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'Girls Are Becoming Suicide Bombers'

April 11, 2024 10:10 IST
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'When I am doing a film, that film is not propaganda for me. That's a true thing.'

Photograph: Kind courtesy Adah Sharma/Instagram

After her debut in 2008 with the horror flick 1920, Adah Sharma was mostly seen in small roles in films. It wasn't until last year that she was put on the showbiz map with the controversial hit, The Kerala Story.

Hot on the heels of that success, she reunited with the same team and was cast as the lead in Bastar: The Naxal Story, solidifying her position as a leading actor.

But the film couldn't spin the same magic.

"I have not got so many compliments for any of my characters as much as I've got for Bastar," Adah tells Mayur Sanap/ "Some films do well, some don't. As an actor, you can just do your job well."

How much did life change after The Kerala Story?

After The Kerala Story, it feels like I'm living someone else's life. It feels wow!

Professionally, yes, a lot of different scripts are coming my way.

There's a flow of different roles, and people trust me with headlining new stuff.

Personally, my life is exactly the same. I don't want it to change for anything.

Bastar failed to generate buzz at the box office.

I have not got so many compliments for any of my characters as much as I've got for Bastar.

Some films do well, some don't. As an actor, you can just do your job well.

Sunflower 2 released on OTT.

The Kerala Story re-released on OTT finally.

I hope Bastar gets a release on OTT sooner than The Kerala Story took to release.

I pray that it can come on OTT without being censored.

IMAGE: Adah in a BTS still from Bastar: The Naxal Story. Photograph: Kind courtesy Adah Sharma/Instagram

Do you feel people expect the same level of success from you after The Kerala Story's big numbers? Is it tricky to make sane choices with that pressure?

I don't take the pressure of the box office.

The pressure is to deliver a good performance.

With Kerala Story, we put in everything and made it look so real that I raised my own standard of what people thought I was capable of doing.

So yeah, that pressure is there, but I really like it.

I want people to expect that if Adah is doing it, it should be good.

I want them to expect that she won't do mediocre things.

If they don't like it, they should tell me that. I would really like to know and work harder.

There's also a section of the audience who hit out at you for being a part of propaganda films.

I don't respond to that because if I do, that means I have to retort to it.

When I am doing a film, that film is not propaganda for me. That's a true thing.

I believe girls are getting converted and becoming suicide bombers. So I do it with my heart and soul, and put in full belief.

As audience, you can choose to not like it or to not watch it.

I should be okay with people not accepting it also.

IMAGE: Adah with Sunil Grover in Sunflower 2.

After strong opinions to The Kerala Story and Bastar: The Naxal Story, do you tell yourself that you should rather do something that is not contentious in nature?

If I start thinking about who is going to like it or not like it, I will be doing injustice to my role. I don't think like that.

Watch Adah as she confesses doing films where she didn't have a substantial role:

Video: Afsar Dayatar/


Is there a character that changed you as a person?

Maybe The Kerala Story. After meeting those girls, I became a more grateful person in real life.

Just the freedom that I can sit here and talk to you.

I can go out and walk, sit in my car.

I can use my phone whenever I want. All that made me very grateful.

With Bastar I saw that Neerja Madhavan (the fictional IPS officer she portrays in the film) is so strong and fighting a whole system. Her chances of winning are close to nothing, but still, she has the fire to continue fighting. She is changing so many people's lives.

That is also something I learnt.

My life is more than just movies.

I love acting. I think everything changes when I am doing it.

But I also want to do so many other things in life.

Photograph: Kind courtesy Adah Sharma/Instagram

What are you doing currently that is not related to movies?

I am doing something with wildlife.

I have tied up with an animal hospital called TOLFA (Tree of Life for Animals). It's in Ajmer (Rajasthan) which works for abused animals.

We have cows, dogs, cats, camels. All animals that have been abused.

Adah explains her quirky Instagram bio 'Actor/Crow/Goat' and how she stays real on social media:

Video: Afsar Dayatar/


What is the real Adah like and how different is she from the women you have played in your recent films?

(The roles I play) definitely would take a toll (but) I don't know how to do it any other way. Like I said, I am all heart.

Everything has to be real, even when I am performing a scene.

The tears have to be real.

The screaming has to be real.

I don't know how to do it, as in acting kar ke kar lo (act it out).

I have to feel every emotion.

I have to feel everything.

It does mess up your mind.

Is there something about this profession that you have learned the hard way?

When I got into films, I was a kid.

I didn't know anything.

I thought, 'Wow, I can sing and dance, and I will get all movies.' That did not happen.

I definitely got that reality check right in the beginning.

I think you should always learn humour. You should laugh at yourself or the situations you are in.

If you choose to get very serious about things, then life won't be nice.

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