Anuj Sharma, the versatile actor from Haryana, who is more of an environmentalist shares his dreams, plans, struggle and comeback as when he was about to give up, how his father encouraged him that a fighter’s son can’t accept failure and he bounced back from there. Here are some of the abstract from his interaction with Sanjana
Sanjana: How would you like yourself to be introduced to our readers, please tell something about yourself.
Anuj: I am a simple ordinary man doing his work like every person does. I always wanted to be an actor. I feel this is an art which was within me, and every person in this world is having something in himself. I choose this as a career so I became an actor, many friends of mine became doctor engineer etc.
Sanjana: If you were not an actor, what would you have chosen?
Anuj: Becoming an actor was my only dream. I always saw acting as a career nothing else. I am from Haryana. We are small townies, when a child is born you can ask their parent, what he is going to become. Till 10th standard I never thought of what I want to become. Parents chose a school for me and I went there to study. And when I was mature enough to think about my career, so like every other person, I also wanted to become like my father. He was a fighter pilot in air force. So, I also wanted to be a fighter pilot, but I don’t know how this thought came into my mind that, let’s go and become an actor. I was a child when I went to a movie set, to see shoot and that attracted me. Since my younger days only I Wanted to do something for this planet, I love this planet. Every person has come here to do something in his life, so do I have. I want this earth to be beautiful, healthy, so I thought If I am an actor, then people may listen to me. A single person cannot make a change, you need a gathering for it. There are only few ways, by which everyone will listen to you. Either you are a politician, an actor or a person, whom everyone wants to listen. People listen to actors more than they listen to politicians.
Sanjana: As you said you love this planet. Do you have any plan to make it more beautiful as lockdown did?
Anuj: Well Sanjana! according to me lockdown was bad financially but nice environmentally. Previously our demands and wishes were less, so everyone was happy, but now the luxury has become basic. There is a dialogue for this “meri zarurate kam hai, isiliye meri baat mei dum hai”. Our demands are so high that is why we are facing financial issues. In lockdown we were living happily so normally also they can. Many workers went back to their native town and now it’s time for them to get it that, they should work there only until and unless their work demands reallocation. Like for acting you have to come to Mumbai, so your work is like this. Then you should come here otherwise not. Because I have seen it myself that small townies come to Mumbai in search of job, but they manage to earn to for living, they are always in a hand to mouth situation. So, this you can get in your town also, why to come so far and if your dream is so big, then fight for it.
Also, there is a message I would want to give, that every person should plant a tree, and I always say this in my speeches that “jis admi ne ped nahi lagaya use antim sanskar ki lakdi ka haq nahi hai”. Technology is so advance and we should use it, but with that we should plant a tree for sure.
Sanjana: Great lines with a deep meaning. So, what are your upcoming projects?
Anuj: Well, last year I was doing only shootings and shootings. Nothing got released. There were 5 web series, in which I worked during lockdown. They got released one by one. Which were 26/ 11, Andekhi, Special Ops, Scotland and Madhuri Talkies. Well-known Russian director, producer and film maker Lika Krylaeva messaged me on Instagram. She was not good with English or Hindi and I didn’t know Russian, but we managed to communicate somehow, she expressed, that she wants to make a web series, in which every actor is in their home. So, she picked actor from different countries and we did the shoot online, on zoom. The good thing about that web series was that I made a foot print in international project. People all around the world know me, some are from Italy, Russia Colombia, Germany, Georgia and few from Hollywood. ‘Karantino’ is the name of the series and that’s a nice series to watch.
Sanjana: So, you what to pursue your career in Bollywood or you are thinking about moving to Hollywood or something new.
Anuj: That’s a very simple question to answer. Every person wants to go to the top level. When I was in Haryana, I wanted to top there, then I moved to Delhi and I wanted to top in theatre, then I moved to Mumbai and now also I want to be a top actor. I am an actor, countries, international boundaries don’t matter to me. What matter to me is my acting. So, if it is Bollywood or Hollywood, I just want to have a decent and nice platform. I believe that my project should be a family entertainment. I believe, a cinema represents its country. If I am in America and I am watching an Indian show then, I will make a perception that Indians are like this only. Because when I watch American series then I feel they are very intelligent people, they make marvelous cinema. They work on mars; nature and they always try to think beyond. So, I only want to do good projects regardless of which country it is.
Sanjana: Are there any upcoming projects or plan?
Anuj: There are something in pipeline. During lockdown I worked on myself, I do write as well, so I worked on that too. Let my projects get finalized, then I will tell you about it, firstly let it come on floor.
Sanjana: Have lockdown affected you financially or emotionally?
Anuj: Honestly, I loved this lockdown. I feel sorry for people who were suffering, but personally it was good for me. I was only worried about my parents who live in Haryana. They live with my brother and I live here with my wife and son. I just wanted them to be healthy and safe. But personally, it was good for me I got time to spend with my family. I have done a web series during lockdown. I admire the way they work. I got chance to know, how they plan and implement their ideas. I did an online Russian theatre workshop as well.
I learned a lot from my son, his name is Kanha. I lived my childhood again. He is just 9 years old and He is an amazing learner. He speaks Sanskrit very fluently. He taught me there is nothing tough in the world if you want to learn something. And I enjoyed with him. He is an open-minded child. So got this from him that we should always let our mind generate new thought and we should enjoy every bit of it.
Sanjana: How was your journey in Bollywood. What do you like most, working in web series or cinema?
Anuj: My journey was very nice. I noticed that you have to give time here. If you are from a Bollywood background or your family is ready to invest a huge money on you then may be, you get an easy path otherwise you have to work very hard to get there where you want. My family investment was their time. Whatever I have done, will leave a legacy or my kids, if they want to work in the same field. I feel nepotism is everywhere, because “beta vahi karta hai jo baap karta hai”. I feel blessed that god gave me so many years to work on myself. People say Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Pankaj Tripathi, Irfan Khan took so many years to achieve a level in Bollywood. But I feel those years were the investments, whose return they are getting now. If in the beginning they would have got name and fame than they wouldn’t have respected that thing but now they do. Bhagwat Geeta says “Sahi vyakti vo hai jisse dhukh mei na dukh ho, sukh mei na sukh ho”. So, struggle makes you so fine that you are always ready to face everything. If I get an award today. It is going to be very normal for me because that is the return of my investment. I am never going to get madly happy.
When Leonardo De Caprio got Oscar, he kept it on the floor and was busy on his phone, because that doesn’t matter to him. In his whole speech he talked about nature, his posts are always on nature so I loved him because to that.
I want to convey one thing through this medium that who so ever wants to come in this line should come with full preparation. Half knowledge is more dangerous than no knowledge.