Swara Bhasker on Flesh: How can you troll a cop busting a human-trafficking racket?

Swara Bhasker will be seen as a cop in upcoming web series Flesh. The series premieres on August 21 on Eros Now.

Swara Bhasker plays a cop in Eros Now's Flesh.
Swara Bhasker plays a cop in Eros Now's Flesh.

Swara Bhasker, who was last seen in Rasbhari, will be seen chasing criminals and busting human-trafficking rackets in Eros Now's upcoming crime-thriller Flesh. The actress plays ACP Radha Nautiyal in the series. Directed by filmmaker Danish Aslam, Flesh will premiere on August 21. In an exclusive chat with IndiaToday.in, Swara Bhasker spoke about the most challenging aspect of her role in Flesh, reuniting with co-star Akshay Oberoi and social media trolls.

Excerpts from the conversation:

The lockdown has been hard for everyone but I've been lucky and privileged that I've had a very productive lockdown. I have been lucky enough to come back to my family. I was alone for the first two months in Bombay. And then I got back to Delhi. And, now I am home, which is great. I am looking forward to three releases during the lockdown and Flesh is my second. So, I am really excited.

The script, the story and the character made me say yes to Flesh. I think human trafficking is the most heinous realities of our world. These are the stories that have to be told and retold so that we all become aware of what is going on. Also, I like the multiple plotlines running on the show, I found that interesting. Other than that, I have never played a cop. So, I thought that it was a great opportunity. Danish (Aslam) is a director I trust very deeply. He is also a good friend and I have worked with him before. So, I know he is a director who can be trusted with very sensitive things.

I began meeting and chatting with a lot of cops, men and women from the IPS and state cadres, to try and understand their lives, their worlds, their thought processes, their challenges and frustrations. I think the most important thing I learnt was there is a very palpable sense of frustration in them, that I felt was across the board. They really do feel that the system they are working under gets unfairly manipulated by criminals. A cop can pretty much risk his or her whole life to make sure a criminal is caught but what will happen is that a call will come and the person will be let off the hook. That's a frustration that as a common citizen or a civil society member, you don't have to feel. It was very interesting for me to understand that. I basically made that the motivating emotion for Radha.

Then there was training with a gun and training for running. The gun was the hardest part for me because I am really not someone who is into any kind of bravado. I understood why I believe in non-violence after I started handling the gun. I was like 'Haan, Gandhi ji sahi keh rahe the.' The other thing that I had to do was train for running because there was a lot of running on the show. I took lessons from Abhishek Sharma, who is an athlete and a national-level boxer. He taught me how to run for the camera.

It was both physically and emotionally taxing. And, not just for me but for everyone, it was quite draining. We were shooting pretty relentlessly, day after day. Danish used to look like he will pass out any minute. It's draining emotionally as you are dealing with a world that is very dark. There's no relief. Quite hard in that sense.

Akshay is great and he has done such a great job in the show. I think the nicest thing is that he has gone against his chocolate-boy looks and really explored a character that is quite disturbing. We saw that aspect of his in Gurgaon but on this show, he has really sunk his teeth into a very very disturbing character. From the moment he comes on screen, he is just magnetic in the role and he is also looking the part. There is something so unsettling about him.

The only thing I really want to say on the trolls' issue is that I can't imagine what the trolls will troll Flesh for. I finally found a role that even the trolls can't troll. What problem can you have with a cop busting a human-trafficking racket and chasing a really heinous crime? Finally, with Flesh, the trolls will have to just shut up.

Swara Bhasker will be seen in Bhaag Beanie Bhaag next. The series also stars Varun Thakur, Ravi Patel and Dolly Singh in pivotal roles.

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