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Anushka Sharma had said no to Sui Dhaaga, Varun Dhawan had no dates


The Pari (2018) actress revealed that she did not think she could pull off the role, but the faith shown by director Sharat Katariya made her take up the film.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

Varun Dhawan and Anushka Sharma will soon be seen in their maiden film together, Sui Dhaaga. Dhawan plays Mauji, a tailor, while Sharma plays his wife, Mamta. But both very nearly missed doing the film.

The film's trailer, which was launched today, has got a positive response. Dhawan and Sharma stand out for their rural avatars. And Sharma’s fans may be stunned to know that the actress had actually turned down the film.

Sharma had seen director Sharat Katariya’s earlier work, Dum Laga Ke Haisha (2015), and was excited to learn more about Sui Dhaaga, but once the director and producer Maneesh Sharma told her the story, she wasn’t sure she could pull off the role.

"I said no to the film because I couldn’t believe I could play this character," Anushka Sharma said. "I told Sharat he has a fabulous story, I was happy that YRF was making this film, but I don’t think I can play this character.

“I have always wanted to challenge myself, but I was not understanding the way I could do such a role. I was afraid I would not do justice to the role.”

Anushka's concerns were shared by Yash Raj Films head honcho Aditya Chopra, but director Katariya and producer Maneesh Sharma persuaded her to take up the role.

“Sharat came to my house, explained to me how he is looking at the character, why he reckons I’m right for the role," she revealed. "More than the faith in myself, I went ahead with the faith he had in me. I am proud to be part of this film and to play such a character."

When one lacks faith in oneself, how does one get into the skin of the character?

“It’s all a process," Anushka explained. "You have to first get mentally prepared to play the character. More than taking anything in, you need to get things out of you. It’s not about adding but removing something from you.

"An actor can play any role, but you need people to believe in you. People usually cast you the way they understand your personality to be or the kind of films they have seen of yours. The director, producer have to show faith in you. This is something that happened with me in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008). [Director] Aditya Chopra and [assistant director] Munish Sharma wanted me to be part of that film. For me, it is then all about proving the people right for showing faith in me.”

With Dhawan, it was not self-doubt but lack of dates that nearly saw him miss out. “When I got this script, I had no dates available," the lead star said. "I had signed for [Dharma Productions'] Kalank (2019). When Sharat started to narrate the script, I was so blown away that there was no way I was going to leave this. I had to become Mauji.”

Anushka Sharma described Sui Dhaaga as a film that celebrates entrepreneurship, love and self-reliance. She felt it was different for both Dhawan and for her to be in a film like this.

Dhawan found it hard to describe the joy of Sui Dhaaga. "I can't express it in words," he said. "I feel a sense of pride, a sense of what you feel to be an Indian.

"Patriotism doesn’t have to be said, it has to be felt. We travelled to Delhi, Chanderi, Bhopal. I realized what a beautiful country we have. I travelled to these villages, we met with the locals, saw how they live their lives.”

A film like this is an education in itself, the actor continued. Dhawan had to undergo two months of training on the sewing machine. He credited Noor, a tailor working at YRF Studios, for helping him to learn the craft. In fact, Dhawan has used the banter and mannerisms of Noor in his character Mauji.

For Anushka, sewing wasn’t so difficult as she was familiar with the craft. Her grandmother used to do crochet embroidery while her mother is also adept at sewing.

Sui Dhaaga sends out a message of self-reliance and swadeshi. Dhawan said it was important not to have a cynical attitude towards products made in India. In one of the scenes in the trailer, Mauji asks a colleague why their products carry a 'Made in China' tag, to which the colleague replies that people will not buy a 'Made in Ghaziabad' product.

"Often we are apprehensive when we see 'Made in India' products. But we blindly buy 'Made in Germany' or 'Made in China' products. However, you would be surprised to know that a lot of international products are actually made in India. The reason is that we have skilled labour," Dhawan said.

Sui Dhaaga is scheduled to be released on 28 September.