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    Starring in three new movies, Swara Bhaskar comes clean on insecurities and finding a place in Bollywood

    After her roles in Tanu Weds Manu and Raanjhana, one would think Swara Bhaskar is happy with her lot in life. But the actress is of a different opinion. “I feel, unless I am mobbed on the streets, I haven’t arrived. There are just a handful of people who have achieved that kind of stardom,” says the Delhi-based actress. The dusky beauty has her hands full this year with three movies. First up is Mango, a rom-com, in which she plays a traffic police cop. “I play a cute girl who is a lot like Betty from the Archie comics. I’ve also got a makeover. I get to wear Western clothes instead of salwars,” she says. Then there is Machhli Jal Ki Rani Hai,a horror movie in which she plays the lead role, of a possessed  girl, and Ashwiny Iyer Tiwari’s directorial debut, Nil Battey Sannata, in which she plays a mother. “I was questioned a lot for taking up the role, but I struck a connection with the character,” says the actress, who admits to being choosy about her roles. “I read the script, but I’ve realised the director makes a huge difference to the movie,” says Bhaskar. So no first-timers, then? “Nil Battey… is with a new director and a smaller production house, but the script did the magic for me,” she says.

    Inner view
    “I am a very insecure actor,” continues Bhaskar, admitting that it took an effort to keep sane in the industry. “It took me a lot of time to think rationally. The industry is so competitive. It took me months to even compliment my co-star. I then realised that I was starting to lose myself. I attended talks and read a lot to get back in touch with myself,” she confesses. Coming from a non-film background, the actress believes that there is room for outsiders. “Look at Rajkummar Rao or Nawazuddin Siddiqui. Mumbai is a place that recognises talent,” points out Bhaskar, who is also a Bharatanatyam dancer.

    City of dreams
    Mumbai might be the city of glamour but Bhaskar took a while to catch up with it. “I used to make fun of girls who wore make-up to college. I used to wear only a little kajal. Mumbai gave me a tight slap. In fact, my first manicure was in this city,” smiles Bhaskar, confessing that she lacks socialising skills. “I am never at the right place with the right people. I hate clubs and I feel loud music should only be played at weddings.”

    Mango is scheduled to release in the first half of 2014.

    Mrinalini Sundar

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