She has been catapulted to star status with her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. But Anushka Sharma says she is a simple girl just like her character in the movie and has no plans to move into a plush home as she is enjoying her stay in the army quarters here.
"I kept coming to Mumbai for modelling assignments. I decided to move into Mumbai a year ago with my mom, since my dad is posted out. I haven't bought my place. Right now I'm very comfortable in the army quarters. I don't feel the need to move from where I am," Anushka told IANS.
The actress, who has signed one more film with Yash Raj Films, says she was lucky to be brought up in Bangalore.
"Otherwise army officers, who give their lives for the country, could be posted anywhere in the back of beyond. That gets really tough on their kids. Me and my brother (who used to be a state-level cricketer) got the best of education in Bangalore," said Anushka.
Directed by Aditya Chopra, the romance drama starring Shah Rukh Khan and Anushka hit bull's eye at the box office and the collections are going strong even after three weeks.
Ask her how she managed to be so natural in her first film, Anushka said: "All the while I was modelling in Bangalore, maybe there was an actor lurking within me. I'm crazy about my modelling work. I love the ramp and the backstage banter. I moved to Mumbai a year ago. Movies were not a priority. I don't come from a film background, don't know how the industry works. I didn't know anyone here."
She didn't have to make a strenuous effort to act.
"Even modelling is a kind of performance. On the ramp you are representing a concept. In a film, you're projecting an individual. But the transition wasn't hard for me. Because in real life I'm as simple as the girl I play in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Yes, I do like to dress up and walk the ramp. But that isn't the real me."
The newcomer is receiving compliments from all and sundry, but says the best came from Yash Chopra himself.
"He came up to me and said mine was one of the best performances he had seen by a debutante. He placed his hand on my head while saying this. So he was blessing me," said Anushka.
Unlike other Yash Raj Films heroines, she was not presented with the poised finesse and sophistication associated with the banner.
The newcomer defends the banner, saying: "You're right. Even when actresses are presented as seedhi-saadhi (girl next door) in a Yash Raj film, they are glamorous. And coming from a glamour background I wouldn't have minded being glossy in my first film. But you know what?
"This was such a huge opportunity. I couldn't have asked for more. I fell in love with my character and the film. It's a dream role for any debutante. I can always get into a chiffon sari in the next Yash Raj movie. Or the one after that...."
Although Rab Ne... is Anushka's first film, she wasn't over-instructed for her role.
"Adi never told me what to do beyond a point. In fact, he gave me the liberty to interpret my character the way I wanted after making me read the lines. Imagine a newcomer getting so much freedom in her first film!
"I must have given Ravi Chandran (director of photography) so much grief. I knew nothing about camera angles. I didn't even understand focus marks. Shah Rukh was doing that for me. Adi and Shah Rukh made things so comfortable for me. These things matter a lot when you're starting out."
Commenting on her co-star, Anushka says she was always a huge Shah Rukh fan.
"My dad is in the army and when they would've these functions in the mess, I'd dance to Shah Rukh's Kitabe bahut si padhi hogi from Baazigar. I must've been three at that time.
"I wasn't just Shah Rukh's fan. I'm his big admirer. I always loved the way he conducted himself. Now after having worked with him, I love him even more. Rab Ne... was like my school where Shah Rukh and Adi were my teachers."