Utkarsh Sharma, Leading Man of ‘Genius’ Defends Nepotism

Utkarsh Sharma, Leading Man of ‘Genius’ Defends Nepotism

Utkarsh Sharma is the son of veteran filmmaker Anil Sharma who made ‘Gadar’
Utkarsh Sharma, Leading Man of ‘Genius’ Defends Nepotism
Utkarsh Sharma

Whether Kangna Ranaut likes it or not, Bollywood  and the Hindi movie-going audience is all set to introduce  another  actor from a film family this week in Anil Sharma’s Genius. 24-year old  Utkarsh Sharma is veteran  producer-director Anil Sharma’s son. Sorted and  sensible, the  young wannanbe star  minces no words in defending his debut.  “I really wanted to make  my debut with a  film outside my home production since the debate on nepotism rages on. But when this opportunity came my way it was  too tempting to  resist just because some people would throw the ‘N’ bomb  at my father and me.”

The  proud son has seen all of his  father’s films. “Even those that were made before  I was born. My favourite film directed by my dad is Hukumat. He is identified with rugged action films starring Dharmendraji and SunnyDeolji. But I was surprised know  he started  his career with a sensitive  film like Shradhanjali.”

Utkarsh is okay with  being accused  of falling into the nepotism debate as  long as his debut as  a leading man is accepted  by the audience. “I play a RAW agent. My character’s life story  stretched from age 17 to 24 .And it is one  of  the most interesting characters I’ve come across  for an actor my age,” Utkarsh says.

Interestingly  the role was written for a much older actor. “Yes,  it was going to be played by  an established actor, around 40 years old. Then  it  was changed and offered to me. I  immediately accepted  it.”  Not that  it was  a cakewalk on the sets  of  Genius for young Utkarsh.  “It wasn’t as though I was given special  treatment on the sets. In fact  I had to work doubly hard since  it was my father’s film. But  the hard work has all been worth it. I am  happy I’m making my debut with Genius,  and not any other  film.”

To be pitched against a seasoned scene-stealer  like Nawazuddin Siddiqui in his very  first  film couldn’t be easy  for a  newcomer.  But  Utkarsh was  fine with the challenge.  “The whole idea of  being in front of the camera  is to work with people who can bring out the  best in you. And Nawaz Sir and  Mithun Sir (Chakrabrorty) with their experience wisdom and skills as an actor have already added  some vibrant strokes to my performing abilities.  I couldn’t have asked for better  co-stars,” says  Utkarsh who had  Sunny Deol as his co-star in his first film.

“That  was  so long ago. Yes, everyone knows I played Sunny Deol and Ameesha Patel’s son in my father’s biggest hit Gadar. It was Ameesha, on  whom I had a crush, who suggested I play the role . My father couldn’t find another child who was  the right fit. So I  got the role by default.   It wasn’t easy, believe me. I had to jump over trains  and perform some very difficult action scenes. I guess I learnt acting wasn’t easy when I  was a child,” laughs  the debutant just days away from his debut as a leading man.