Even after delivering many hits in the South, and a few performances in Bollywood films, she still has the sparkle of a debutant in her eyes. Behind her pretty and petite exterior is a girl who has seen both failure and success, and that has made her a stronger person.
Just a couple of days before her next release Tum Bin 2, a musical romantic drama, actress Neha Sharma sits down with us for a long chat about her film, her journey till date, and her failures in Bollywood.
Your last film Youngistan released two years ago. What took you so long to make a comeback?
It takes some time to figure out which film you want to do next. It’s not easy when your film doesn’t do well at the box office. The script and the setup need to be right. I am a bit picky, so it takes me time to make a choice, but I am glad I waited it out for Tum Bin 2.
Why did you pick Tum Bin 2?
Tum Bin 2 is a musical love story about finding love, losing love, finding love again, and being in love. The story is very simple and relatable. There is a lot of love in the film, and it’s for people who want to watch a good love story. When I read the script, I liked the character (Taran) that was written for me, and it has translated so well on screen. Taran goes through a lot in the film, and depicting her journey was exciting.
Was there a character in the film you wanted to play more than that of Taran?
When I read the script I wanted to play Shekar. I thought that role was to die for, but I am happy with Taran (laughs).
You are well-known in the South. Was it disappointing that your Bollywood career didn’t do as well?
See honestly, I hadn’t known failure until I came to Bollywood. I assumed that every time you do a film it would be a blockbuster. I thought life is amazing and everything is fantastic; you are a star and people love you. So, it was difficult when my first film Crook failed. There were so many good things about the film: great music, Emraan Hashmi was in it, Mohit Suri was directing it, the Bhatts were known for making great films, so failure was unexpected. Yes, it’s difficult to deal with, but I value success a lot more now. I am a stronger person. I think it is important to experience both in life.
Tell us more about Taran.
Cinema was always male dominated, but that is changing now, and women are getting very interesting roles to play. I am lucky that Tum Bin 2 is one of those films, and I get to play Taran in it. Taran is the girl next door that anyone will relate to. Our story is very human, like when I played her I could feel her. It was a beautiful feeling to experience her journey because there are various emotions she goes through, and her character is very complicated. There are these amazing men in her life that she needs to choose from.
There’s always a right choice and a wrong choice, but in this film there are two rights. So, picking between two rights was interesting.
What changes did you go through to play Taran’s character?
I am nothing like Taran. I am someone who talks a lot, while Taran is quite and submissive. So Anubhav Sir had to guide me on how Taran would talk or behave, and what she would do in a situation.
You are a bit inhibited when it comes to doing intimate scenes on screen. Why?
I come from a small town and my upbringing causes me to be like this. So I am not very comfortable with various things. The small town girl in me won’t escape me, but I am working on it. I am trying to get a hang of how things work here, but I guess that’s the reason I am a bit inhibited with intimate scenes.
How was it acting with Aditya Seal and Aashim Gulati in the film?
They are two brilliant and good looking guys, which is an added bonus. Aside from that, they talented and hardworking actors, which is a rare combination. During shoots, it didn’t feel like this was their first film, so it was great.
Which was the most emotionally taxing scene?
A lot of scenes in this film were emotionally draining. I can’t pick one scene because I invested myself in all of them. Every day, at the end of the shoot, I’d wonder how I’m going to do this again tomorrow.
Are you a director’s actor?
Usually I am other way around, but in this film it was different. Director Anubhav Sihna already knew how Taran was supposed to be way before I came on board. He told me exactly what he wanted, so in this film I was a director’s actor.