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Ashish Sharma: Searching for an identity

VERSATILE ACTOR ASHISH SHARMA ON PLAYING A TRANSPERSON IN BOLD NEW MOVIE by MOHNISH SINGH Chameleon-like actor Ashish Sharma has effortlessly transformed himself into dramatically different characters in diverse projects. The sought-after star has done that again for the film Khejdi. He has taken on perhaps the most challenging role of his career in a film inspired by short story Sanjha and portrays a woman trapped in a man’s body. Ashish has also produced the film, which has been to several international film festivals and is trying to overcome obstacles to get it a proper release. The popular actor, who has regularly featured highly in Eastern Eye’s list of 50 Sexiest Asian Men, spoke about Khejdi, the inspiration behind the film, preparation that went into playing a transgender person and upcoming projects. Tell us about your film Khejdi? Khejdi is actually based on a short story called Sanjha that I read some six or seven years ago. My father gave it to me. It was a short story written by Kiran Singh and published in a Hindi magazine. I read the story and it stayed with me. I shared the story with my wife, Archana (Taide). When she read it, she also had the same feeling. Since there was this rough screenplay already running in my head, she suggested this should be my first film as a producer. So, that’s how the seed was sown. What can you tell us about the story? It is a beautiful story about a transgender person. For the first time, I saw a story from a transperson’s point of view. Usually, the LGBTQI-themed stories we see in our cinema are from our point of view or from society’s point of view. There is this projected image of transgenders, which is shown in cinema, but that is not the actual case. They are taught to…

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