Till now, she has mainly portrayed girl-next-door characters. But with her next, Bombay Velvet, Anushka Sharma has clearly moved into the glamorous zone. The actor, however, insists that this is the kind of glamour she understands.
"Glamour hasn’t been a big part of my film journey so far. So, in a way, this is my most glamorous role. But this is the glamour I understand — the realistic one, which is part of my character, Rosie, who is a performer and a jazz singer," says Anushka.
During the shooting schedule, Anushka had to reach the sets four hours in advance because getting her make-up, hair and costume right for each scene took hours. In fact, she discussed the same with yesteryear star Waheeda Rehman, whom she recently met.
"One thing we have in common is impatience. She told me how during her time, even she didn’t have the patience to sit for hours to get the hair and make-up done for a shot," says Anushka.
While costume designer Niharika Khan, hair stylist Gabriel Georgiou and make-up artist Puneet B Saini mention names such as Rehman, Geeta Bali and Brigitte Bardot as reference points, Anushka says director Anurag Kashyap had only spoken to her about observing Helen. "She experimented a lot with her costumes and hair. In fact, on my first film, I had worked with a hairdresser who used to do Helen’s hair. So, I tried to remember and keep in mind whatever conversations I had with her about her working with Helen and Sadhana," she says.
As part of her preparation, Anushka also watched a lot of films of the 1950s and ’60s. "I also watched one particular documentary that shows the development of hair and make-up over the years. My team did all the research; I give them all the credit."
Behind the scenes
Niharika Bhasin Khan, costume designer: This has been my most challenging film till date. We studied three different eras. More than Indian, the look is very west-inspired. So, for instance, you will see a lot of gowns with intricate embroidery, but no Swarovskis. For the look, we studied the style of a number of Indian as well as western film stars, as well as common people.
Puneet B Saini, make-up artist: The idea was to keep Anushka’s looks realistic, and true to that era. So, you will see some facial hair when her character is very young. But when she turns into a performer, the make-up will also become more glamorous. In fact, I stuck to the same colour palette that was available at that time. As for referencing, we looked at Helen, Waheeda Rehman and even Brigitte Bardot (French actress).
Gabriel Georgiou, hairstylist: I had a detailed discussion with Anurag about the character. Plus, Anushka is very open to new ideas, In fact, she, too, had a few valuable inputs to give. I can’t name particular names as reference points, but we looked at a number of Hollywood and Indian actresses.