In her early 20s, Nausheen Ali Sardar, the lead actress of Kkusum, has seen success coming to her like God's blessings after she was chosen to play the lead role in Ekta Kapoor's daily soap, currently airing on Sony Entertainment Television.
Nausheen, a commerce graduate from MM College, Mumbai is not quite your regular girl next door. Born to a Punjabi Muslim father and an Iranian mother who have nothing to do with art or the industry, Nausheen was always been inclined towards acting and remembers her school days as being filled with extracurricular activities such as elocution competitions and fancy dress. Once she left school, she started modeling, which she did for two years, chalking up several prestigious ad films against her name, the Close Up toothpaste ad being her first.
Nausheen's first video album was for Remo Fernandes - Ocean Queen. But she really got recognized after she featured in Altaf Raja's famous Pehle to Kabhi Kabhi Gum Tha. Since then she's done Star Best Sellers, X-Zone; anchored music shows for etc and a serial on national broadcaster Doordarshan for Farha Khan.
Nausheen Ali Sardar spoke to Gurpreet Tathgur on her role of Kkusum, her future plans and what she thinks about acting. Excerpts:
What brought you to acting?
I think acting was in my blood and I am very committed to it. I like to emote and I am always transparent. I don't act, I just feel. Acting is like oxygen to me and I love it.
Do you follow any particular genre of acting?
As a person I don't like to do the same thing. If I do too much of comedy at the it gets too boring. The same goes with emotional roles or any other role. I like to be versatile in what I do. I don't follow any particular genre of acting. I like to try my hand at all kinds of roles.
What do you think goes into being a successful actor?
One should be very hardworking and committed to his or her work. Alertness and versatility really count. One has to learn how to get into the mind of the character that he or she is playing
'Alertness and versatility really count. One has to learn how to get into the mind of the character that he or she is playing'
Do you adhere to a given script or do you experiment?
I have a mutual understanding with the director and if I am not comfortable with a given scene then I feel free to approach the director with my problem and sometimes I do go beyond it as acting comes naturally to me.
Who are your favorite actors?
My favourite actress is Nandita Puri. She is always encouraging and helpful. She is just excellent on screen
How did you get this role?
There was a nationwide audition for the role of Kkusum. I went for the screen test and got selected.
What made you accept the offer?
It was a role of "the girl next door" and I quite identify with the role. I believe in quality and not quantity and I really like the role.
How do you feel after taking it up?
When I got the role people kept telling me that I didn't know what I had got and they said that you have got the cake...the best role of the serial. But for me it was just another role. And as I started working on my character, shooting everyday I realized indeed it was the best and I'm really happy to have got it and the way Kkusum's character has developed.
As an actor what is important to you before taking up an assignment?
Most important for me is the story. I also see who the director is, the set up of the serial and the role. The cameraman is also one of the things I keep in my mind. It also makes a lot of difference which channel the serial is going to be aired on.
What do you look for in a script?
I always see what weight the script has. Why a particular thing is happening, what has happened before and what will happen after that. These things are vitally important to me.
How different are you from the character of Kkusum that you play?
I closely identify myself with the role of Kkusum but I would never accept my husband back after what Abhay (onscreen husband) has done to Kkusum.
Do you often feel it would have been better if you had acted out a scene in a different way?
I never feel that way. If I have any problem in acting out a particular scene I talk to the director and discuss my problem with him.
'Most important for me is the story. I also see who the director is, the set up of the serial and the role'
Do you approach the director and discuss your doubts?
Most certainly I always do.
Were you always serious about acting?
Since my childhood I was always inclined towards acting. I remember my school days were filled with extracurricular activities such as elocution competitions, dramas and fancy dress.
What is your approach towards acting?
Acting is like action - reaction for me. I need a good actor opposite me. If he or she acts well, I will react.
How would you define Kkusum?
Kkusum is hardworking, has a lot of self-respect. She has no ego and is a typical Indian woman who thinks about everyone but herself.
How would you describe Nausheen?
Nausheen would think about herself first. In the end all that matters to her is that she should be happy.
Were would you want to be in the next few years?
I am satisfied with my work at present. I don't believe in planning things in advance as plans usually flop.
Your dream role?
I would love to play a mute girl's role where I will have to communicate through my eyes and facial expressions.
How do you perceive the television industry as a medium?
Television has a wider audience and reaches more people. Every house has a television and the end of the day the family sits and watches TV. It is the best and the most widespread form of communication.
What about acting do you dislike?
mmmmm….acting? I don't dislike anything about acting. Acting gives me a very good high!
What goes into enacting a character? How easy or difficult is it to act?
Your hard work and dedication goes into enacting a particular character. The only difficulty is being what you are not. If I'm sad and I have to enact a very happy scene it gets a bit difficult.
'If I'm sad and I have to enact a very happy scene it gets a bit difficult'
|A Still from KKusum
What according to you made the character of Kkusum so popular for the viewers?
She is today's woman-independent, hard working… an all-rounder. She is a superwoman. That's what people like in her and that is the sole reason why she is so popular.
Are you a director's actor or actors' actor?
I am both. If the director wants me to do a particular thing as he wants it, I will do it. And if there is a time when I feel that what he is telling me is not right or will not be appropriate, I won't do it. There is a mutual understanding between the director and me. And I maintain a balance.
Apart from Kkusum you have even featured in couple of ads. How different are they … which one do you prefer?
I like everything but I prefer to do ads as they are short and sweet.(laughs)
Any plans to join the film industry?
If I get offers from Rajshri and Yashraj films I would most certainly do it. As of now there are no plans of doing films.
Tell me something about your forthcoming projects?
There are a couple of them, but I would prefer not talking about them right now. I am a bit superstitious.
What is your first priority-family or career?
It is a very difficult question. I maintain a balance between both. As a kid I always used to do the things that I was asked not to do. And if my family asks me today to leave my career, I would not.
A Still from KKusum
'One should always believe in quality and not quantity because it is always good quality work that matters in the end'
When you are not working, what do you do?
If I am not shooting, which I hardly do, I am relaxing at home watching TV. I prefer staying at home and if I get a jhatka once in a blue moon, I go out with my close friends to a disco. My social life are my friends and I am very lucky to have good friends.
Define Nausheen in one line.
What is your advice to aspiring actors?
I have only one advice for all aspiring actors and actresses, one should always believe in quality and not quantity because it is always good quality work that matters in the end.