Sharmin Segal explains why she didn’t work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Ram Leela: ‘I could’ve but I felt I didn’t…’

Sharmin Segal explains why she didn’t work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali in Ram Leela: ‘I could’ve but I felt I didn’t…’

Sharmin Segal recently opened up about her decision not to work with her uncle, renowned filmmaker Sanjay Leela Bhansali, on the film Ram-Leela. Instead, she chose to gain experience by assisting on the film Mary Kom. In a candid conversation with News 18, Sharmin shared insights into her early career choices and the reasons behind them.

Sharmin revealed that her first job in the film industry was as an assistant on Mary Kom, a biographical sports film about the life of boxer Mary Kom. She mentioned that her first salary was ₹7,500, a modest beginning for someone who would later work on major projects. She explained that while she had the opportunity to assist on Ram-Leela, she felt she wasn’t ready for such a significant role at that time.

“I could’ve worked in Ram-Leela but I felt like I didn’t deserve that chance of assisting Sanjay Leela Bhansali at that point,” Sharmin said. “I was completely new and I knew nothing about filmmaking. So, I thought of hanging around in the back on the sets of Mary Kom and see what I can pick up, understand and take away and then maybe I could go to assist Sanjay sir with something.”

Sharmin’s decision to start with Mary Kom was a strategic one. She wanted to learn the ropes of filmmaking in a less high-pressure environment. “The first film I assisted him on was Bajirao Mastani but the first film I ever assisted was on Mary Kom. And while I was working on Mary Kom, he was shooting for Ram-Leela. I basically told him that I would want to work in films but I know nothing about them,” she added.

Mary Kom, released in 2014, was directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Viacom18 Motion Pictures and Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film starred Priyanka Chopra, Darshan Kumar, and Sunil Thapa, among others. It was a significant project for Sharmin, as it allowed her to gain valuable experience and confidence in her abilities.

Ram-Leela, on the other hand, was a romantic tragedy released in 2013, written and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. The film featured a star-studded cast including Deepika Padukone, Ranveer Singh, Supriya Pathak, Richa Chadda, Sharad Kelkar, Gulshan Devaiah, Barkha Bisht Sengupta, and Abhimanyu Singh. Priyanka Chopra also made a special appearance in the song “Ram Chahe Leela.”

Sharmin’s choice to work on Mary Kom instead of Ram-Leela was a calculated move to build her foundation in the industry. Her experience on Mary Kom paved the way for her to later assist on Bajirao Mastani, another major project by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. This gradual progression allowed her to develop her skills and gain the confidence needed to take on more significant roles.

Sharmin was recently seen in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s debut web series on Netflix. The series, set in pre-Partition India, revolves around courtesans who wielded significant power and influence during India’s freedom struggle. The show featured an ensemble cast including Manisha Koirala, Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sanjeeda Sheikh, Richa Chadha, Fardeen Khan, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman, Adhyayan Suman, Farida Jalal, and Indresh Malik. Netflix has already announced a second season of the series.

Sharmin’s journey in the film industry is a testament to her dedication and strategic thinking. By choosing to start with Mary Kom, she laid a strong foundation for her career, allowing her to take on more significant projects with confidence. Her decision not to work on Ram-Leela initially may have seemed unconventional, but it ultimately proved to be a wise move that set her on a path to success.

As Sharmin continues to make her mark in the industry, her story serves as an inspiration for aspiring filmmakers and actors. Her willingness to start from the bottom and learn the craft before taking on more significant roles is a valuable lesson for anyone looking to build a successful career in the film industry.

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