‘It is a big industry, someone will believe in you’: Nushrratt Bharuccha

Nushrratt Bharuccha chats about Janhit Mein Jaari, Chhorri 2 and keeping it ‘real and believable’.

Published: 08th June 2022 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th June 2022 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

Hindi film actor Nushrratt Bharuccha (Photo | Nushrat Bharucha Instagram)

Hindi film actor Nushrratt Bharuccha (Photo | Nushrat Bharucha Instagram)

Express News Service

Nushrratt Bharuccha has been around for longer than you think. Her early roles, as trivia buffs would know, were in the television serials Kittie Party and Seven. She made a quiet Hindi film debut, in Jai Santoshi Maa (2006), and found wider recognition only a few years later. She’s worked with directors as far-ranging as Dibakar Banerjee (Love Sex Aur Dhokha), Luv Ranjan (Pyaar Ka Punchnama, Akaash Vani, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety), Pawan Kripalani (Darr@ the Mall) and Hansal Mehta (Chhalaang). Her 2021 film, Chhorii, was a ‘solo lead’ — a term almost exclusively reserved for actresses breaking out of second-fiddle roles in mainstream Bollywood.

‘Solo lead’ is probably how you would also describe Janhit Mein Jaari, written and produced by Raaj Shaandilyaa. Releasing in theatres this week, the film stars Nushrratt as a small-town girl who finds employment as a condom saleswoman. The film was shot in Chanderi, in Madhya Pradesh, a seemingly strenuous shoot where Nushrratt injured her leg (“I’ve recovered now”).
We spoke to Nushrratt about abortion rights in India, completing twenty years in the acting biz, being genre-agnostic and why she’d probably never produce a film.

Did Raaj offer you Janhit during the time of Dream Girl (2019)?

Yes. We were shooting Dream Girl when our conversation of Janhit started in a funny way. Raaj was giving a lot of one-liners and jokes to the men in the film. So I was like, ‘Give me a few lines too’. He laughed and said why a line, I’ll give you an entire film. Soon after, he narrated the concept of a girl who gets married while working for a condom company. Instead of going against her in-laws, who don’t approve of her job, she tries to keep the family together while doing her own thing.

The trailer associates lack of contraception with illegal abortions. It seems to put the onus on safe sex and not on progressive abortion laws. Because we don’t have a legal system where women can get an abortion solely at will, unless it meets certain criteria, people end up doing illegal abortions. The risk to life is more in those situations. We are saying that it’s better to use protection and not put yourself in (an unsafe) position.
Of course, the choice to do what you want with your body should lie with the individual. But you can’t take away what the regulators in a population as complex as ours are dealing with. 

Counting Ram Setu, you’ve been in 20 films by now. How does that feel? 

I feel I’ve grown a lot with each film. I have learned this job completely on sets. No one ever sat me down in a workshop and taught me how to act. I have equipped myself with skills that I picked up in a practical way. That’s been my modus operandi-to recognise a situation and find my own way around it. It’s also helped to work with so many creative people with their own distinct visions for a film. 

You also hop genres pretty comfortably.

Even now, I don’t understand the idea of a sure-shot, commercial, tried-and-tested formula film. If I think like that, no new thought will occur to me. For instance, I did horror with Chhorii, which is not a genre that gets picked up easily. It was a first for all of us. Also, after the pandemic, it’s become hard to predict what people are watching. So I’m open to everything.

Have you ever considered producing?

My parents produced a TV show (Kanho Banyo Common Man) for Colors Gujarati. During that time, there were conversations if I’d like to get into producing as well. But then Sonu Ke Titu Ki Sweety was released and I had no time left to do anything else. If I ever produce, I will have to stop my acting career, because that department also deserves the same time and attention. I can’t do both at once.

What’s happening with Chhorri 2?

Vishal (Furia, director) is still writing it. I have no clue what he has in mind. I didn’t even ask when he announced the sequel. I’m sure that like the first film, it will be something he really believes in. 

What’s been your survival mantra down the years?

There are two, one for acting and one for navigating the film industry. For acting, I feel you don’t need to overdo a character just to be ‘different’ or ‘fresh’. Maybe the character deserves something simple. You just have to make it real and believable, even if it means being a little flat. About the film industry, I feel it’s a big place. Someone somewhere will believe in you. You just need to find that person. And if you don’t, then you become that person for yourself.


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