Anushka Sharma Interview on The Front Row with Anupama Chopra

Anushka Sharma has rapidly ascended Bollywood’s A-list. She is currently juggling projects with some of the biggest names in the Hindi film industry – Aamir Khan, Shah Rukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor and Imran Khan.

Here is an edited transcript from her conversation on “The Front Row with Anupama Chopra.”

Anupama Chopra: Anushka, let me start with an honest admission. When I first saw “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi,” I had a very lukewarm response to you and I think I wasn’t the only one.

Anushka Sharma: A lot of people did.  Actually, I’m really glad that you’re saying this because after “Band Baaja Baaraat” a lot of journalists kept telling me that you hit big time right after your first film and I had to actually correct them and say: “No, listen, that did not happen. I did not turn into an overnight star like other people did.”

Anupama: The film did well but there wasn’t so much raving about you. You didn’t pick up many best debutant awards and suddenly everybody woke up to you in “Band Baaja Baaraat.” But, between “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” and “Band Baaja Baaraat,” how did you keep that faith?

Anushka: There was some quiet confidence I had inside me, somewhere. I don’t know from where it was coming. That is the only thing that kept me hanging there. I actually thought I would grab all the best debutant awards and honestly after one award I really cried. I was in the car with my mother. Asin was the one who actually grabbed all the awards that year. I had done the calculation and I thought that okay so, “She did get an award for “Ghajini” in Tamil in the south industry so obviously they will not give her a debutant award here.”

Anupama: You had it all figured out.

Anushka: Yes, I was so naïve. I was sitting and making these calculations. This toh pakka (for sure) I’m going to get but I didn’t, so I felt very bad. In fact everybody else actually got this scroll, like Prateik (Babbar), for being a newcomer. I didn’t even get that so I was like: “This is terrible.”

Anupama: In an interview you said: “I can act the pants off all the heroines in Bollywood except Kareena Kapoor.” Now, that’s a pretty cocky statement to make. How are you so sure?

Anushka: Yes I’m just cocky (giggles). No, I don’t think that I can act the pants off everybody else but at that point when Karan (Johar) asked me that question…You know how when you edit shows,some things seem very odd but that is not actually how the conversation flew. He actually asked me, “Do you think anybody else would be able to do ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ at that time?” So I said: “No, I think I did what I thought was the best I could do.”

“I do have moments when I feel insecure. I do have moments when I feel jealous and that’s normal.”

Anupama: Do you believe that you can act the pants off anybody?

Anushka: No, because today I’m observing that there are so many girls. Parineeti (Chopra) has done “Ishaqzaade” and she was really good in that film. Deepika (Padukone) has done really well in “Cocktail,” which is actually really nice because it makes you want to do better.

Anupama: It doesn’t make you insecure?

Anushka: No, it doesn’t. In fact, even if it does make you insecure it’s the way you treat that insecurity. It’s the way you handle it. The way I see it is, “Fine I did well in Band Baaja Baaraat but that’s it. Now I need to prove myself in another way.” So if other actresses are performing really well then I have to up my game.

“Yes I am doing a film with Katrina Kaif, but I know my place.”

Anupama: And you take that in the right way and you work harder.

Anushka: I do, exactly. I have to and I also don’t feel odd or I don’t feel insecure. I can pick up the phone and call someone and say, “You know I loved your performance.”

Anupama: So you’re not insecure about working with other heroines, working with your contemporaries.

Anushka: Not at all. I’ve done two films. In one film there were three other actresses (“Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”) and now I’m doing Yash Chopra’s film with Katrina Kaif who is one of the biggest stars in the country.

I do have moments when I feel insecure. I do have moments when I feel jealous and that’s normal. It’s a very normal emotion. It’s your action and your attitude and your reaction to that that is important. So my reaction is that, “Yes I am doing a film with Katrina Kaif, but I know my place.” See I value myself and I will not be okay with anybody undervaluing me. I will not overvalue myself at the same time. So I know why I’m doing Yash Chopra’s film, because I have a role that comes full circle. It gives me satisfaction. I finished the film thinking I was happy doing this.

Anupama: But Anushka isn’t it intimidating to work with somebody as beautiful as Katrina Kaif?

Anushka: If I was a guy then I’d be intimidated by her beauty (laughs). I won’t be able to stand opposite her and would think, “Oh my God she’s so beautiful, I have forgotten my lines.” But no, it doesn’t matter because I like men.

Anupama: Can you tell us anything about “Bombay Velvet” and “P.K”? What can you reveal at this point about these two very anticipated projects?

Anushka: I can tell you about P.K. –  it’s the best script I’ve ever heard ever. I remember when Raju Hirani was narrating the script to me I started crying because I was sad, I was crying because I was happy. I’ve actually never seen a film so clearly, so visually during a narration.

