Harleen Sethi On Losing Projects To A-Listers After Multiple Auditions & Look Tests: 'Want Talented Artists To Get Opportunity' (EXCLUSIVE)

Harleen Sethi On Losing Projects To A-Listers After Multiple Auditions & Look Tests: 'Want Talented Artists To Get Opportunity' (EXCLUSIVE)

Harleen Sethi, who is seen as a police officer in Bad Cop, opened up about the changes she wishes to see in the Indian film industry and the pressure of being in the public eye

Ria SharmaUpdated: Monday, July 01, 2024, 05:07 PM IST
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Actress Harleen Sethi, who is seen as a cop with Gulshan Devaiah and Anurag Kashyap in Bad Cop, opened up about how she prepared for her role. In an exclusive interview with The Free Press Journal, Harleen also talked about what changes she wishes to see in the Indian film industry in the next few years and the pressure of being in the public eye. Excerpts: 

What is the biggest challenge you faced in portraying a cop convincingly?

As I come from a Sikh family, we have a different association with people in uniform. Unfortunately, the second season of Test Case, in which I was supposed to play an Army officer,  didn't happen, and my family was upset about it. But I've made up for it now. Uniform comes with a certain responsibility and thankfully, we were morally on the right path. 

What was the most physically demanding aspect of filming the action scenes?

To prepare myself, I hit the gym, did Pilates. I tried to get my body to look athletic and more flexible. It wasn't physically demanding but there are some chasing sequences in the show which were difficult. Other than that kicking, punching, sliding for the scenes were a great learning. I remember one crazy day when we were just running continuously for 12 hours on railway tracks.

How was the experience working with Anurag Kashyap?

I didn't have scenes with him in this season. He's a chota gunda now and when he becomes a bada gunda in the next season, he will have to face me (laughs). This season, I just got to enjoy being with him. We've known each other otherwise also.

How do you think Bad Cop sets itself apart from other cop dramas?

We're not trying hard to set it apart from other shows. We want it to be a masala entertainer. This show has everything going on - thriller, romance, action and humour. It's an easy watch which you can enjoy with your family. Bad Cop has brought together different types of actors. Gulshan is not your conventional action hero but to see him do action is so interesting. To see Anurag in this avatar and Saurabh Sachdeva, who has mostly played negative parts, play a cop, and then to see a woman in uniform do action, is very interesting. That's the USP of the show.

How do you see the film industry evolving in the next few years? What changes would you like to see?

I would like talented people and artists, with good skill sets, to get projects which they deserve instead of the projects going to people who are only building and working on perceptions. It's not about how many fans you have on Instagram or whether you are an A-lister. I have lost out on a lot of projects because of this. I have been made to audition two to three times, I've reached the final round, I've tested with the directors and then eventually, the roles have been passed to an A-lister just because of perception, not because of their skills or talents. When the movie comes out, they've not left any impression there. If that changes, it will be great.  

How do you handle the pressure that comes with being in the public eye?

These days, if you have to step out for a screening, you have to put in so much money to get that one look right. That suddenly becomes an unsaid pressure. You also have to post pictures on social media otherwise designers won't give you clothes. You have to book a photographer. I'm trying to balance that out. It's also about PR. You have to put in a lot of money every month to get your PR done. In my career, I've never got my PR done, except for Kohrra. But again, you have to balance it out. There is a lot of pressure to manage being in the public eye as you have to safeguard your private life also. Even if you've broken up with your partner, there's so much chatter about it. So I'm trying to manage it, I am learning. 

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