MUMBAI — Her ‘Ada’ (style) is sparkling: she is vivacious, a go-getter, funky, more than a little crazy, full of fun.
She began her career with the 2008 hit “1920,” and when I mention that I have watched her since that film but never met her earlier, she simply says, “So we have known each other for 100 years!”
Adah Sharma packed a solid punch when she enacted the Hyderabad cop with great aplomb in “Commando 2” a few years ago, a role she reprises in the forthcoming “Commando 3.”
Right now, she is in “Bypass Road” mode, as the mysterious woman who meets her harangued boss (Neil Nitin Mukesh) after which many changes come into his life. “That’s all I can reveal!” she says about a thriller whodunit in which “everyone is a suspect!” The film releases Nov.1.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: You have done such a variety of films, proved yourself as a rocking talent, have what it takes. Why aren’t you in the big league?
A: Since I do not have an actress mom or an actor father, and no one knew me when I tried entering the film industry, and my social skills then were zero, it’s a big deal that I got anywhere at all! If I had approached filmmakers, I probably would not have made it. Luckily, there were auditions that I could give, like with my first film, and I continued to believe in my huge talent and potential.
Q: And “Commando 2?” How did that happen? Especially the hilarious Hyderabadi cop act?
A: Again, there was an audition with Deven (Bhojani)-sir and Vipul (Amrutlal Shah)-sir. At that time, I had just done two Telugu films, “Kshanam” (based on which “Baaghi 2” was made) and “Garam,” which were released around the same week and did very well. Deven-sir told me that I had to play a Haryanvi cop. I happened to mimic my Hyderabadi make-up artiste to them during our meeting. A week later, they called me and said that Haryanvi cops were done many times, so I was to play a Hyderabadi cop instead. And they had rewritten my lines.
Q: All the more reason that you deserve big time. I just watched your cat pillow Radha’s antics on Instagram.
A: Yes, we both don’t have ancestors in cinema. Like the cat pillow, I can’t change my parents and get a new set of them! But the pillow has gotten really famous. She has a verified Instagram account, and when I attend events, the people there ask for her. Radha is also debuting in a movie named “Nepotism Rocks.”
Q: You have had good work down South and digitally.
A: Yeah, I have done “Charlie Chaplin 2” with Prabhudheva, and the period film “Kalki.” “Holiday” was my debut web series.
Q: What next after “Bypass Road?”
A: “Commando 3,” of course, and then a second season of “Holiday.” There is a short film called “Tinde,” and some more announcements will happen. Finally, there is “Man to Man,” in which I play a man.
Q: A man!
A: Yeah, it’s a romantic comedy in which a man falls in love with a girl and then finds out that she or he is a man! Abhir Sengupta, who has directed many Bengali films, makes his Hindi debut.
Q: You are quite a star on social media.
A: It’s a great medium in which you can put out stuff without having to interact with anyone. Like Radha.
Q: Did you actually go to Paris to shoot your video of the re-created “So Gaya Yeh Jahaan?”
A: (Laughs) No, no! Imagine Neil and Naman sending me there just for it! I was there shooting for a campaign when the song was released here. So I made the video.
Q: How was the experience of shooting with the Mukesh brothers?
A: They are real cool, very nice boys. Neil, who has been in the industry for ages, first as a child artiste and then as an assistant director, has a lot of knowledge of so many things. I enjoyed myself. The role was really good, and I feel like doing any film in any genre, if that happens. I go by intuition, no set logic. They wanted me for the film, and I did not have the dates, but they were both so sweet they waited for me. I remember that I landed from my London schedule of “Commando 3” one night, and started shooting for “Bypass Road” the very next day.
Q: What is your take on “So Gaya Yeh Jahaan?”
A: It’s a nice song. Neil’s father is the original singer. We have converted the song into a club number. I love songs in general. I still think that a convincingly done lip-sync song can remain forever.
Q: How is the OTT (digital) platform compared to a film in scale and budgets?
A: There are no pros and cons. “Holiday” was made like a big film, it had 10 episodes of 20 minutes each, which is like a single long film of 200 minutes. We shot for 30 days in Mauritius. Today, thanks to OTT, we can be braver, as there is no Friday release or no constraints of box-office. Standards have gone up, as we are watching films from around the world, and have to live up to the international space.