Aayush Sharma on not doing enough films: It took me three months to digest the criticism after my debut


In an industry where actors are ensuring that they stay in audience’s memory by means of doing multiple projects in a year, Aayush Sharma has had quite a different journey. After made his Bollywood debut with LoveYatri (2018), the actor has done only one more project so far that too after a considerable time gap. Ask him the reason, and he reveals it’s not because of lack of scripts, but the response to the criticism that he received after his first film.

Aayush Sharma was last seen in Antim alongside Salman Khan.

“I got a lot of criticism for my acting in my debut film, and it seemed harsh. It took me three months to digest that, and my first response was to build a wall around myself,” he reveals, and continues, “When you come out in the public domain for the first time, you are sensitive to everything that’s being said. While a part of the criticism was constructive, some didn’t make sense. I do not want to name anybody, but someone said, ‘He looks like a girl and has an effeminate persona on screen’. That was difficult to take in.”

It was after some months of introspection that Sharma realised he needs to work more on himself. “I was very clear that if, I have to do something good, I cannot repeat my mistakes. I’d rather go back to the drawing board, train myself further for the next project. Therefore, I spent a good amount time, about eight months, working on the elements that were pointed out about my work,” shares the actor, whose second film, Antim: The Final Truth came out three years later in 2021.

The fact that Sharma was going to share screen space with his brother-in-law, Salman Khan, he admits there was too much pressure. “I knew it was going to be a very uphill task for me to be in the same frame as Salman Bhai, and I had to ready for it. That’s the reason I decided to take my time and prepare myself for almost three years,” recounts the 31-year-old.

After Antim, the actor says, he turned it into a habit to give enough time to preparation before shooting for the next project. “If I am starting something fresh, and investing my time in understanding the character, I want to work on the smallest of details like the hairstyle or dialect. My next film, Ruslan was locked even before Antim but I took my time to see the feedback, learn from it and grow. I don’t want to be in the rat race of delivering back to back movies,” he asserts, stating that for him, it’s essential to “grow with every project I do, as I’m not an actor who knows everything”.

Contrary to notions that Sharma is an industry insider being married to Khan’s sister, Arpita Khan Sharma, the actor, whose next film, Kwatha is yet to get a release date, says, “It was much later that I learned about how it’s not really all glitz and glamour. Today, I really want to go back and thank all those who criticised me, because they helped me channelise my energy in the right direction.”

However, not doing enough work and being away from the limelight has definitely affected his positioning in the industry. But, Sharma chooses to remain unperturbed. “I heard about being relevant and always being in news or trying to do something so that people can notice you. I remember a conversation where someone told me, ‘Do a film if you understand even 30% of the script. At least you will keep working that way.’ But I can’t do that,” he states, calling himself an introvert who doesn’t see “social media or public appearance as tools to uplift my positioning or my branding”.


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