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Sharman Joshi talks about playing Raghav in Kafas and his enthusiasm for web series in Bollywood. – TheFantasyTimes

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By Jitin Gambhir

Bollywood | Sharman Joshi on being Raghav in Kafas and why web shows excite him

Sharman Joshi, known for his notable performances in films like Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, and Golmaal, has been featuring in various web shows lately. His latest project is Coffee on SonyLIV, where he portrays a father struggling with the price of silence. In an exclusive interview with t2, Sharman talks about his experience working on the show.

When asked if Coffee was one of the most compelling projects he has received in recent times, Sharman replied with a resounding “Hundred per cent.” The script was written so well that he was hooked from the very beginning. Despite thinking that the story would take a predictable turn, Sharman found the plot to be beautifully written and is grateful to be a part of Coffee. He expressed his thanks to Mukesh Chhabra, the casting director who also acts in Coffee, for casting him in the show. Sharman and Mukesh go way back, having worked together on Rang De Basanti (2006). It’s funny that Mukesh and Abhishek Banerjee, who also acts in Coffee, were both in Rang De Basanti, Sharman chuckles.

Regarding his role as Raghav, Sharman said that web shows provided actors with more opportunities to explore their characters and emotions. The writing in Coffee allowed him to portray complex and soul-stirring emotions that only a parent could feel, which he had not explored in a long time. Despite the heavy subject matter, Sharman found making Coffee to be a joyous experience.

Sharman has yet to watch Dark Money, the British series on which Coffee is based. However, he was told by the director, Sahil Sangha, that Coffee has been adapted to blend into the Indian context and is different from the original show.

When asked about what excites him as an actor now, Sharman expressed his enthusiasm for web shows. Long-format storytelling has allowed everyone in the creative business to do so much more and produce content that is being compared to the best in the world. As makers and actors, they cannot afford to compromise in any aspect or department if they want the viewer, who is exposed to world-class content, to tune in to what they make.

Sharman has received a lot of love from the audience as an actor in films, and now he is looking for the same kind of acceptance and love in the web space while exploring newer things to do. He acknowledges that there is a lot of content on the web, and not all of it is of the best quality. As an actor, he believes that every kind of content, if made and marketed correctly, will eventually find its audience.

When asked if he had watched anything recently that he considered clutter-breaking, Sharman mentioned Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo, which he found quirky and fun.

Sharman Joshi, who has had many a credible film (Rang De Basanti, 3 Idiots, Golmaal) has been a part of quite a few web shows lately. His latest is coffeeon SonyLIV, in which he plays a father burdened by the price of silence. A t2 chat with Sharman.

Would you count coffee as one of the most compelling projects that you have been offered in recent times?

x

Hundred per cent. It’s written so well. When I began reading the script, I was instantly hooked and that continued for the next couple of episodes. I kept thinking to myself, ‘ab toh gire ga‘, but, according to me, there is not a single false note in the plot. It’s beautifully written and I am so glad that I am part of coffee. I am thankful to Mukesh Chhabra (casting director, who also acts in coffee) for casting me in this show. He and I go as far back as Rang De Basanti (2006). The funny thing is that both Mukesh and Abhishek Banerjee (casting director and actor) acted in Rang De Basanti (smiles).

What did you have to tap into to play a man as complex as Raghav?

These are great times for actors. Films allow only that much scope and time for an actor to explore a character. In a web show, playing out over six-seven episodes, there is much more in the writing for an actor to chew into and then perform. coffee has given me great satisfaction as an actor.

The writing gave me the scope to portray some very complex as well as soul-stirring emotions that only a parent can feel. It allowed me to tap into parts of me as an actor that I hadn’t explored in a long time. And though the subject matter is heavy, making coffee was truly a joyous experience for me.

Have you watched Dark Moneythe British series on which coffee is based?

No. But Sahil (Sangha, director) told me that coffee is anyway very different from that show and has been adapted to blend into the Indian context.

What excites you as an actor now?

Web shows. Long-format storytelling has really upped the game and given everyone in the creative business so much scope to do so much more. The quality of content we make in India today is being compared to the best in the world, which our audiences have already watched from the comfort of their homes. If we want the viewer, who is exposed to world-class content, to tune in to what we make, then as makers and actors we cannot afford to make any kind of compromise in any aspect or any department.

In films, I have received a lot of love from the audience as an actor. And now I am looking at the web for the same kind of acceptance and love, while I try and explore newer things to do.

There is a lot of content on the web, we have a few releases almost every week, many of which are not of the best quality. As an actor, is it possible for you to ensure that you do as much clutter-breaking work as possible?

Like people make their choices about which film to watch in the theatre on a Friday, they also decide what to watch first on the web, what to watch later or not watch at all. Even as a viewer myself, there are so many shows that I start watching and then leave midway.

As actors, when we get a script, it may be written very well, but how it ultimately turns out is not in our hands. But I also believe that every kind of content, if made and marketed correctly, will eventually find its audience.

Anything that you watched recently that you would count as clutter-breaking?

I thought Saas Bahu Aur Flamingo was quirky and fun.

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