Actor Priyasha Bhardwaj, who made a mark for herself as Sushmita Sen’s younger sister in the web series “Aarya”, says nepotism exists in the industry but there is no dearth of good work for newcomers.
Bhardwaj, who hails from the North East, will next be seen in “Mirzapur 2”, which starts streaming on Amazon Prime Video from October 23. "It is definitely there. (But) I am choosing the projects in such a way that it does not affect me. I gave 200 auditions, but got selected in only 40. However, I am earning enough to sustain myself. So, nepotism does not affect me. There is plenty of work in Mumbai,” she told PTI in an interview.
The actor said she is happy with the way her career is shaping up as she came to Mumbai not with the dream to become a heroine but to act. "If you crave only for one particular project or something specific, then nepotism will affect you. But I went there to act, not to become a heroine. So, I am happy. I am hoping that I will be able to dodge nepotism. When it comes to me, I will handle it," she added.
Bhardwaj, who has featured in dozens of ads including the 'Motherhood Stories' of UNICEF, said young people should come out and raise their voice to bring about a change in society. "I speak about myself like how it feels being from the North East. Unless young people come out, nothing will change... We should definitely speak on issues.”
The actor, who also featured in the web series "Kaafir" with Dia Mirza, has had her share of struggle when she faced a #MeToo kind of situation while doing theatre in Mumbai. She did not witness any casting couch from the Bollywood makers, she added.
"While rehearsing for a play in 2019 in Mumbai, a director had forcibly kissed me in the name of improvisation. There was no one at that moment in the rehearsal hall. I had resisted strongly to the situation at that time and the director later apologised to me," Bhardwaj added.
When asked about her preference for web shows over films, the actor said the new format attracts more eyeballs as it is rich in content. "There is a freedom to do such content in web series. A typical film with five-six songs is forgotten by people now. They understand the difference between good and bad acting. For me, the character, not the maker, matters while choosing a project," she added.
Bhardwaj, who has worked in English and Urdu theatre, said she has not tried hard for Bollywood films yet. "’Aarya’ is my biggest project so far and I played the role of Sushmita Sen's sister on the screen. Many of the dialogues and situations were extempore, but my theatre background helped me a lot," she added.
Bhardwaj said she eventually wants to return to her hometown Guwahati after 10-15 years to train underprivileged children in theatre. "I want to contribute to the society here in Guwahati. I want to teach the kids and other aspirants about theatre and acting. I want to work with them on clowns in theatre. With clowns, we typically think about the jokers seen in the circus. There is a difference in jokers with red noses. We can tell a story through comedy… I want to work on that in future," Bhardwaj said. PTI