And I’m just so grateful that Raju Hirani considered me for his film. He’s one of the best filmmakers of our country. He is such a simple man, his films are filled with goodness and simplicity, I love such films and I think it’s going to be a kickass film.

Anupama: Now when you look back at that girl who cried coming back from the awards because she didn’t get any and then you look at this kitty of films and these actors you’re working with, these directors who wanted you and have cast you, how do you feel?

Anushka: I feel very fortunate. At the time when people were telling me to do a lot of films and I was not doing that everybody was telling me that you’re silly, you should be seen more at parties and you should do PR.

I didn’t want to do all that because I will never do something that I’m not convinced about. I’m just happy that I didn’t get lured by many other things. I stuck to my convictions and it just makes me believe in myself a lot more.

Anupama: Good for you. Thank you, Anushka.


  1. Reddemon 12 years ago

    Its gr8 that she knows her position in the industry and respect her contemporaries…
    Hopefully she continue the same when she grows into a bigger star

  2. Author
    sputnik 12 years ago

    Here is the video of this interview.

  3. Serenzy 12 years ago

    I love her Attitude a lot.

    I really Love her a lott yaar Sputnik!

    Don’t Post many Articles on Anushka or TQ will hv to deal wid my Love Msg’s on Daily Basis.

  4. Author
    sputnik 11 years ago

    Anushka’s Filmfare Interview

    Q. Tell us something about your next release Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola.
    A I was excited about doing this film because of Vishal Bhardwaj. Although I have only done five films in my career so far, I am greedy as an actor and want to play different roles. It’s hard to stereotype me. I’m blessed that I got to work with a director like Vishal Bhardwaj so early in my career. His cinema is edgy. And he doesn’t do it for effect. That’s how he’s as a person as well. I love the fact that he makes earthy films, which are also cool. His characters are extraordinary. He introduces his films based on his characters. Like this film is called Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola. The title includes the three characters of the film – Matru, Bijlee and Mandola. Vishal sir inspires you not only as an actor but otherwise too. While shooting for MKBKM, I began writing poetry. I used to bounce it off him. He was always encouraging. He’d say, ‘Kahan se aata hai yeh sab kuch’. On my birthday he gifted me some of Gulzar saab’s unpublished poetry. That’s something I’ll cherish for life.

    Q. How did Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet come about?
    A It happened in the Yash Raj studios. Right after Band Baaja Baaraat (BBB), Anurag had sent me a message saying how much he had liked the film and me. One day he asked me to meet him. I thought maybe he wanted to tell me the same thing in person. But when we met, he had brought along the script of Bombay Velvet. He handed it to me and told me he wanted to make Bombay Velvet with me and no one else. At that time he didn’t even have a hero on board. In our industry, directors rarely come to actresses and say this role can only be played by you. Usually, they cast the actor and then consider who will look good opposite him. Also, Anurag doesn’t believe in norms. So when I saw something in him, which you don’t usually see in our industry I fell completely in love with him. Today, Anurag is a great friend, he’s like my teddy bear. I can talk rubbish with him.

    Q. Tell us something about Bombay Velvet.
    A This is the first time I’m attempting a hardcore period film. Also this is a script that had to be made. Anurag had it for so many years. Plus, we all know that Ranbir Kapoor is one of the best actors in the country. So the entire team seems top notch.

    Q. How did you land Rajkumar Hirani’s Peekay?
    A Again, after the release of BBB, I got a call and my phone flashed Rajkumar Hirani’s name. I found the closest corner and sat down there. He had called to tell me how much he had liked the film and me in it. In fact, he even told me about a few scenes, which he thought I had done well. Cut to the screening of Rockstar. I was overwhelmed by the film and walked out weeping and there was Rajkumar Hirani standing in front of me. I was a bit out of sorts. So when he told me that he had finished writing his film and would call me soon, it didn’t quite register. When I woke up the next day I asked myself whether he’d said that. I called him up and we eventually met. This was during the promotions of Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl. He gave me the script and told me how his wife often joked that he never wrote strong characters for girls and that this time he had nailed it.

    Q. Rumours suggest you aren’t cast opposite Aamir Khan in the film.
    A I don’t know who benefits from such stories. Whoever gives out these stories has too much time on their hands. Time will reveal everything. When the movie releases everyone will know the truth.

    Q. You’re a successful actress. Are people jealous of you?
    A I hope that’s not true. As a person I can never put other people down so that I can come up. And I do know there are people like that in the industry. So far I’ve stuck to my business and that has got me here. It’s also sad there is this whole PR gimmick where stories are planted to throw someone off. I have come this far without a PR person. So I don’t want to play games and lower my dignity. But it’s awful that someone can put anyone down to make themselves look good. Just shows how insecure actresses are. This never happens with the men. I would not hesitate to pick up the phone and tell an actress if I liked her work. I called up Priyanka Chopra after Barfi!, Parineeti Chopra after Ishaqzaade and Deepika Padukone after Cocktail. It excites me when people around me do well because then the industry does well. Also at the end of the day do these negative stories help? When your film does well and people love you all this is forgotten.

