Sara Ali Khan says the failure of her last few releases made her reassess her choices as an artist and she is now focused on taking up scripts that will bring her "creative satisfaction".
The actor started her innings on a positive note with "Kedarnath" and "Simmba" but her last three movies -- "Love Aaj Kal", "Coolie No 1" and "Atrangi Re" -- received a lukewarm response from the audiences.
"I have realised that if you do a film because you think it will work, and then it doesn’t work, then it is very hurtful. It really pains you. I never want to do that again. It is important to make films for the right decision and that should be creative satisfaction primarily,” Sara told PTI in an interview.
She referred to her 2020 movie "Coolie No 1", which she had signed due to its credentials as a massy entertainer.
"I thought this film would be a huge massy entertainer with great songs, colours, and fun. (But) it wasn’t received well. Maybe because it was released on OTT and we were in the middle of the pandemic.
"And that’s when I realised, was my motivation for doing the film 100 percent pure? And it is the only time when my inner voice said, ‘No’. So, I don’t want to do that.”
Sara said her upcoming slate of films, which includes suspense-thriller “Gaslight”, “Ae Watan Mere Watan”, Anurag Basu's “Metro...In Dino”, and two untitled projects with Homi Adajania and Laxman Utekar, represent her changed thought process.
"Whether ‘Gaslight’ or ‘Ae Watan Mere Watan’, in which I am playing a freedom fighter, then Laxman Utekar sir’s film that is like a small-town movie where I am playing a Punjabi girl living in Indore and then an urban film with Homi Adajania...
"I am doing such different work. I'm proud to say that all the work that I am doing right now, I feel 100 per cent convinced. And I don’t want to do work for any other reason ever again."
Sara said she also wants to be "surrounded" by people who can contribute to her growth as an artist.
"I want to be surrounded by people I can learn from, I want to grow every day. I want to explore more and more. I feel I can learn as I have just started and there is such a long way to go," she added.
The actor recalled the advice her actor parents -- Saif Ali Khan and Amrita Singh.
"The advice that both my parents gave me and still give me is that as an actor I will have a voice inside when I read a script and I should trust that more than anything else."
Sara is currently looking forward to the release of Disney+ Hotstar film “Gaslight”, directed by Pavan Kripalani of “Phobia” fame.
The film is a royal mystery that unfolds when Misha (Sara) returns to her family’s estate after 15 years and is caught in the midst of strange happenings. While she digs deep to uncover the truth, the secrets go deeper.
Sara said she faced many difficulties to portray a girl with disabilities.
"There are so many ways in which one can express with their whole body and not be able to do that and be confined to a wheelchair. But still you have to emote and express what you feel,” she said.
Also starring Chitrangda Singh, and Vikrant Massey, “Gaslight” will stream on Disney+Hotstar from March 31.
It is produced by Ramesh Taurani via his banner Tips Films Ltd, and Akshai Puri’s 12th Street Entertainment.