I have never pretended to be someone I’m not, says Anushka Sharma
What is it that makes Anushka Sharma so appealing? To most people, she’s a glamorous star with a good body of work. But that alone does not define her.
She also happens to be an honest actor, someone who does not shy away from speaking her mind. Here, she talks about being the way she is, working with Salman Khan, and more.
You’ve always been a brutally honest person. Do you feel being too honest could backfire in this industry, where others believe in the art of diplomacy?
I don’t know how to behave in any other way. If I am honest and straightforward as a person, I can’t suddenly become someone else. I’ve never pretended to be someone I’m not, nor have I said things I don’t understand. I’ve not shied away from speaking my mind or owning up to things. That’s the way I’ve led my life and have been brought up.
Did you ever feel the need to be different?
There was a time when I was less experienced in the ways of the industry, and still growing up. I felt like I had to be different. I tried it, but I realised that I just couldn’t be like that. I only know how to be the way I am. It enables me to focus on my work.
I can’t be bothered about what to say where, to be too prepared, or think about how I want to appear or what my image should be like. It’s too taxing. Maybe if I could, I would, but I can’t. I have to be this way, and I find solace in that. I also expect people to be honest, real and upfront with me. I’m just doing what I expect from people.
Has that ever created trouble for you?
There was a time when people in the industry thought I was snobbish. I’ve always been socially awkward. I wasn’t a very outgoing person, so some people probably took that as me being a snob and aloof. But because I’ve not changed over time, people have accepted me the way I am. The fact remains that I wasn’t pretending. I am a little guarded as a person. I talk about what I do and my life, but there’s still some amount of privacy I require.
Do you think there’s a dependency on films to highlight sports in India?
I feel because of social media, there is awareness about sports. People have easy access to information. Today, we don’t just talk about cricket or football leagues. There are kabaddi, badminton, tennis and wrestling leagues that are doing well too. So, it’s a good time for sports in India. Of course, films add to that.
How different is Salman Khan as a person and as a co-star?
Salman is the same; there’s no difference. He talks to everybody the same way. I think that’s a great thing about him. With him, what you see is what you get. That’s a very good quality to have for somebody of his stature. For the number of years he has spent in the industry, he’s really chilled out. He talks to everyone on the sets. And as an actor also, he’s just like that. He’s spontaneous and does quirky things.
You have trained a lot to play the role of a wrestler in your upcoming film…
Sultan required me to look a certain way physically. It’s a challenging role in terms of the physicality of my character, the things I do in the film, the number of action scenes I have, etc. When you read the script, you don’t really understand what the role will require of you.
Right from the beginning, I knew that I had to get into the right shape, because I was also working to break the perception of how wrestlers look. Before I did my research for the film, even I thought they (female wrestlers) have a certain body type.
But after the research, I realised that a lot of girls are really tall, like me, and are very well toned. I knew I had to work doubly hard, and I had only six weeks to do that. As actors, we get very little time to do what is needed. I had six weeks to look the part and to train to be a wrestler.
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