Her debut film as a child artiste was in Gujarati and now she is making her film debut as an adult actor in a Gujarati film. Between these two films, Tusharika Rajguru has amassed an experience of several years working in films, TV shows and theatre. While she has explored different horizons as an actress, theatre continues to be her first love. In this interview, she talks about her new film ‘The Reunions’, journey as an actor, advantage of working from an early age, growth in the Gujarati film industry and future projects.
Can you share something about your role in the film?
The character I play is called Nitya. In the film, a bunch of old college friends are meeting after ten years to attend the wedding of two of their friends. These two friends are Obaid, played by Swapnil and me. There are various shades to my character. All the other characters are friends with each other but I share another dynamic with Obaid. He is my best friend whom I am getting married to. That adds another layer to the story. We loved each other in college but he got married to someone else. That marriage did not work and he got divorced from his wife. Now, he is getting married to me. Nitya is a very loving and selfless person, so the fact that he has already been married and has a child does not bother her. Apart from getting married to Obaid, I also want to be a mother to his child.
The posters suggest it is a youth-centric film but judging by what you just said, one feels there are many layers to it.
Yes, when you look at the posters you might feel it is a fun film. It is a youthful and vibrant film but at the same time, it delves deeper into the characters and deals with a lot of human emotions which take the story forward.
When and where did your journey as an actor start?
I started out as a child artiste. Interestingly, my first film as a child artiste was also in Gujarati. I did a lot of films, serials and plays as a child. I have been very active in theatre since childhood. One of my plays’ producers recommended my name to Cchintan (Shaah, director) for this film. That is how I got in touch with him. Actually, a lot of actresses had auditioned for the role of Nitya but for some reason the makers felt that none of them fit the part. The shoot started in Rajkot on the 4 May, 2017 and I was approached for the role on the 3 May. I thought about it for a few hours and said a ‘yes’.
Was it easy for you to get into this industry because you started working from a very early age?
I would not say it was easy but it has been a fulfilling journey. I was always interest in doing theatre as it is always a little challenging for an actor to perform in front of a live audience without any retakes. Theatre helped me sharpen my skills as an actor. I had my share of ups and downs but the journey would have been far more difficult if I did not come from an acting background. Fortunately, my training in theatre since childhood helped me understand my craft better.
A Gujarati film like ‘Wrong Side Raju’ was produced by a Bollywood production house like Phantom Films. ‘Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye’, another Gujarati film, ran to packed theatres in Mumbai. Do you think from producers from Bollywood will be inspired by the success of these films and be interested to invest Gujarati films in the future?
The fact that we have only two films to name in this list shows that we have a long way to go. The Gujarati film industry is still at a nascent stage. For instance, Marathi and Bengali film industries have not only made good cinema, they have produced cinema which is commercially viable. That is why they have grown so rapidly. There has been some growth and I am hopeful that ‘The Reunions’ will raise the bar for Gujarati cinema and inspired filmmakers to make better content. ‘Wrong Side Raju’ is now on Netflix and it is being watched by a global audience. I hope we can continue to make content that can be seen and appreciated by people all over the world.
Wold you like to do Hindi films?
Of course, my father is a Gujarati but my mother is from Uttar Pradesh. We speak Hindi at home. I am a native Hindi speaker, so doing a Hindi film is definitely on my wish-list. As an actor, the language and the medium has not been of much importance to me. I would like to work across all mediums and in different languages.
Are you working on any project at the moment?
A couple of projects are in the pipeline. I would be able to talk about them after the release of ‘The Reunions’.