Looking back at her journey, for Anushka, these highs and lows are part of a rewarding learning experience.
In addition to her much-awaited upcoming release Zero and her first anniversary with husband Virat Kohli, Anushka Sharma has yet another special reason to celebrate this month. Ten years ago, the then debutant with a wide-smile enchanted the audience with her performance in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi that also starred Shah Rukh Khan. In a few weeks, she will be re-creating the same magic with Zero, once again with Shah Rukh Khan.
Anushka’s filmography has seen her playing different characters. From a firebrand-wedding planner in Band Baaja Baarat, to a smouldering cruise dancer in Dil Dhadakne Do, year-after-year, we have seen her skilfully moulding herself for her every role. And with Zero, she seems to be upping her notch by playing the role of Aafia, a scientist with cerebral palsy. Aanand L Rai’s ambitious brainchild Zero, also starring Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, is a unique love-triangle that transcends into talking about physical and mental health.
Unlike any other role, Aafia proved out to be one of the most challenging for her, and the requirements of portraying a differently-abled on the screen were such that she had to be rigorously trained for three months. “When you are playing a differently-abled character, that’s a truth you are portraying, and that has to be portrayed very correctly. People don’t know enough; it’s important to responsibly portray this role. I had to represent this character very correctly and that’s the responsibility I had because she is not only differently-abled, but she is also very charming and intelligent,” reveals Anushka.
While Zero broke the record of the most-viewed trailer within the 24 hours of its launch, the craze of the fans can also be attributed to seeing Anushka being paired with Shah Rukh Khan for the fourth time after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, Jab Tak Hai Jaan and When Harry Met Sejal. After working with King Khan in four movies, the intimidation seems to have fazed out, as she gushes about the actor, saying, “For me, it’s always great to work with SRK as he has always been a great co-actor. I was very young when I first worked with him; he was really as nice as nice he is today. My equation with him has become more comfortable over the years.”
In this decade-long career, Anushka Sharma has not only delivered some of the strongest and versatile performances but has also made some brave and individualistic choices. However, her journey wasn’t a smooth one. After Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, the actress had to face a slump of two-years, and was even referred as a ‘forgotten-actress,’ before she made a comeback with a commercial success Badmaash Company, and more so with the commercial and a critical success Band Baaja Baarat in 2010.
Looking back at her journey, for Anushka, these highs and lows are part of a rewarding learning experience. “I have learnt from everybody. I am trying to learn from every moment of my life; so for me, it’s important to learn from failures and success. When you are successful, everything seems fine, the world seems fine, but when you are not successful, that’s when you learn a lot. Low times are actually just dips which will go up,” shares the actress adding, that staying calm and not wallowing in self-pity is very important in a time like these. “You should really try to understand that in life, you are a small speck in the entire universe, so don’t take yourself so seriously,” says the chirpy actress.
In her filmography, films like Phillauri, NH10 and Pari makes her one of the few contemporary actresses who successfully maintains a career balance between glamorous and deglamorous roles. Being a public figure definitely comes with a constant limelight and the actresses often give in the exhausting pressures of being picture-perfect, right from choosing your roles, stepping outside of your house, to even each and every upload on your social media. Be it in her career or on her social media, the actress believes in being real and does not get fazed by such pressures. “I have always been somebody who has lived a real life. I have done de-glam films. I don’t think I need to make statements like that. I let my work speak for me and it is important for people to understand,” says Anushka. She adds, “I think it’s very scary to see the pressure people take in looking good. It’s important to find value in who you really are rather than getting fixated with all these things.”
While the ten years seem to have flown by quickly, the actress has found the key to strengthening her footing in this dog-bite-dog industry by following her heart. “I am very secure at my end because I have always done things my way. I always tried to understand things and do what I feel is right for me,” she reveals. She feels the most secured by taking challenging roles head-on. “For me acting is blissful and in my entire career, I have done varied characters. I am very proud of that. That’s what gets me going and my security comes because of the number of years that I have put it. I am in a very secure position to take on challenges,” concludes Anushka.