Swara Bhaskar has created a niche for herself even by playing supporting roles in films like "Tanu Weds Manu" and "Raanjhanaa" and admits that every role that she has done so far had the potential to stereotype her.
"If you look at my career, every role that I have done has the potential to stereotype me," she told IANS on the sidelines of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2016.
"My first film was not 'Tanu Weds Manu' (released in 2011), but it was my first break. I played the heroine's friend in the film... I also played Salman Khan's sister (in 'Prem Ratan Dhan Payo') and in my latest film ('Nil Battey Sannata'), I played a mother of a grown-up girl," she said.
"So I think when you keep doing things which you are not supposed to do then how can people stereotype you. If you have broken all the rules then how will people say 'You can't do this or that'," she added.
Swara, however, feels that Bollywood appreciates talent and if you have that, you will find a space in the industry.
"I have been rejected on radio because of my voice. But I feel nothing is a boon or bane. The fact is that there are no set rules other than what you deserve. The best thing about Bollywood is talent is not hidden. People like Richa (Chadha), Nawaz (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), Irrfan (Khan) and Shah Rukh Khan... everyone has earned a spot in the industry," she told IANS.
Swara Bhaskar at the Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai on Friday; PTI
The actress is now set to break the convention with her role as a sex worker in "Anarkali Aarawali", for which she prepared really hard.
"It's not the world that I know anything about. I was not born and brought up in a village. I don't know anything about these stage performances of villages and their language, so I actually went there and saw these women, dancing in these kasbas. I did a lot of preparation for this film," she said.
She will be seen dancing "a lot in this film where I play a dancer".
"It's an out-and-out 'desi' glamorous avatar. So, I think this is the best way I can do an item number. I get to look glamorous and it's an amazing story with an amazing character," she shared.
Apart from this film , she is also doing a web series.
"I think the digital space is a very exciting space. It's also an intimate space because you are enjoying digital content at your home, in your bedroom in the night with your earphones on. It's very personal and I am excited about this intimacy. I am excited about this new audience that I perhaps won't see in my films," she said.
She has also written a script.
"Right now, it's on the scripting stage, so I need to attach a director, producer and all. It's a love story and it's like a 'Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam' meets 'Omkara' kind of project," she said.
(The writer is in Mumbai at the invitation of LFW organisers. Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)