The gorgeous Pallavi Sharda is a true example of how one can make┬áit to Bollywood without a godfather. ┬áIn this┬áinteresting yet inspiring interview she tells us about her upcoming movie “Hawaizaada” and her journey from homeland┬áAustralia to dreamland Bollywood. A lawyer from Australian turned┬á Bollywood Diva , she is a stunning beauty with brains.
Hawaizaada seems like a magical and beautiful movie. The trailer literally gave me chills. Can you tell us more about the movie and about your role in it?
Hawaizaada is the story of Shivkar Bapuji Talpade, who was an inventor and he created IndiaÔÇÖs first aeroplane, before the Wright Brothers. There is not much written about it in books or on internet, so although the story is inspired by true events , it is built by the imagination of our director Vibhu Puri.┬á I play the character of Sitara in the movie. She is a tamasha dancer, but thatÔÇÖs just one side of her.┬á She is also the companion of Shivkar, and their love story is integral to the film. As people say ÔÇ£har kamyab aadmi ke peeche ek aurat hoti hai ÔÇØ , so it is with Shivkar.
Overall, The movie is beautifully shot and made with much love and passion. ┬áI really hope that people like the movie and my work.
How was your experience working with Ayushmann Khurrana?
Oh, it was amazing. He is a great guy, very fun loving ,down to earth, and very similar to me in his traits. We have similar Punjabi background┬á and we are both outsiders in┬áthe industry ,so our journeys have been very similar and we have a lot to talk about.
How did you get the role in Hawaizaada?
Actually i met the director, Vibhu Puri, when I was doing┬áa musical called ÔÇ£ Taj ExpressÔÇØ┬á by Shruti and Vaibhavi Merchant. ┬áI was the lead of that musical and Vibhu had written the first version of that. So he had seen me there and i am a dancer and i dance well, so he thought I could be his Sitara. (smiles)
What are the other projects you are currently working on? Any films or musicals?
Actually I am just reading scripts right now. Hawaizaada took one and a half year, a lot of time to complete, . The┬áentire movie was shot in Gujarat.┬á We┬ácould shoot only in the winters in summer because the temperature is very high. Then┬ái was injured for 4 months last year. So I spent┬á half the last year I spent in Australia , doing a lot of charity work and other projects.
Where did you shoot in Gujarat , exactly?
We shot in Gordhan ,thatÔÇÖs where we had set up the whole set of old Bombay. Other than that we shot in Rajkot and interiors we did in Bombay.
You’ve said, ÔÇ£One thing that can be said about leaving Melbourne to┬á follow my childhood dream of becoming an actress is: it was not easy.ÔÇØ What were the difficulties you faced as a new comer?
I came to India with 2 bags and dreams. I did not know anybody when i came here. I ┬ágot a lot of offers when I first arrived here. BeginnerÔÇÖs luck I guess.┬á┬áI wanted to take it slow so I didnÔÇÖt take a lot of work. After┬áthat luck ran out, and I struggled for a few years.┬á I was very shy too, so I couldnÔÇÖt go and approach all big directors fearing that I might disturb them.┬á So it was quite hard. Also people had difficulty accepting the fact that how come a lawyer from Australia wants to become a Bollywood actress? To live in a city like Bombay where you donÔÇÖt have a support system was a struggle.┬á I didnÔÇÖt anticipate those difficulties.
How did you get your first break in Bollywood?
My first big break in Bollywood was in Besharam which I got after an audition I gave in Abhinav KashyapÔÇÖs office. They showed my audition to all the producers and Ranbir and they all liked it. ThatÔÇÖs how I got the lead role in Besharam.┬á But Before that I worked with Manoj Bajpai on a movie called ÔÇÿÔÇÖDas TolaÔÇÖÔÇÖ, which was my first lead role and it was a beautiful experience. I got that within first few months of coming here. It is sad that nobody saw it because it was a very sweet film.┬á I played the role of a dance teacher in a village. Strange that I am from Australia and I am getting all these typical village girl roles (laughs).
So Das Tola ,and not Besharam, was your debut film?
Since you come from a very well educated family, your parents are both IIT alumni, what was their reaction when you decided to become a Bollywood actress?
I have been saying since I was 2 , so they knew this already. Becoming a Bollywood actress was my childhood dream. The only reason I have had the conviction to stick to my dream was because┬á I have been saying this my whole childhood and I have to fulfill this dream or I will spend the rest of my life wondering.
So who was your inspiration when you stepped in Bollywood?
(immediately) Madhuri Dixit. And Sridevi too.
How did you learn acting?
I am a Bharat-natyam dancer , so through that I learnt the ÔÇÿabhinayaÔÇÖ and the ÔÇÿnatyaÔÇÖ and that introduced me to performing arts and acting. ┬áI also studied acting in Australia while I was at law school and I was a theater actress in Australia.
Do you have any close friends in┬á industry?
At the moment my closest friends are Dia Mirza and Sahil Sangha . I worked with them in a wonderful film called Love Breakup Zindagi and they are like family to me.
Any Hollywood actor/actress you would like to work with?
(immediately) Bradly cooper. ( laughs)
How do you stay in shape?
I love doing yoga, it keeps me grounded. Other than that I love walking.
Any anecdote you would like to share with our readers?┬á Any memories from the sets of Hawaizaada?
We used to play cricket a lot on the sets. I claim that I play cricket very well, but I donÔÇÖt know if its true. ( laughs ). Ayushmann has started telling media that I am the fastest bowler in India and I donÔÇÖt know why he says that and he says this to cricket people also , I think he is teasing me. I am very bad at bowling in reality. But I guess I played with lot of passion so they all were shocked. We used to dance a lot on the sets too, it was fun.
Any advice you would like to give young aspiring actors/actresses?
Just keep your head on shoulders and donÔÇÖt pay attention to all the negativity around you because there is a lot of it. That is a advice I still have to get into my own head. You have to believe in your self and you know, first they will ignore you, then they will laugh at you, then they will fight with you and then you Win (smiles).