She is not even 30, but Anushka Sharma has worked with the three Khans (Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir) and has worked in movies made by some of the country’s finest film-makers.
Anushka is also known to be selective in choosing her projects, which probably explains why she has only done 14 films in her eight-year career. And she is not willing to settle for anything less than what she believes she deserves. Here, she talks about her career, her equation with film-maker Aditya Chopra, and more.
You’ve worked with the three Khans and your roles in those films were of equal significance as the male lead. Is that something you consciously look for?
I’ve maintained that the script is my priority, along with my role and the director I’m working with. That is the only way I’ll be able to add any significance to my career. I’m happy that in a Salman Khan film, people are appreciating a girl’s character as much as they’re appreciating his. That’s a huge achievement for Ali (Abbas Zafar; director), who wrote the part, and for me, for doing justice to the role he wrote. So it’s a good feeling. I’m happy I got this opportunity to be a part of Sultan. Because of Salman and the kind of following he has, my work could reach so many people.
Over the years, how has your equation with mentor Aditya evolved?
There’s transparency in our relationship. He’s never pressurised me to do anything. He’s never tried to read the script of the films (not made by him) that were offered to me. He told me categorically that he always wanted me to be in a position in which I could choose the right script. I appreciate that he trusts my judgement and always backs me. Our relationship is such where I don’t need to fake anything. If he feels that I’ve done something wrong, he scolds me a bit.
And the fact that he launched you helped strengthen this bond?
I was the first person to be launched and managed by his production house. I owe my career to him. He backed and supported me when I know a lot of people did not want him to sign me, including Karan (Johar; film-maker), who has said it himself that he tried to ‘sabotage’ my career (laughs). It was nice of him to say that on his show (Koffee With Karan). But Adi had faith in my talent, so I will always be grateful to him.
Films are a collaborative effort, but more often than not, when a movie fails, the actors are the first to get blamed.
Actors are the face of the film, so people remember a failure with the actor’s name. But then, we also get a chance to go back with another film and try our hand at success again. A director might have a harder time making another movie. Even the producer loses money. Everyone’s affected. There’s no exception.