“Darsheel and I became friends during Taare Zameen Par” – Vipin Sharma

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While ‘Taare’ is sent to the Oscars, Vipin Sharma talks about his role as Ishaan’s father in the film. Vipin has also worked in Canada, in front of and behind the camera, and recently featured in a role in the hit Jannat.

Congratulations on Taare Zameen Parbeing India’s official Oscar entry! How does it feel?

It feels awesome. It is a great achievement for our entire team especially Amole and his wife Deepa for spending more than 7 years researching this project and Aamir for having produced it.

When you first read the script of Taare Zameen Par, did you anticipate such success? Also, how did you bag such a great role?

Yes, but it was more about the impact of the story on people that I kept thinking about [rather] than the results it was going to produce later.

A few years ago I decided to come back to acting after a long gap and came to Bombay to see if I would be able to get some work. I met Amole Gupte with whom I had worked on Mirch Masala many, many years ago, before moving to Canada. He told me about Taare and let me audition for the role, and luckily I was selected out of many other who auditioned. Had it not been for Amole, I would not be doing this interview with you.

How was working with Darsheel Safary in the film?

He made me understand what it means to be a parent. We became friends. He used to call me by my name. The other common bonding factor between us was that we both are vegetarians and he loved that fact.

What was the most difficult scene in Taare Zameen Par for you?

The most difficult was the scene in which I come down the stairs after having met Nikumbh (Aamir Khan) and watched Ishaan (Darsheel Safary) reading the notice board.

Are you a regular movie-watcher? If so, what do you think of current Bollywood films?

This is a great time in Bollywood. Many interesting projects are coming up. Things are changing for the better. I hope soon we can start making films for the international audience.

What do you think is the most difficult part about acting?

To be able to know if you are being truthful in a scene or not. Believe me, it is very difficult. It sounds simple but it is not. You have to be your own judge.

Apart from Indian cinema, you have worked extensively in Canada, even behind the camera. What kind of work have you done and do you enjoy working in front of or behind the camera better?

I attended the Canadian Film Centre’s Film Lab apart from getting a great taste of experimental cinema from my very dear friend Phil Hoffman.

Having worked in so many departments, can we ever look forward to you directing a film?

Yes, there is a strong desire in me to direct films. I am planning to start making short films.

Did you always want to work in films or did it all happen by chance?

Growing up in New Delhi and watching movies I always wanted to be a film star. But circumstances took me into a different direction and the chance of meeting one of the most wonderful and knowledgeable acting teachers, Jacquelinen McClintok, from Montreal about four years ago changed everything for me. It is because of her Meisner teaching that I bagged this wonderful role and am now getting more exciting films to act in.

What inspires you when it comes to acting?

The most inspiring thing is whether I am [truly] being the role I am playing or not.

So what does Vipin Sharma do in his spare time?

I love taking pictures. I write a bit. Surfing the Internet and watching movies are some other things I do when I am not acting.

What other films do you have on hand?

A film directed by Tigmanshu Dhulia called Paan Singh Tomar in which my dearest friend Irrfan (Khan) who plays the title role and I, are playing brothers. Then [there is] Lamhaa (also starring Sanjay Dutt and Bipasha Basu) directed by Rahul Dholakia (of Parzania) in which I am playing an army officer closely associated to Sanjay Dutt. There is also a film from LA, directed and produced by Brad Glass titled Florida Road, which will be shot entirely in Durban, South Africa. It is a story of an Indian family settled there for well over two decades who goes turmoil due to cultural differences.

Do you have any final message for your fans and well-wishers?

Thanks for your encouragement. Please spread the word around in North America so that Taare Zameen Par wins an Oscar this year.

We would like to thank Vipin Sharma for speaking to us about a film that truly touched all our hearts. Though the unbelievable audience feedback is far more worthy than any award, we will be rooting for Taare Zameen Par at the upcoming Oscars!

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