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Swara Bhasker on films, OTT space and more

Swara Bhasker on films, OTT space and more...
Swara Bhasker – Zaa News

Swara Bhasker is one actress who has happily hopped onto the OTT bandwagon and is reaping rich benefits. While others were sitting idle and baking banana bread during the lockdown, Swara had four web series out on OTT. And she isn’t averse to taking risk or shying away from something risque as long as it indulges her creative cravings. She’s always spoken her mind and is known for her anti-establishment stance. She reasons if the artistes don’t speak up when other sectors get affected, then being quiet will become a habit and they’ll easily submit to curbs when creativity gets targeted. She doesn’t know about others but she’s unwilling to go gently into that dark night. Excerpts from a rollicking interview with the feisty actress who doesn’t believe in being just another pretty face…How does it feel to have had four web series released during the lockdown?
It feels great. Rasbhari got released in June 2020, then came Flesh in August, Bhaag Beanie Bhaag in December and the latest is Aapkey Kamrey Mein Koi Rehta Hai (AKMKRH), streaming on MX from January 2021 onwards. So I’m loving it. For a year dominated by the coronavirus pandemic, this is great.

Horror-comedy is not a highly explored genre in India. Were you skeptical before signing AKMKRH?
When I read a script, I never think of what genre it belongs to. I read it for what it is. So when I read its script, I really liked it. It was edgy and funny. For me, the horror in the series is how can four boys be so dumb. Gaurav Sinha, the writer and director of the series has done a good job with balancing the humour and the scary bits. Of course, there is horror but it’s a story of four friends, a comedy of errors. The only thing I was worried about was that whenever a story requires a suspension of disbelief, it can get tacky or cheesy. I feel if your audience is interested in you, they don’t necessarily have to believe in what they are watching. If you’ve got them hooked in, then you’re okay. So the challenge for me was whether as an actor I can engage you enough that you’ll be interested in my performance even though you don’t believe in what’s happening.

What were the shooting timelines for your series? Did you shoot anything during the lockdown?
All four were shot between the end of 2018 till the start of 2020. Bhaag Beanie Bhaag was the last thing I shot before the lockdown. But I dubbed for two or three of these shows during the lockdown. So we had this impressive set-up with the sound engineer in Mumbai and I was in a studio in Delhi with a different sound engineer. Everything was sanitised after each sitting and
I bought my own headphones. Everything was shot before but a lot of the post-production happened during the lockdown.

All your four roles are different from each other. How did you prepare for them and was it difficult to flow from one to the other?
As much as possible, I try not to shoot two things together. I’ve done it once before and it’s  most distracting and irritating. It’s also very hard.  Later, when I watched these shows, I realised I had prepared well for each of them. The transition from one to the other happened during the process of preparation. So for me, if you prepare well for each role, you will be able to find that transition in the preparation. There’s also this new thing I’ve started doing. Actors always try hard to get into a role, but we never have a process of getting out of it. I’ve started to do that now. Especially after Anarkali Of Arrah. I hadn’t realised that it had affected me psychologically. After that film, I started to question myself as to why there was so much anger within  me or what was happening with me. I realised that I got into the role but never got out of it.

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