Her favourite Pakistan singer “forever” is Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, whom she is a huge fan of.
She is sensitive to the rights of homosexuals and believes that Article 377 is “regressive and shameful and pre modern! Should go!” She would be open to essaying such roles in films as well, as long as the script offers her the potential to perform.
Trolling is something she sees as a “pathetic and cowardly act”. She denounces trolls as faceless bullies and claims she doesn’t know any celebrities who would troll themselves.
She did her BA from Miranda House in Delhi University and her MA in Sociology from JNU. She cheekily admits that while JNU was more exciting, she studied more while at DU because the teachers were strict!
During NIL BATTEY SANATA, she connected with a mother’s indefatigable love for her child and the hard work and dreams of all working class parents.
Her role models include Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore for career, and Gandhi, Mandela and Martin Luther King for public life.
A “lazy bum” at heart, she loves lazing about her house drinking cups and cups of tea and surfing the net.
RAANJHANAA proved to be a life-changing film for her as it developed an “unexplained faith”. She even started going to temples in Benares, although she is self-admittedly not a ritualistic person. On another level, it changed her emotionally, making her feel “the insanity and pure hopefulness of love”.
Despite playing Salman Khan’s sister in PREM RATAN DHAN PAYO, and hitting it off well with the star, she didn’t send a rakhi to Bhai on Raksha Bandhan!
The one lesson the Hindi film industry has taught her, is the meaning of and how to follow the adage ‘When in Rome do as the Romans do’! She has also learnt that you are judged by your looks and since there is no avoiding that, she has agreed to play the game!
She avers that working with an advertising professional, director Ashwiny Iyer, in NIL BATTEY SANATA was different as adverting people have different attention to detail and design. She goes so far as to dub Iyer “a perfectionist”.
No dreams of an afterlife occupy Swara’s mind, she instead wants to live her current life to the fullest and do everything she wants in this life itself. “No plans for next life,” she grins.
She is a #JabraFan of Shah Rukh Khan! Ask her to describe him in a word and that word would be “Legend”! SRK is her “eternal crush”.
A comparison between the two media of Bollywood and theatre is not feasible, she believes, because while the glamour, money and reach of Bollywood outshines theatre, the fact is that theatre is really the actors’ medium and will always remain so, while cinema is a director’s medium.
In a relationship with scriptwriter Himanshu Sharma, who she met during her debut film and then TANU WEDS MANU RETURNS, she declares that she has no plans to tie the knot right now but “will announce it loudly” when they decide.
Witty to the core, she shares that genes and regular dental hygiene and care are the secret behind her gleaming pearly whites. Oh and she also wears braces on the inner side of her teeth.
What brought this non-conformist Delhi lass to filmdom? The realisation that she didn’t want to spend her life having Bollywood dreams and her decision to work to turn them into reality!
She is very close to her father, Uday Bhaskar, who she reveals is the source of her confidence, her fearlessness and all her values.
Her fave Bollywood films include AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY, MUGHAL E AZAM and DILWALE DULHANIYA LE JAYENGE, while she would have loved to play Babli in BUNTY AUR BABLI, Anarkali in MUGHAL E AZAM, Rani’s role in BLACK and Erin in ERIN BROKOVICH. Currently she is dreaming of working with Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh.
A self-confessed ‘oldie’s person’, her favourite music directors are SD Burman and O P Nayyar.
The secret of her sex appeal, she feels, lies in her mind, her unafraid spirit and her eyes.
She would happily do a film opposite Emraan Hashmi if offered one, rates Akshay Kumar as the best action hero, and maintains that her most challenging roles so far have been Chanda in NIL BATTEY SANATA and Anaarkali in the forthcoming ANAARKALI AARAAHWAALI.