For someone who doesn’t hail from a film family, making it big in Bollywood is no mean feat. But Anushka Sharma seems to have managed it.
Just seven-films-old, she ventured into production this year with NH10. The actor talks about how she has always been brutally honest, what’s on her plate as a producer, and where she finds courage from.
Your debut production is a hit. How does it feel?
It’s very satisfying and humbling, because it is an offbeat film. Before such a film gets made, you pitch it to people, and they don’t lap it up because they know you’ll probably get an ‘A’ certificate for the film, and that it’s a supposedly dark story. It was believed that women wouldn’t watch it as it was too violent. People wanted us to commercialise it, but I believe that either a film should be made the way it has to be made, or it shouldn’t be made at all. Despite all this, the film got made, and it received love, respect and money. So, I have no complaints. My conviction is validated, and it encourages me to back more such films that sound difficult on paper.
What’s next for you as a producer?
We’re going to be working with Akshat Varma and Navdeep Singh on two different projects, neither of which is on the floors yet. I’m excited about collaborating with them. The idea is to work with people who share the same sensibilities, and to create diversity in Indian cinema.
Would you act in your upcoming productions?
I don’t have to act in them all. I definitely won’t do Akshat’s film, as I don’t suit the script. Besides, I am not producing films to act in them; I have enough films to do that in. I want to create cinema because I think I can. I have ideas, and I am someone who can’t talk too much. My actions speak louder than words. I’m the kind who will sit in a corner quietly and do her thing.
Ever since you made your debut in 2010, have you known exactly what you want?
At that time, I didn’t know what I wanted, but I knew what I didn’t want. I had the courage to tell people, ‘I’m sorry, I don’t want to do this.’ Not too many people know that after my debut, I was offered a script that required me to become fat. I don’t know how that would have happened, because it’s very difficult for me to put on weight, but I agreed. I thought it was fun, unique and interesting. That film never got made, but the point is that even at that time, I had the courage to take up something different.
Where did that courage come from?
There was no option. I don’t come from a film family, so I don’t have somebody backing me or making films for me. Aditya Chopra is my mentor, but he’s never told me what films to do. He never even discussed production with me. If I’m taking a decision, I have to take one for myself. I say no if I don’t like something, because I have to take care of my own career; and if things go wrong, I have no one to blame. Aditya Chopra is not going to make a film with me if I am not doing well in life. And why should he? He’s not answerable to me; we don’t have that relationship. And I’ve always been very honest if I didn’t like something. Maybe people found me to be too honest in the beginning. While saying no, actors usually say that their dates are not available, but I openly say I don’t like a particular role or character if I have to. That’s the only way for me, because I don’t know any other.