After a dream debut with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) opposite Shah Rukh Khan, Anushka Sharma went on to do diverse roles in films like Band Baaja Baaraat (2010), Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012) and PK (2014), among others. Then last year, the actor decided to don the producer’s hat with the hard-hitting movie, NH10. Even though she is still acting in films, Anushka admits that her decision to start a production company came as a shock to many.
“The decision to produce NH10 was very quick, and it seemed like the right thing to do. A lot of people found that surprising. I was told, ‘Oh, you’re so young. Why would you want to get into production?’” says Anushka, adding, “People would say silly things, and some still tell me that actresses generally produce films when their career is not in a good stage. People still don’t understand that I am doing this because I want to.”
However, the 27-year-old is glad that with her first production venture itself, she was able to “block out the perceptions people had about actresses and the reasons why they turn producers”. “NH10 was not an easy film to start with. There were risks involved, but that’s the fun. What’s the point of doing this if it’s easy, and not challenging? When it was received well, it made me realise that you should stand by your decision when you feel something strongly,” says Anushka, who has already started work on her second production.
Even though she enjoys both these aspects of film-making, Anushka says none of them are easy. “As an actor, you have to be in touch with yourself. There’s a lot of personal monitoring involved, because it’s an individualistic profession; you’re not collaborating with too many people, like you do in production,” she says, adding, “Acting is not easy because the roles make it difficult, but it’s something that I understand. But production is very different.”
For Anushka, it was managing multiple people and the added responsibilities that made production a tough job. “There’s a lot more that happens in production. There are a lot more responsibilities, and in the beginning, it was too much for me. At every given time, you’re taking the final call on things, and somewhere, if one thing slacks, you feel responsible. That can be a daunting thing,” she says. But, for her, the silver lining was having her brother, Karnesh Sharma, as a partner. “Karnesh’s involvement makes things a lot easier for me; having the same kind of mindset helps,” she says.