Actor Anushka Sharma talks about playing the ‘anti-Yash Chopra heroine’ in the Diwali release, 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'
Yash Raj’s current ‘favourite’ actress is sitting pretty in their Mumbai studios on a hot Sunday afternoon. As I approach her for the interview, Anushka confesses that she’s hungry. The expression betrays that she could eat up a chowkidar (figuratively speaking, of course!), but the petite girl calls for an egg with two slices of buttered toast. Not just any egg, mind you. “Nobody besides my mom and me can make an egg,” she says to my incredulous look at the exactness with which she instructs her Man Friday to cook it. “And my dad’s is the only tea I can take in,” she adds, clearly amused by the effect her instructions have had on me. Little wonder that she is sipping coffee.
Anushka plays Akira in the upcoming Yash Chopra movie Jab Tak Hai Jaan. A Discovery Channel reporter, she wants to make a documentary on Shah Rukh Khan, employed with a special unit of the forces, as The Man Who Cannot Die. The film also stars Katrina Kaif. “Katrina plays the quintessential Yash Raj heroine. I play the anti-Yash Chopra heroine. I am cynical about love and way too practical. Akira is someone who’ll break up with her guy within three months, before he does the same with her. She doesn’t want to get hurt. So this role is very different and unique,” says Anushka.
In 2008, when I had interviewed her post her debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, it was a little difficult to fathom that she’d transform into the super confident girl sitting in front of me today. But her co-star Shah Rukh had possibly seen that spark in her which had even prompted Aditya Chopra (director) to rope in a rank newcomer opposite the Badshah of Romance for his film. “I remember that after a particularly emotional scene where Anushka was to have an outburst and blurt out many lines without a break, the girl managed it in the first take. Obviously Adi (Aditya) and I thought we should go across and pat her on the back, but we later realised she wasn’t looking for any of that. She was there to do work and that’s what she was doing,” he said at an earlier interaction.
“Yash Raj means family to me. They launched me and gave me more interesting films. I am very happy that they have faith in my talent. I mean Yashji could have taken anyone. It’s a blessing that I have worked with both Adi and Yashji,” she says when asked of her five-film association (of which three were part of a deal) with them in the last four years.
Anushka says that working with Shah Rukh and Katrina has been a good experience for her. “I am very comfortable working with Shah Rukh. He is a team player. He will give cues to his co-stars even if he is not required in the frame. As for Katrina, I liked working with her as she is not a fake. She and I have the kind of confidence to sit next to each other and not exchange a single word and be completely chilled out. We don’t need to talk so that the world sees all’s well. I have worked with other actresses and sometimes it’s okay if you don’t get along. But with Katrina there is no negativity. I’d like to work with her again,” she says.
The model-turned-actress says being secure about her work and deciding to go slow and steady are the reasons behind her current position in the industry. She awaits the release of her Vishal Bharadwaj film Matru Ki Bijli Ka Mandola in January 2013. She is also working in Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet with Ranbir Kapoor and in Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K. with Aamir Khan. “I am happy that different directors pick me to play diametrically different roles; that they see me as a versatile actress. It feels good.”