    Q. What do you think about your co-star Imran Khan?
    A I don’t think anyone has had a bad experience working with Imran Khan. He’s one of our most intelligent actors. One can actually sit and have a conversation with the guy. He’s well-behaved and courteous. You don’t find that in guys anymore. Imran is a younger Shah Rukh Khan. He’ll see to it that your car has arrived and make you sit in it as well. Recently, he gave me a framed poster of Bangalore because we spoke a lot about the city while shooting MKBKM. He has studied in Bangalore and I too am from Bangalore. It’s a funny, caricature of the city. He sent it along with a handwritten note. How many people send handwritten notes today? That’s so me.

    Q. Reportedly, Sidhartha Mallya was showing an interest in you and even sent his private jet to fly you to London to meet him.
    A (In a British accent) That is bloody crap. Come on, I was shooting in Ladakh. It’s not physically possible for me to be in two places at the same time. I don’t even know Sidhartha Mallya. I’ve met him once and I didn’t even have a conversation with him. Whoever plants these stories is wacky in the head. How do they even come up with all this?

    Q. Did you ever believe that you’d get so much so soon and without any backing?
    A I always wanted to be a young achiever. When I was 17 and hadn’t joined the movies I was like, ‘I’ve done nothing in my life’. I’ve worked hard to be where I am and I’ve done it on my own terms. People used to tell me after Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi that I should sign more films and be seen more at film parties. But that isn’t me. I didn’t do films because Aki Narula or Manish Malhotra were styling me. I did films that I thought would work for me. That could have backfired as well.

    Q. Do you have it in you to remain at the top?
    A I come from an army background. My principles are intact. I believe in competition. I’m bloody competitive. But there are ways of being so. While you’re busy planting stories about me in tabloids, I’ll snatch your work and go ahead. I know it’s hard remaining at the top; I know I don’t belongs to a film family or have strategies to sabotage others’ careers. But it’s too small a price to pay. I might seem like a villain and be the fall guy, so be it. Acting is not the be all and end all for me. For now it’s my career and I love it. But one day I want to get married, have children and drive them to school. At that time, I don’t want to look back and say I played dirty. It doesn’t occur to those who do it but to me it does.

    • Baba Ji 11 years ago

      first she says ” Usually, they cast the actor and then consider who will look good opposite him. ” wanting to make us believe she doesnt believe the hero is a bigger draw than her. Next she gets pissed bcos of reports of not being casted opposite aamir in PK.

      • Author
        sputnik 11 years ago

        She mentioned what is common in the industry and that Anurag did something different by casting her first. She did not say that she is a bigger draw than a hero. How did you draw that inference?

        Secondly if she is cast opposite Aamir she would obviously be pissed if there are false reports that she isn’t. She is the same one who said ‘ “Yes I am doing a film with Katrina Kaif, but I know my place.’ Read the main interview from the post.

        If you want to bash her you should use these lines for it – “Although I have only done five films in my career so far, I am greedy as an actor and want to play different roles. It’s hard to stereotype me.” 😉

        • Baba Ji 11 years ago

          the difference between mortals like you and baba is precisely this. 😎

          I can draw inferences by reading between lines. someday you also will be able to,if you follow my comments regularly. 😉

  5. Author
    sputnik 11 years ago

    Anushka Sharma Turns Producer; Joins Hands With Phantom Production

    Anushka Sharma is joining hands with film production company Phantom to produce Navdeep Singh’s next film called NH 10. Anushka, who plays the lead in the film, liked the script so much that she has decided to co-produce it with Phantom.

    At 25, this makes her among the youngest actor-producers on the block taking her into a different league altogether vis-à-vis her contemporaries. With two of the biggest films Rajkumar Hirani’s P.K with Aamir Khan and Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet with Ranbir Kapoor, NH 10 will be her third release next year.

    Continuing with their content driven films like Lootera, which released this year, Phantom will back Navdeep Singh to direct his second film post his critically acclaimed debut Manorama 6 feet Under. The film is an edge of the seat action thriller about a road trip gone wrong. It brings together a very talented crew of technicians including international action directors.

    Speaking on her new role, Anushka says, “I’m thrilled to get a chance to do this so early on in my career. And I couldn’t have found a better project than NH-10 to kick-start this new phase in my film journey. This is my second film after Bombay Velvet with Phantom, and it’s a blast working with them. It’s going to be super-exciting working together again on what promises to be an explosive film.”

    Adds Vikramaditya Motwane of Phantom; “It’s extremely reassuring for us when the lead actor wants to join hands, to back an outstanding script like NH10. We strongly believe in the script and know that Navdeep is going to make a kickass film out of it”.

    Being shot this winter across the northern plains around Delhi, NH 10 will release 12 Sep, 2014.


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