I enjoyed teaching dance to Ranbir Kapoor, says Shardul Sharma

Ritika Handoo

They say dreams are elusive, but Shardul Sharma`s journey from Bollywood to Hollywood does beg to differ. This Shiamak Davar protégé took the centre stage with his dancing skills and later went on to conquer the other side of globe, exploring the world of cinema. In an interview with Ritika Handoo, Shardul talks about working as an Associate Producer for `Billion Dollar Raja` in Hollywood and how he wishes to take up direction some day.

How did `Billion Dollar Raja` happen to you?

While I was working with Hyde Park Entertainment in Los Angeles, I met Nayan Padrai who is the writer/ producer of  `Billion Dollar Raja`. Padrai wanted to meet Ashok Amritraj to get him in the team of producers for `Billion Dollar Raja`. I helped Nayan arrange a meeting and in the process he asked me to join the team with him. The script is brilliant and it is one of the most talked about projects in the industry right now, so without any hesitation I agreed.

Was moving to Hollywood a conscious decision?

Yes, it was a conscious decision, but it was not something that I had planned beforehand. My close friend did a filmmaking course from New York Film Academy in Los Angeles and upon her return she suggested me to do this course. Initially, I wasn`t sure, but I thought a lot about it and after consulting with my other friends who were way senior to me in Indian Film Industry, I took this huge decision of going to Film School even when I was doing so well in India at that time.

I thought if I have to make my mark in the industry, then I will have to do something that is different, new and better than what is already happening. Hence I took a step of getting out, learning better skills to come back to make a change in the Indian Film Industry. I am glad I made that decision because now I have a few good films in Hollywood along with people who I really look up to and I know I will get to learn a lot working with them.

While you were associated with Shiamak Davar, didn`t you ever think of entering Bollywood?

I did. I knew from the beginning that if I have to work somewhere then it has to be the Indian Film Industry. I started working with Shiamak while I was in my first year of college. Soon after I finished my college, I started working with this small post production company which used to make corporate films, ads, commercial films and music videos. After working for three years with them, I got an opportunity to co-produce my dear friend Shubh Mukherji`s debut film `Aasma` which did fairly in the market and two years later I did another film with him `Shakal Pe Mat Ja` which also did very well in India.

Do you intend to don the director`s hat any time soon?

I don`t know, I might. As of now, I am just concentrating and enhancing myself on the production side of filmmaking. But later I would love to direct as well.

Who are your favourite Bollywood celebrities and why?

I have worked with many Indian celebrities while I was with Shiamak and I would definitely say that one of the best experiences was teaching dance to Ranbir Kapoor while he was still grooming himself to make his acting début in `Saawariya`. It was a great pleasure because he is such a hard working and down to earth person and I think that is one of the reasons why he is doing so well today. I definitely think he is one of my favourite Indian celebrities out of all the celebrities I have worked with. 

What are your future projects?

Our follow up film, `Wildflowers` is also taking shape as we begin to attach creative talent and actors.

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