With her very first film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she impressed one and all with a supremely confident performance and by holding her own against a veteran like Shah Rukh Khan. Now she is back once again with SRK in Jab Tak Hai Jaan – a Yash Chopra romance. Yes folks, we are indeed talking about the one and only Anushka Sharma– easily among the most gifted and talented actresses of the present generation. In this first part of a 2 part special interview with Bollywood Hungama‘s Nikhil Ramsubramaniam, gorgeous Anushka talks about how she bagged Jab Tak Hai Jaan, sheds light on her character Akira and reveals the similarities and differences between the father and son duo of Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra. You don’t wanna miss reading this one…
You have the rare honour and distinction of being the only actress who’s been directed by both Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra. What do you have to say about that?
I feel very special and unique that I got this chance to work with both of them. Adi is my first director and will always be special. As for Yashji what can I say, actresses die to work in a Yash Chopra directed film. He could have taken any actress instead of me yet he thought of me which is something I’ll always be grateful for.
Having worked with both father and son, what similarities or differences do you see in both their styles of direction?
From a director’s point of view, Yashji makes these eternal love stories about man-woman relationships whereas Adi makes stories about principles, correctness and goodness. In Adi’s characters, be it Suri of Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi or Raj Aryan of Mohabbatein, you will always see an element of goodness and someone with correct values and principles. That apart, Yashji is much quicker and shoots much faster. He just asks for 1 or 2 takes maximum. I remember we used to have 12 hour schedules in Kashmir and Ladakh but we would end up finishing it in 7 hours and then would be free for the rest of the day. Adi is also very quick compared to a lot of other directors but he still sometimes asks for that one extra take while Yashji always believes that an actor always gives his best take in the first or second attempt itself.
And what about as people…How would you compare Yashji and Adi?
Yashji is younger, cooler and funnier. He is the youngest person I’ve ever met and he truly epitomizes that age is just in your mind. He is so progressive in his thought-process. He has a tremendous sense of humour and used to have us in splits during the shoot of Jab Tak Hai Jaan. He used to easily climb up and down the mountains in Kashmir and was fitter than most young people on set. Hence it really was shocking when we came to know about his untimely demise. He takes things very lightly and is always relaxed and chilled out. Adi is my first director so he is very special to me. He is of course very influenced by his father’s cinema and that is but natural. He is also funny but his sense of humour isn’t as good as his dad’s (smiles). He is very correct, principled and transparent as a person.
What was your first reaction when you were told that you would be working in Yashji’s film? Can u recall that moment?
Adi had called me to his office and first told me about it. Quite frankly I was very happy and excited but at the same time I also got a bit emotional. I never imagined that I would get a chance to be directed by a legend like Yash Chopra. Every actor has a wish-list of directors he / she would like to work with and Yashji’s name was right on top of my wish-list. So it was like my dream come true. If any other actress had bagged this role instead of me, I’d have been gutted. I am glad that I got this opportunity.
Tell us something about your character Akira?
I think it’s very refreshing that my character Akira is a very new and unique character as compared to other Yashji’s heroines in the past. Most of Yashji’s heroines have been characters who believe in love more than anything else. In that sense, my character Akira is an anti Yash Chopra heroine. She is just 21 years old and is a documentary film maker. She is someone who is very ambitious and career-driven. She is too practical and a tad cynical about love. She feels that love can come in the way of her achieving success and realizing her dreams.
Watch out for Part 2 of this interview coming soon only on Bollywood Hungama