Bollywood Town

I have learned a lot from my father: Utkarsh Sharma

August 31, 2018 Yogesh Mishra

Utkarsh Sharma debuted from film GENIUS. He is the son of  ‘Gadar’ fame director Anil Sharma who is also the director of ‘Genius’. He has worked in blockbuster movie ‘Gadar-Ek Prem Katha’ as a child artist. He has a lot of expectations from his debut film. He wants to explore himself in various characters and wants to engage himself fully in works. In an exclusive interview with Yogesh Mishra, he spoke about his debut film ‘Genius’, working experience with his father Anil Sharma, future plans and more. 

How much does it matter for you to debut with Anil Sharma like a renowned director?

Keeping aside that he is my father, its actually the biggest opportunity for me to work with Anil Sharma. I am thankful to God that I got this opportunity. I have learned a lot from my father while working with him. He himself is an institution. Such kind of director can’t do anything wrong because of their name and brand image. He will never spoil his name to make me a hero. This was one of the biggest opportunity for me to work with him and I have given my best.

Was the debut with ‘Genius’ your own dream or pre-planned by your father?

It was not pre-planned, but I thought of doing some good character-roles. Before I went to America, my father had taken my several auditions publicly. So, decision was taken that I would be an actor. If I would have started my career with some other director, then perhaps industry may have felt right. But when my father told me that he wants to take me in this film not because I am his son but this film has such a challenging character and this will be a challenge for any actor. With this, I can prove my abilities. Somewhere even I had a concern that perhaps I may not get a chance with such kind of a director for my debut. Debut matters a lot for any actor and for a newcomer like me, perhaps there cannot be a bigger launchpad than this. 

    I asked my father, why this script only? He said ‘this is about youth’. He wanted to say something about the country. As we know there are always flavours of patriotism in his films. He wanted to convey the message that our today’s youth might believe in fashion, clothing etc. but somewhere youth strongly believes and love our country as well from inside.

Were you comfortable doing romantic scenes in front of your father?

On set I treat him as a director. You have to act considering the audience because the audience does not know whether your father was there on set or not. That time you are living in your character. I would like to share an incident. When I reached on set, the choreographer told me that the actress will come and kiss you on cheek. Suddenly I felt about nose. When I saw on monitor, I saw that she just touched her nose and left. When I turned back, I saw my father and choreographer were laughing at me. That time I felt Ohh I am doing this scene in front of my father and this scene is not perfect so I will have to give a retake. We did one more take then I suddenly saw that writer and others were laughing at me. Finally we did 7-8 retakes for perfection. When that take got finalised after that my mother came on set. Our photographer went to my mother and says ‘what a fantastic photography I have done’ and started showing those photographs of my kissing scenes. I was looking at the expression of my mother, even she was shocked. She was not aware about this scene. After all, being an Indian there will be some awkwardness while doing romantic scenes in front of your parents because of our values and culture but somewhere we are an actor so will have to do it if the story demands.

If you were not the son of Director Anil Sharma, even then, you think you would be an actor only?

If I was not the son of him (Anil), then I don’t know in how much time I would have got the exposure towards films. Somewhere my father has played an important role in whatever I am today. Whatever my father does, be it scripting or anything else, he used to take opinion of the family members. So no doubt, because of him, I could discover myself. But still I could have been a part of the film industry because my inclination was always towards films. I feel happy to be a part of this industry in whatever way. 

What have you learned from your father while working in ‘Genius’?

Professionally what I have learned is that as an actor when you are playing any role, that time it’s very important to go through that emotion genuinely. There are two types of acting, one is when we are doing some act, other is when act comes out of our realisation from within. Our expression becomes natural when you feel the character from within.

What are you expecting after the release of ‘Genius’?

I want to explore myself in various characters. I want to engage myself fully in works.

Some tricks and techniques are used to seduce a girl in the film. How many such techniques have you used in real life to seduce a girl?

So far I have not done any such things so I can’t tell you about this. (Laughs...)

You have not done it or you don’t want to tell?

Honestly I have not used any such techniques.

Since now you are aware about many techniques to seduce a girl through this film so given a chance would you like to implement any of them in real life?

I would like to use one technique from this film. There is a scene where I send an ice cake to a girl where it was written on the cake ‘Lets break the ice before it melts’. I think that’s a good ice breaker. Any girl will think that that boy is a genius and even looks nice so maybe she can favour.

As a child artist, how was your working experience with ‘Gadar-Ek Prem Katha’?

I was hardly five years old when I did Gadar-Ek Prem Katha. I remember, I had taken 3 to 4 months leave from my school to work in Gadar. I did so many real stunts and those moments are still in my heart. After that I can’t say that I wanted to become an actor but yes, that world really attracted me a lot. Actually Gadar happened by chance. That time my father was not able to find a kid for that role meanwhile Ameesha ji (Ameesha Patel) suggested him to take me for that role. This is how it happened. She used to come to my home for rehearsal so I had a special attachment with her.

Did your schooling get hampered because of ‘Gadar’?

Yes, it happened a little. That time, I was in Sr. KG. It did not get hampered much because that was also a Summer vacation after completion of my Sr. KG. I missed a little portion of my 1st Standard, but that’s fine. 

When ‘Gadar-Ek Prem Katha’ became a Super hit of the time, what was next for you?

I worked in few more movies of my father. Most of the time it has happened that there were no child artists, so I had been taken to play those small roles. Thus, I was regularly connected with films. When my father gave narration, I used to listen to him carefully. Even I used to give my tips. After the 10th Standard, I got an opportunity to assist my father in the Salman Khan starrer ‘Veer’. That time I was hardly 15 years old. That time we were shooting in London. My intention was not to assist him but my board exam just happened and that time I was free. There were very less assistants that time, so looking at the situation I thought of helping him. I was taking care of continuity and clapping. I learned a lot from the shooting of ‘Veer’. When Salman comes on set, he transforms himself into an actor. This inspired me so much that time. That time only, I decided to become an actor. I think only actors have blessings to live so many lives together. That’s why my inclination went towards acting.

If Gadar-2 will be planned then would you like to be part of it?

I can’t say anything right now about Gadar part-2.

Who is your favourite actor in Bollywood?

Dilip Kumar Ji.

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