Jason Shah on Sharmin Segal’s performance in Heeramandi: Sanjay Leela Bhansali kept telling her to act from the heart | Bollywood

Amidst criticism surrounding Sharmin Segal’s acting in Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar, her cast mate Jason Shah has stepped forward to share his perspective, describing her performance as uniform. (Also read: Exclusive: Heeramandi casting director defends Sharmin Segal amidst backlash: She’s fully dedicated)

Jason Shah took on the adversarial role of Cartwright in Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s series, Heeramandi: The Diamond Bazaar.

During an interview with Entertainment LIVE, Jason, who starred as the antagonist Cartwright in the series, acknowledged the criticisms of Sharmin’s portrayal in the series. He believes that there was more that could have been done with Sharmin’s role.

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Jason’s Remarks

Jason elaborated on how Sanjay Bhansali directed Sharmin to bring forth a heartfelt performance. “From my standpoint, there were moments that warranted a greater intensity of emotion,” Jason remarked in light of the criticism.

He recalled, “Sanjay frequently advised, ‘Don’t just perform; let it come from within.’ Yet, perhaps they had a specific vision for her portrayal. It might be that the character was intended to be portrayed in that consistent manner. Ultimately, it’s the director’s decision. She was decent. She managed her role smoothly. We didn’t face any complications in our cooperation.”

The conversation also brought up the possibility that Sharmin was instructed to maintain a subdued performance, and Jason could only speculate. “In my opinion, perhaps she was told to keep it consistent; otherwise, I thought there was ample opportunity for the character to evolve,” he commented. The actor also admits he is not in a position to fully judge as he is not a director.

Critique Directed at Sharmin for Heeramandi

In Heeramandi, Sharmin steps into the shoes of Alamzeb, the offspring of Mallikajaan, played by Manisha Koirala. This role marked Sharmin’s first foray into streaming platforms.

Since its debut, her acting has come under intense scrutiny, with some criticizing her alleged nepotistic ties to Sanjay Bhansali as the reason for her casting.

Some criticisms on social media state, “Sharmin Segal had an excessive amount of screen time given her woeful acting prowess. Her acting falls flat, with poor enunciation and a lack of variation in her expressions, marring the overall experience.” Moreover, her performance has been the subject of numerous social media memes.

Previously, the show’s casting director, Shruti Mahajan, stepped in to support Sharmin. “Many appreciated her voice and performance. They believe she adds a breath of fresh air and novelty. Critics say she doesn’t fit into the Heeramandi atmosphere or seem like a courtesan. But that was the intention. The character was meant to feel out of place and not like a traditional courtesan. That’s what we focused on,” she stated, adding, “The entire cast of Heeramandi is something I take great pride in.”

The Netflix series is set against the tumultuous times of the Indian independence movement. It depicts the confrontation between the courtesans of Lahore’s Heeramandi and the British officials. The series boasts a cast including Sonakshi Sinha, Aditi Rao Hydari, Richa Chadha, Sanjeeda Shaikh, Fardeen Khan, Taha Shah Badussha, Shekhar Suman, and Adhyayan Suman.

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