Several acclaimed films and a decade later, Swara Bhasker still finds herself panicking before a shoot, wondering if she is stuck in a "set format" of acting and searching desperately for ways to deconstruct her craft.
Over the years, the actor has spearheaded projects like Nil Battey Sannata, Anaarkali of Aarah while ticking the box of hits with the Tanu Weds Manu franchise and Raanjhanaa.
When asked if she has become confident of her craft today, Swara said, "Not at all. You have caught me at a time where I am in a state of anxiety and panic about my craft, wondering if I have hit a rut and if my acting is all the same."
Swara says she does not want to be "stuck in a set framework and palette of expressions" and is constantly finding ways to get out of it.
"I feel I need something to break that and I was recently searching for acting workshops that I can attend. My craft is a huge area of anxiety for me because I think I don't have the discipline of practising everyday and now less, as I am trying to diversify, I have a production house and I am writing a script."
The 31-year-old actor says before starting a new film, there is always the feeling that she has forgotten how to act.
"I am always very insecure about my craft. Before every film, I panic and feel I have forgotten how to act. Which is why I am a little obsessive about preparation. I do a lot of workshops. If I have free time, I will enrol for a workshop.
"I am not formally trained as an actor so there is this baggage on my conscience that 'you can't screw it up.' Acting is the only thing I have. I don't have a choice, I have to be competent with my work. Imagine if I was a bad actor the kind of trolling I would get!"
Swara will be next seen in Sheer Qoorma, co-starring Divya Dutta and Shabana Azmi.