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'Heroine is a very important film in my career'

Last updated on: April 2, 2012 12:57 IST

'Heroine is a very important film in my career'

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Patcy N in Mumbai

Not many starlets admit that they landed films with a little 'string-pulling.'

Shilpi Sharma, who stars in Madhur Bhandarkar's upcoming film Heroine, readily admits that that's how she landed the role.

A small-time actress who acted in bit roles in films like Style and Thank You, Kareena Kapoor-starrer Heroine will be Shilpi's big ticket to fame. 

Shilpi tells Patcy N more.

 


Image: Shilpi Sharma


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'Madhur got a call from a minister, asking him to give me a role'

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"Madhur is a family friend. A long time back, Madhur got a call from a minister, my father's friend -- it was when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the prime minister -- asking him to give me a role as I am his friend's daughter.

"Madhur wasn't ready, and he did not have anything to offer me. He told me straight, 'Shilpi, you come from such a big background, but honestly I can't offer you anything right now, and secondly, I will only give you something that suits you, which brings out your talent.'

"We kept in touch and one fine day he called me and said he had a film for me, as I suited the role. So I took it up," she says.

Shilpi is all praise for her director. "He is a great guy, simple and down to earth. He has no airs so it doesn't feel like you are working with such a huge director.

"The first day (of the shoot), I was nervous because he had put so much faith in me, and given me such a big film with such a big star cast. He asked me to follow him blindly and not get nervous. Because of that, I really gave my best. I have immense respect for him."


Image: Shilpi Sharma


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'Kareena is so beautiful'

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Shilpi is bound by her contract not to speak about her role, but says it's an important character in the film.

Does she have any scenes with the film's star leads, Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal?

"I do have scenes with Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal. Kareena is a great girl, I was working with her for the first time and she is a star.

"I have always admired her; she is so beautiful. She is quite chilled out, comfortable to work with. She says hello and she smiles, she does her job and leaves," Shilpi says.


Image: Shilpi Sharma


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Her first film: D Rama Naidu's Maduve Agona Baa

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Shilpi comes from Dholpur, Rajasthan, and has schooled in Nainital, but often came to Mumbai to visit her aunt. Film offers came her way right then, she says, but she turned them down. An advertisement for Eveready batteries with Rahul Dravid was an exception.

The first film she acted in was D Rama Naidu's Kannada film Maduve Agona Baa. Naidu saw her sitting in a hotel lobby, sent someone to speak to her, and the following day he sent someone to her to sign the papers. Next thing she knew, she was shooting for the film.


Image: Shilpi Sharma


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'I am very business-minded and intelligent'

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She signed on to do Style next, and since she was still in school, she did it during her vacations.

There were no more films till she finished school and a degree in psychology from SNDT College in Mumbai. Then came Jo Bole So Ni Haal and then another break as she went off to New York and a course in interior designing.

Shilpi's family background is business and politics. The family owns stone mines, farms and a cinema hall among other businesses. The political connections are many -- an uncle who was a Congress minister and MLA, father Murari Lal Sharma, an activist in the BJP, and brother Ritesh Sharma who won Dholpur for the BJP last year.  

"I am very business-minded and intelligent. I never ran after films, films came to me; even today I don't go to anybody's office asking for work," Shilpi declares.

The film industry was not on the family's radar. "My father threw a fit when he came to know I am doing movies. When I did ads, I never told my father about it. He never saw television because of his busy schedule, so he knew nothing about it," Shilpi laughs.

"But once I signed movies I had to tell him. Initially he was very upset. I started shooting for the film even before he said yes, so he had to agree later. But he's said that I have to complete my education."


Image: Shilpi Sharma


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'Anees Bazmee had offered me a film before Thank You'

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After Style and Jo Bole So Nihaal came a special appearance in Anees Bazmee's Thank You.

"Anees Bazmee had offered me a film before Thank You but I didn't do it because I had just come from New York, and my father was very ill, and I was all the time with my family. My family is number one priority for me.

"So but when Anees Bazmee approached me a second time and said it was a small role and won't take much time, I did not want to say no to him out of respect."


Image: Shilpi Sharma


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'I want to be careful after Heroine'

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After Heroine what next?

"I have been meeting lots of people. I do go through scripts and story narration, but I want to be careful after Heroine. I don't want to do something stupid.  

"Heroine is a very important film in my career so I want a quality film after this. I can't do anything below this now." 


Image: Shilpi Sharma

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