Swara Bhasker (also spelled Bhaskar; born 9 April 1988) is an Indian actress who works in Hindi films. Best known for her supporting work in mainstream productions and starring roles in independent films, she has won two Screen Awards and has been nominated for Filmfare Award on three occasions.
|Born||9 April 1988|
|Alma mater||Miranda House|
Jawaharlal Nehru University
Bhasker made her film debut with a supporting role in the 2009 drama Madholal Keep Walking, a commercial failure. She got wider recognition for her supporting role in the commercially 2011 successful romantic comedy Tanu Weds Manu. Her performance in the film was well received by critics and she garnered a Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination.
Bhasker garnered further praise for her performance in the critically acclaimed romantic drama Raanjhanaa (2013), the role earned her second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination. She then reprised her role from Tanu Weds Manu in the film's sequel and later appeared in the romantic drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo; both productions were among the highest-grossing Bollywood films of 2015. Her starring roles in the independent films Nil Battey Sannata (2016), and Anaarkali of Aarah (2017) earned her further acclaim. She won the Screen Award for Best Actress (Critics) for the former and was nominated for Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress for the latter.
Early life and education
Swara Bhasker was born on 9 April 1988 in Delhi to C. Uday Bhaskar, an Indian Navy officer of Telugu descent, and his wife Ira Bhaskar, a professor of cinema studies in Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi who is of Bihari origin. Her maternal grandmother was from Varanasi.
Bhasker grew up in Delhi, where she did her schooling from Sardar Patel Vidyalaya. She subsequently studied English literature at Delhi University's Miranda House where she was classmates with another actress, Minissha Lamba. She did her master's degree in sociology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi.
2009–2012: Debut and further roles
Before Bhasker started acting in films she was associated with N. K. Sharma's "Act One" theater group in Delhi. She shifted to Mumbai in 2008 and made her acting debut with the 2009 film Madholal Keep Walking, which was screened at the 33rd Cairo International Film Festival but underperformed at the box office India. She then played a supporting role in Sanjay Leela Bhansali's drama Guzaarish (2010), alongside Hritik Roshan and Aishwariya Rai.
Bhasker then appeared in Srinivas Sunderrajan's black and white thriller The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project, which was touted as India's first mumblecore film, made on the budget of ₹40,000 (US$560) and completed in one year, was also the first Indian film to be screened at the Transilvania International Film Festival. However, both Guzaarish and The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project were box-office failures and Bhasker remained unnoticed for her performances.
Bhasker garnered widespread recognition from the audiences and critics by appearing in the 2011's commercially successful film Tanu Weds Manu in which she played the role of Payal, the best friend of the lead actress Kangana Ranaut. She received praise and several nominations, including the Best Supporting Actress conferred by the Filmfare Awards.
2013–present: Critical and commercial success
In 2013, she played the lead role in Listen... Amaya (2013), which also saw the reunion of actors Farooq Sheikh and Deepti Naval after 28 years, and earned positive reviews from critics. She then appeared in Raanjhanaa, along with Dhanush and Sonam Kapoor, which was one of the highest-grossing Bollywood film of the year. She received wide critical praise as well as her second Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress nomination for her role of Bindiya in the film. She appeared in a lead female role in the box-office flop Sabki Bajegi Band opposite Sumeet Vyas and in the moderate successful Machhli Jal Ki Rani Hai with Bhanu Uday.
Bhasker served as a host for Shyam Benegal's television mini-series Samvidhaan, which was based on the making of the Indian Constitution. The series aired on Rajya Sabha TV from March 2014 to May 2014. On her trip to Lahore, Pakistan, Bhasker appeared as a guest in the Pakistani TV comedy show, Mazaaq Raat which was aired in April 2015.
