Masala on Sharmiela Mandre

She is one of the prettiest actresses in Sandalwood. She hails from a family of producers and distributors. Actress Sharmiela Mandre made her acting debut with Sajani a decade ago. This movie introduced Academy award winning composer A R Rahman to Kannada. Sharmiela will soon turn a year older. While she has finished her part of the shoot for Kannada's first ever sci-fi thriller directed by US returned Ajay Sarpeshkar titled Mysore Masala, the actress has also been busy with production. Speaking to Bengaluru Chronicle, Sharmiela talks about her exciting role in Maya, her other role as a producer, her birthday plans and more. 

“It has been almost a decade since I started my journey as an actress. Now, apart from my first love which is to act, I have taken up film production through my own production house which is called Sharmiela Mandre Productions, through which I have already kick-started a Tamil project Ivanukku Engeyo Macham Irukku which will be released soon. In the meanwhile, I had an exciting film which is going to be a completely different and unique in my career. Mysore Masala is a first-of-its-kind sci-fi thriller in Sandalwood in which I play the role of Maya. A new concept which has never been attempted prompted me to take it up. Irrespective of how it fairs at the box office, it will certainly make a mark in the industry,” says Sharmiela Mandre.

As she goes on shares her 'Maya’ experience, the actress reveals that she will be seen as a space engineer which is hatke from the usual run-of-the-mill characters.

“Even in Bollywood, a very few  projects have hit the screens like Koi Mil Gaya which touched upon the extraterrestrial subject. However, Ajay Sarpeshkar, who has worked on this subject for over five years has planned it real well. A former techie, he is very fascinated with sci-fi thrillers. It was a unique experience as acting involves technical aspects with a lot of work going into post production activities. Most of the time, we had shot against a green background. I am excited to see the final result on the big screen,” she adds.

Apart from acting, Sharmiela says she has busy with her production house. “Along with acting, I always wanted to take up production especially with my family background. It is another experience which demands a lot of work. As an actor, it is limited to performance but whereas as a producer, one has to make sure everything is in place and everyone is happy at work.”

She also reveals that after the release of her Tamil movie, she is producing a Kannada venture to be directed by Aravind Shashtry of Kahi fame, and thereafter she has lined up two projects more in the pipeline.

A lot of questions are raised when a female takes up production, but with the present scenario more and more women are taking it up, and it is a challenging one which she loves to face, she adds.

She also says that she aims to work with new and younger generation of filmmakers who are coming up with impressive content with unique skills.

“A lot of experimental movies with great content are being made in Sandalwood. I intend to encourage such talents, and may also do big projects involving star actors but only if the content demands so,” shares Sharmiela who is heading for a short break in Thailand with her loved ones to celebrate her birthday later in the month.

“It's kind of a mixed feeling with birthdays as one grows older every year. I wish I was like the protagonist in the Hollywood movie, The curious case of Benjamin Button,” she smiles. 

When asked to comment on #MeToo movement Sharmiela says, she is happy that most women are out with their stories on abuse and sexual harassment. “I am pretty sure most of the stories are true but most of them would never openly talk about it before with the idea that they may not get work in the industry!” 

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