there was a lull in between. Movies were made, which we may not be proud of, except for a few jewels here and there. But now, suddenly there is another golden period for Hindi films. There are really some exciting films coming our way. There are varied choices of films to go out and watch. It is because a lot of things are coming together. Good infrastructure is coming in. Today film-makers are catering to all strata of the society. So there are great exciting times for everyone. I think this will go on till the next 10-15 years. We are going to grow leaps and bounds.
There was a time when in Bollywood movies only there would be subtle sexual innuendoes. But now-a-days, there is blatant use of bad language in the movies. Your take on this.
I don’t have any moral stands on these. I think the movies are censored and given certifications. You are making a known choice, stepping into the cinema hall. I think it is time that we leave it to the individuals of the society to see what they want to see. If they don’t want to see something, they will not go to the theatre.
Yet having said that, there are certain controls that the censor board is taking care of. The parameters of bad language, exposure and physical intimacy are taken care of by the censor board, which makes sure that it does not go beyond certain levels of decency. If people say that certain amounts of exposure and physical intimacy should not be allowed, they have the choice of not watching the film.
From a creative person’s point-of-view, I would say that they should allow that kind of creative freedom and flexibility. But that doesn’t mean that in the name of freedom they show pornography. That should be banned, because that will be beyond decency. If you follow the established parameters of decency and the abusive language gives some excitement to the film and it is important for the film-maker, then he should be allowed to do it.