Bhasker had three releases in 2015. In her first release, she reprised her role of Payal in the romantic comedy Tanu Weds Manu Returns, a sequel to the 2011 film Tanu Weds Manu. The film and Bhasker's performance received wide critical acclaim. The film was a financial success as well and became one of the few women-centric films that rank among the highest-grossing Indian films. Her next release was the romantic drama Prem Ratan Dhan Payo, in which she played the role of Rajkumari Chandrika alongside Salman Khan and Sonam Kapoor. Directed by Sooraj Barjatya, the film received mixed reviews. However, Bhasker's performance was well received by the critics and audience. With an estimated collection of ₹400 crore (US$56 million), the film became one of the highest-grossing Indian films. That same year, she played a minor role in the collaborative bilingual X: Past Is Present. The film was directed by eleven filmmakers, and Bhasker appeared in Nalan Kumarasamy's segment, Summer Holiday, which revolves around a young boy (played by Anshuman Jha), who goes to South India for summer holidays where an Aunty seduced him so that her husband can rape him. Although the film received mixed reviews, but her role of Aunty was particularly praised. Namrata Joshi of The Hindu wrote "X: Past Is Present belongs to its women".
In 2016, Bhasker played the lead in Anand L. Rai's comedy drama Nil Battey Sannata which marked her fourth collaboration with Rai. Bhasker was initially skeptical about the film because of the age difference between her and her character. However, she changed her mind after reading the script and played the role of a mother of a teenager. Upon the release, the film as well as Bhasker's performance received critical acclaim and she was awarded with the Best Actress trophy at the Silk Road International Film Festival in September 2015. She began working in web series with It's Not That Simple, which is produced by Viacom 18's streaming service Voot. The show revolves around the idea of marriage, relationships, a woman's stand in a marriage, love etc. The series features Bhasker along with television stars Vivan Bhatena, Akshay Oberoi and Karanveer Mehra in the lead roles, with Danish Aslam as the director.
As of 2013[update], Bhasker had completed shooting for Abbas Tyrewala's comedy drama Mango, starring Chandan Roy Sanyal and Monali Thakur, being produced under the banner of Kaleidoscope Entertainment. The film has been infinitely delayed. She also played the lead role in Shashanka Ghosh's Veere Di Wedding, a romantic comedy, co-starring Kareena Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor and Shikha Talsania, about four girls who embark on a trip from Delhi to Europe. Her masturbation scene using a vibrator in the film was praised for its frank portrayal of women's sexuality.Swara will soon be seen in LGBTQ+ drama, Sheer Qorma.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2009||Madholal Keep Walking||Sudha M. Dubey|
|The Untitled Kartik Krishnan Project||Swara Bhaskar / Maya|
|2011||Tanu Weds Manu||Payal Sinha Singh|
|Chillar Party||Battle Hour Anchor|
|2013||Listen... Amaya||Amaya Krishnamoorthy|
|Sabki Bajegi Band||Jaya|
|2014||Machhli Jal Ki Rani Hai||Ayesha Saxena|
|2015||Tanu Weds Manu Returns||Payal Sinha Singh|
|Prem Ratan Dhan Payo||Rajkumari Chandrika|
|X: Past Is Present||Aunty|
|2016||Nil Battey Sannata||Chanda Sahay|
|2017||Anaarkali of Aarah||Anarkali|
|2018||Veere Di Wedding||Sakshi Soni|
|2020||Sheer Qorma||Rukhsar Siddiqui||Filming|
|2022||Jahaan Chaar Yaar||TBA||Filming|
|2016–present||It's Not That Simple||Meera||Web series|||
|2019||Hello Mini||Mx Player|||
|2020||Rasbhari||Shanoo Bansal||Amazon Prime Video|||
|2020||Flesh||ACP Radha Nautiyal||Eros Now|
|2020||Bhaag Beanie Bhaag||Beanie Bhatnagar||Netflix|||
|2012||Tanu Weds Manu||57th Filmfare Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|2012 Zee Cine Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role– Female||Won|
|International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|Screen Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|2014||Raanjhanaa||Filmfare Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
|International Indian Film Academy Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|||
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role– Female||Won|||
|2016||Nil Battey Sannata||Silk Road International Film Festival||Best Actress||Won|||
|Screen Awards||Best Actress – Critics||Won|||
|2018||Anaarkali of Aarah||Filmfare Awards||Best Actress (Critics)||Nominated|||
|Veere Di Wedding||Lux Golden Rose Awards||Confident Beauty of the Year||Won|||
|Screen Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Female)||Nominated|||
|2019||Filmfare Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|||
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- "Dating a writer makes for great conversations: Swara Bhaskar". Hindustan Times. 18 January 2017. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
- "Swara Bhaskar calls herself an unapologetic feminist, says it's a misunderstood term". Hindustan Times. 9 June 2017.
