To be launched in Bollywood as a Yash Raj heroine and opposite reigning superstar Shah Rukh Khan, is the stuff that dreams are made of. But that is exactly what happened to model turned actress Anushka Sharma with 2008’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. After delighting audiences with her confident debut as Taani, this year’s Badmaash Company saw Anushka spin a 180, returning as the cool-n-chic Bulbul. In just two short years, the actress has become the darling of Yash Raj, with a third film under production for the banner. Now, for the first time, Anushka fans will get the chance to see her star in an outside venture. That project is Nikhil Advani’s Patiala House, which sees the Punjab come to London, and is already being touted as one of the most heartfelt and poignant films of 2010. Anushka Sharma speaks exclusively to Bollyspice in the UK at the Nottinghamshire County Cricket Club, where the cast and crew are assembled to shoot a pivotal scene in the film.
Tell us about your character Simran in Patiala House. Is there any reference to Simran from DDLJ?
(Laughs) Simran is a girl who enjoys a lot of Hindi films, but no, she is not based on DDLJ. She is very happy and optimistic and feels that anything in this world is possible – you just have to go for it. That doesn’t mean she is inexperienced or that she is immature, she has actually dealt with a lot in life. She lost her father at a young age, so she just has her mother, who is British. In the film, her mother adopted an abandoned child in India, a twelve-year-old kid. So, I think Simran has seen a lot of life and has come out stronger and happier as a person despite the bad things which have happened to her. Simran is a very special character for me, because she is very happy and very fresh. I had a great time shooting for this film.
What is Simran’s relationship with Gattu (Akshay Kumar) in the film?
Without revealing too much of the story, Simran enters Gattu’s life, which is Akshay’s character, and inspires him to pursue his dreams. Simran had always gone after her dreams, but was not able to fulfill them. Through Gattu, she hopes to see someone else fulfill their dreams and really wants to see him get there.
You seem to be doing quite a range of different roles from your dream launch in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi to your recent slick flick Badmaash Company.
It’s a very conscious decision to do different films. I think that as an actor, the biggest blessing you have is that you can play a range of different roles. By doing that you are adding more to your life and making your horizons wider, so I think it’s also very exciting to do as a person. So, it’s a conscious decision to do different films and I’m just lucky that I’m getting those kinds of offers that I can choose good projects. The four films that I will have released, Rab Ne Bana De Jodi, Badmaash Company, another Yash Raj film I’m doing, and now Patiala House, are all very different to one another.
You debuted alongside Shah Rukh Khan, we have also seen you onscreen with Shahid Kapoor, and now you are opposite Akshay Kumar. Can you tell us about your experience of working with these co-stars?
The fact that I am working with different actors really helps. Shah Rukh, Shahid and Akshay are all experienced actors and you get to learn a lot from them. At the same time I’m also working with a debutant Ranveer Singh. So, I think in every way I’m working with different actors and on different films. I’m happy with how my career is going the way I desire. It’s great fun.
You are now working with director Nikhil Advani, who is known for mind-blowing tracks such as ‘It’s the Time to Disco’ and ‘Salaam-e-Ishq’. What is your favorite song from ‘Patiala House’?
I love the music of ‘Patiala House’, every song is lovely and it’s a very well made album.
My favorite song is the love song Aadak. It’s beautiful, and exactly the kind of music I like. I love it.
Anushka exudes conviction and