Fatima Sana Shaikh on her #MeToo story: It happened when I was very young

first_img Samrudhi Ghosh New DelhiApril 3, 2019UPDATED: April 3, 2019 21:36 IST Fatima Sana Shaikh at her candid best.Fatima Sana Shaikh burst on the Bollywood scene in 2017, with Nitesh Tiwari’s sports drama Dangal. Her nuanced performance won plaudits from the critics as well as the audience.In a freewheeling chat with IndiaToday.in, Fatima gets candid about her struggle, her upcoming projects and dealing with trolls.Excerpts:Q. You are working with Rajkummar Rao in Anurag Basu’s next, which is rumoured to be a sequel of Life In A Metro. What has the experience been like?A. It’s not a sequel, but it has got four stories like Life In A Metro. It’s a crime drama and so it is different.It was amazing. I have known Raj even before Dangal and he has not changed a bit. He is a great actor, I have got to learn a lot from him. He is very passionate about his work and very dedicated. I’m very glad to finally get the chance to work with him.Basu sir, I have been a fan from before. I loved Barfi and Life In A Metro. When he told me about this film and offered me the role, I did not even ask for the story because I just wanted to work with him. It did not matter how big or small the role was. For me, working with him was really exciting. I had a great time shooting.Q. You have signed Pawan Kripalani’s Bhoot Police with Saif Ali Khan. Horror comedy is not a widely explored genre in Bollywood…A. I really liked the director and I enjoyed watching his film Phobia. I don’t do a film according to the genre that it is. I just go by my instint with the script. Personally jo mujhe excite karta hai, main wohi karti hoon.advertisementQ. In a recent interview, you said that you faced many rejections before Dangal because you did not look like Deepika Padukone or Katrina Kaif. What has the struggle been like?A. I never thought so much about it. I really enjoyed acting and wanted to work. Theek hai, kuch log bol dete hai ki, ‘Nahi, you’re not good enough.’ But that didn’t demotivate me, I kept on doing what I enjoyed. If I could be in front of the camera for an audition, I was okay with it. I used to feel really bad but aisa nahi hai ki I used to think constantly about it or I felt demotivated. That wasn’t the case because I really enjoyed the process.Q. While your very first film Dangal was a massive blockbuster, Thugs Of Hindostan did not quite live up to expectations. Having experienced success and failure at the beginning of your career, do you think it has matured you as a person and as an artiste?A. I don’t know if it has matured me as an actor because the more work you do, you get better. I have just done two films. As a person, I feel you do mature with time, be it failure or success.Generally, our work becomes our life. The only thing that is important. To me, that is it how it is, at least for now. So I do get affected by it. I don’t know if it has matured me but I appreciate my work more.To be honest, I really enjoyed the process. Aisa nahi hai ki film chali nahi hai toh main bohot upset hoon ya main sochti hoon ki maine yeh film kyun ki. Main abhi bhi bohot khush hoon ki maine yeh film ki hai aur mujhe experience karne mila. Everbody has been lovely.Q. You recently said that the superstar era ended a long time ago. As someone who has worked closely with superstars like Aamir Khan and Amitabh Bachchan, do you think that there is an instinctive quality that makes a superstar?A. At the time that they were stars, we did not have social media. It was very difficult to approach stars and know about their lives. The only way we could know about them was if they gave an interview to a magazine. Otherwise, woh log din bhar kya karte hai humein pata nahi tha. The fact that they were so unapproachable makes it a little more special when you get to see them. Of course, their body of work as well. But I think the fact that now, we are just a fingertip away. Logon ko Instagram se pata chalta hai ki humein kya pasand hai, kya nahi pasand hai, hum kahaan jaa rahe hai. So, the era is different.advertisementQ. Trolling has become a huge menace, especially if you are a star. How do you deal with the nasty comments being made about you?A. If you comment mean things on my profile, of course I’m going to block you! Why should I entertain nasty comments? I do not get affected anymore, I laugh at them. I think they give me a lot of importance by writing something down or thinking about me. I think they are just petty people. Sadistic log hai. Unko mazaa aata hai doosron ko chot pohocha ke. Saamne woh log bolenge nahi.Q. You recently talked about a #MeToo experience. Were you hinting at the existence of the casting couch in Bollywood?A. It was about a personal experience. I think people have misunderstood the #MeToo movement if they restrict it only to the film industry. It’s not only ki film industry mein aisi cheez hoti hai. Har job mein hoti hai. Jo mere saath hua hai, woh bohot pehle hua hai. Aisa nahi hai ki Dangal ke time hua hai ya uske baad. It happened when I was very young. I think people assuming that it’s very current and wondering why I am not talking about it… that’s a lot of expectation. Every woman in our country has dealt with it and I’m sure not everyone wants to talk about it publicly.Q. As a public figure, how do you deal with insecurities? Do you internalise them?I think basic insecurities sabko hoti hai, ki am I good enough or not, or about my career. But that’s a very personal thing and it’s not related to the kind of reaction I get from people anymore, except for appreciation for my work. Because we make films for people and if people don’t like you, it’s very disheartening. But if people judge me for my personal choices, I ignore it. Logon ka kaam hai bolna, woh bolenge.Q. Anurag Basu’s next will see you reuniting with your Dangal co-star Sanya Malhotra. Since the beginning of your careers, the two of you have been constantly pitted against each other. Has that affected your equation?A. Actually, it has had no impact on our friendship kyunki hum toh hanste hai. Hum random articles dekhte hai aur sochte hai, ‘Waah! Kya angle socha hai logon ne!’ It’s amazing! It’s always nice to be around her and I love her for the person that she is. She is such a great actor. I really enjoy being around her and working with her has always been fun. Unfortunately, we do not have many scenes together so it’s not like we are working together in the film but she is somebody I really love and appreciate. I am happy that she is in my life.Q. Are there any directors on your wishlist that you really want to work with?Sriram Raghavan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Vishal Bhardwaj, Zoya Akhtar… They are making such great films and I would love to work with them.advertisementALSO SEE: Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra’s sultry dance moves leave internet breathlessALSO SEE: Varun Dhawan and Fatima Sana Shaikh’s sizzling photoshoot sets internet on fireALSO WATCH: All you need to know about Aamir Khan’s reel daughters, Fatima Sana Shaikh and Sanya MalhotraGet real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Tags :Follow Fatima Sana Shaikh Fatima Sana Shaikh on her #MeToo story: It happened when I was very youngFatima Sana Shaikh was at her candid best about her Bollywood journey, trolls and #MeToo in an exclusive interview with IndiaToday.inadvertisementlast_img read more