- "My experience of Bollywood not nepotistic at all: Swara Bhaskar". Deccan Chronicle. 15 March 2017.
- "Sonam Kapoor is a better friend to me than I'm to her: Swara Bhaskar". The Indian Express. 23 March 2017.
- "Swara Bhaskar Interview". Behindwood.com. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Bollywood is obsessed with looks: Swara Bhaskar". The Hindu. PTI. 16 March 2011. Archived from the original on 26 December 2013.
- "Films are forever". The Hindu. 18 June 2013. Retrieved 25 June 2013.
- "Off The Block". 28 August 2010. Archived from the original on 29 June 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
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- "I was always a dramebaaz child: Swara Bhaskar". The Times of India. 9 July 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Bindiya and Murari have some of the best dialogues in the film: Swara Bhaskar – Hindustan Times". 4 July 2013. Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
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- "Only fittest can survive in Bollywood: Swara Bhaskar". The Times of India. 19 January 2013. Archived from the original on 16 February 2013. Retrieved 3 February 2013.
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- "Playing Amaya". The Hindu. 1 February 2013. Retrieved 4 February 2013.
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- ""London, New York, Paris Sab Fail Hain LAHORE Kay Aagay" – Indian Actress Swara Bhaskar". Siasat.pk. 27 April 2015. Retrieved 28 April 2015.
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- "People warned me against taking up 'Nil Battey Sannata': Swara Bhaskar". Daily News and Analysis. 22 April 2016. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
- "'Mango' time for Rannvijay, Ranvir Shorey and Swara Bhaskar". Zee News. 2 July 2013. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
- "Kareena Kapoor Khan and Sonam Kapoor come together for 'Veere Di Wedding'". The Times of India. 14 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016.
- "Swara Bhasker: It is empowering to have a film about four girls, without any dark mudda - Times of India ►". The Times of India.
- "Trolls shaming Swara Bhasker over her masturbation scene in latest film need to shut up - Times of India ►". The Times of India.
- "'Veere Di Wedding' Twitter talk: 'Never heard abuses in films before?' Tweeple debate the 'sexist' criticism". 2 June 2018.
- "Swara Bhasker Says She Is Grateful For OTT Platforms: "I Cannot Imagine How We Would Have Survived The Pandemic"". Koimoi. 22 December 2020. Retrieved 26 July 2021.
- Radhakrishnan, Manjusha (31 December 2019). "Swara Bhaskar slams CAA as 'anti-India' and 'sinister'". Gulf News. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- "Swara Bhaskar says Modi has betrayed Indian Constitution". Gulf News. IANS. 3 February 2020. Retrieved 13 April 2020.
- "Sheer Qorma poster: Swara Bhasker and Divya Dutta-starrer hints at a unique story of unconditional love". Mumbai Mirror. 12 October 2019.
- "Sheer Qorma's first poster out! Swara Bhasker, Divya Dutta's love story looks beautiful beyond words". www.timesnownews.com.
- "Swara Bhasker, Shikha Talsania, Meher Vij and Pooja Chopra resume shoot of Jahaan Chaar Yaar". Bollywood Hungama. 21 August 2021. Retrieved 21 August 2021.
- "Swara Bhaskar anchors Shyam Benegal's Samvidhaan". 21 January 2014. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Swara Bhaskar to host Doordarshan's Rangoli". 2 November 2015. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Swara Bhaskar bids adieu to DD National's 'Rangoli'". Retrieved 15 May 2017.
- "Unhappy marriage or perfect affair? It's not that simple". 6 October 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2018.
- "Sumeet Vyas, Purab Kohli join Swara Bhaskar for It's Not That Simple season 2". Retrieved 4 June 2018.
- "Swara Bhasker says Hello to her stalker". Times Of India. 5 November 2019. Retrieved 20 November 2020.
- "Rasbhari". 25 June 2020 – via IMDb.
- "Bhaag Beanie Bhaag Review: How Is Swara Bhaskar's New Web Series On Netflix?". news.abplive.com. 6 December 2020. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
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