Anushka Sharma in her acting career of ten years has played varied roles. She made her debut with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi with Shah Rukh Khan and then went on to do many unconventional films such as NH10, PK, Sultan, Phillauri, Pari, Sui Dhaaga, among others. She will next be seen with SRK in Aanand L Rai’s Zero.
In this interview with indianexpress.com, the actor speaks about the success of Sui Dhaaga, her need to do different roles and her upcoming film Zero.
Ten years in the industry, you’ve played varied roles. For instance, Mamta in Sui Dhaaga and even Pari, were not ‘safe roles.’
I do understand that my choices have always been unconventional. That’s how I am even as a person, I am quite unconventional, so is my thought process. So, my choice of work is a reflection of that. I always wanted to redefine myself with every film, that’s me, and that is my endeavour always. Whenever you see me, I want you to see me in a different way, I want you to see me how you have never seen me before. Like my character Mamta in Sui Dhaaga, if people only saw Mamta in it and not me, then it is a huge compliment for me. I have tried to do that with every film that I have done, I just want to become someone else with every character that I play.
In Pari, I play a demon, and that went well too. I’ll be very honest here, when I watch my performance in Pari and Sui Dhaaga, I also feel that here I don’t look and feel myself. In Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, my character is too glamorous, but I fully surrendered to that character, I didn’t relate to that character. She would be pushed around easily and was foolishly and madly in love, if she was my friend I would have slapped her and would have asked her to get some self-respect. But since I had to play Alizeh, I had to totally believe in her, and be her and embody her completely. The characters that I totally related to was of Band Baaja Baaraat and Sultan.
Has the motivation to do films changed for you in all these years?
In the beginning, when you just start working, you are so young, that all you want to do is to succeed. It is so big in your head. I had it too, but it never changed or affected my choices. It didn’t change my belief system. Even then I had choices, of course not as many as I have today, but I would continuously strive to not make the wrong choice just to succeed, I never wanted to do unconventional roles. For some strange reason, at the age of 19-20 also I had that understanding. I want to do films that speak with people on a different level.
You’ve said that Varun Dhawan was one of the most secure co-stars you have worked with. How easy or difficult is it for you to work with someone who is insecure?
This industry is such that it breeds insecurity in actors. Actors’ insecurities benefit everyone, it benefits producers, they pit one against the other and reduce their fees. It benefits the media, it gets them to write juicy stories about them. So, generally, not just for actors, but for the world, insecurity has always helped someone else. Some people in the industry fall prey to it and the environment is such that it is difficult to not fall prey to it. But it was so different with Varun. If I had to make some suggestions to him, I was comfortable to say things to him that otherwise, I would not be able to say to someone else. Similarly, if Varun had to say something to me and suggest me to do something in a different way, then he could, he would. That is how it should be, everybody is a team member, with one goal, the betterment of the film.
How do you balance being a producer and an actor?
It is very exciting actually, at the moment we are doing a show with Amazon Prime and it will be going on floors in January 2019. Sudip Sharma who has written NH10 and Udta Punjab is going to be writing for this show. I am not going to be acting in it, and that makes me very happy as it is a victory for me as a producer. In the market they are looking at us as viable producers and people who can create good content.
You’ll be seen with Shah Rukh Khan in Zero. You started your career with him, and you’re back with him again. How is it working with him?
Your experience with a superstar like Shah Rukh doesn’t depend on you, it depends on his greatness and his graciousness. He has been so kind with me, even in my first film, he made me so comfortable, it was up to him to make me feel comfortable or uncomfortable, intimidate me or not intimidate me. And he always made me feel comfortable and never intimidated me. He makes me feel so welcomed. He continues to do that all the time. I have always enjoyed working with him. He has a vast knowledge of too many things. I see his passion in Zero, it is so nice to see that. I definitely think that he is doing something so amazing with this film, he has done such a good job with this film. He has acted so well in this one.
And how was your experience of working with Anand L Rai?
Anand L Rai has gone very big with Zero. He is very sure of what he wants in his film. That’s a big plus for a director, and it is an interesting thing for us as actors, it keeps everyone motivated and committed.