Anushka Sharma on Badmaash Company

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This is film number two for Anushka Sharma. After her debut into Bollywood with Shah Rukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, all we saw of the actress was a few stage performances and occasional social obligations. However, for all those of you who are fans of the young actress, she is finally back after a short break and this time, she is in the company of some very badmash boys. Directed by Parmeet Sethi, Badmash Company sees Anushka Sharma opposite Shahid Kapoor and a range of actors. Read on to see what the Anushka has to say about her time on the sets and working with the cast and crew.

Tell us something about the script and your character in the film…

I was completely and entirely sold on the script when I read it for the first time. Also I was not told who had written it. So I was completely unaware, I was just given a script and told to read it. In fact, I had to read it on my way to London where I was going to for a few days. But on my way home from Yash Raj studios, I started reading it. When I reached home, I took a cup of tea and continued to read it and I finished it in 2 hours. I loved it so much! I immediately called up Adi and told him I was doing the film!
Bulbul is unapologetic, by the way she speaks, by the way she dresses and by the way she behaves with everyone around her. She is aggressive because she is independent, she is straightforward. I think it’s great because she is not pretentious and calls a spade a spade. She is living alone in Mumbai aspiring to be a model. Any girl living alone who is taking care of herself would be able to relate to Bulbul. You need to be a bit of a man to live alone, and Bulbul is that. She is gutsy and takes care of herself. So she may come across to be aggressive, but actually she is a very soft girl, very sensitive but still one of the boys!

How close is your character Bulbul to Anushka?

I think as an actor you should be able to play anything. I identify with a lot of things that Bulbul is. I am very straightforward. I cannot be pressurized, I do things my own way. So I identified with these things of Bulbul.

The film is set in the 90s. What research did have to do?

I spent about 2 months researching on the 90s. The look, the fashion, the music. My computer was filled with photographs from all over the internet. It’s so interesting to be in another time, in another space. It was so much fun. In 1994 I was too young to remember anything from that time. I completely enjoyed the prep period of the film.

How was it working with the Ameira and Mamta, the designers?

I think Ameira is creatively blessed. We got along, so we used to talk for long and bounced off ideas each other. Even she had done some amazing research. I think she has done a great job, because it was important for us to look completely period. We had to bring that balance. She has done colors that were in, big chunky jewellery which was in at that time. So I think the movie in terms of the look, looks right.

And your co-stars?

This was my second film, and I was working with people closer to my age. So it was fun because we were travelling together, eating out, watching plays, and we did all of that! So we got along really well and had so much fun! And it is great because our relationship brought about a great chemistry and great dynamics on screen.

How was Parmeet as a director?

For a first time director, he was very self-assured. He knew what he had to do; he did his homework, came on sets and knew what kind of shots he wanted. And he would go back with just that. His vision was very clear. As a person, he developed a rapport with his actors which is very helpful. Most importantly, he was breathing the film! He would never call Shahid by his name, or me or Chang or Vir. We would be out on the streets or at dinner and he would call us by our screen names! I think he was completely absorbed by the film, and the end result is great so kudos for that!

What about the director of photography, Sanjay?

I think the film is shot on a large scale. I mean that we shot in the US and Bangkok and then Mumbai also. So I think Sanjay had quite a task in front of him. The DOP’s contribution is really vital and he has done a brilliant job. The film is looking authentic which is very important. He is always cool and calm and very easy to work with. And that’s really great because everything is always happy around him!

The music?

I really love the music of the film! The songs are singable. Whether you’re off to work, or just on the highway you would enjoy it. The music had to have the flavor of the 90s, yet look contemporary at the same time. Another feather in Pritam’s hat! I am very confident about the album. Its young, youthful and peppy.

What would you call your favorite song?

My favorite song is ‘Jingle Jingle’. Not because it sounds good, but because the time at which it comes. Every song in the film is taking the story forward. And so it jingle jingle. This is the time all 4 meet, and bonded so I really really like it.

How was it working in so many different disguises?

As an actor, it’s fun at the same time challenging to play in a different character within the characters you are playing in the film. I sat with Vidya dada and Ameira to try out different looks, and it was great fun. Finally acting it out was even more fun! I wish I could have done half the film in disguises, it was that much fun!

Have you ever conned anyone in real life?

I think I’ve been conning my parents into believing that they have made a great piece and I’m damn good! No I haven’t conned anyone, so it was great doing it in the film! And do it without doing it illegally, in different shots, different lighting! So yea, it was a lot of fun!

The film has been shot throughout US and Bangkok… How was that?

Like I said, it was a young crew, everyone got along with each other. Even within America we travelled to Philadelphia, to New York, Atlantic City. So for a whole month it was a great bonding period, especially for a film like this, and the great thing was that we didn’t have to try too hard. Also the foreign crew works in a different way, they don’t work around the clock so we got a lot of time to do a lot of other things.

Did you gamble?

No I didn’t gamble. I think it was a tough schedule and we had a lot to do. So I decided to rest and just watch the other people in the casino gamble! I was afraid that if I started gambling, my crew would move on and I would still be stuck on the slot machines!!

That night scene at Pattayya when everyone swam in the sea at night…

I think that was much needed especially the crew who had a lot of work even after shoots. But it was a night to remember, everyone had a lot of fun!

How was it working with Ahmed, the choreographer?

When you see the songs you will see that Ahmed has done a fabulous job again. The film is about 4 friends, and he has made the songs young, spunky and peppy. And Ahmed is really good bringing that out. It’s always fun working with Ahmed, it’s a relief.

According to you, what woyld be the one moment that is very memorable to you?

I won’t really talk about a particular moment in the film, but I really feel that this movie was an out an out learning film for me. Because in my first film I was very protected. At that time I didn’t feel it, but now I do. Apart from that this is an ambitious film, there is a growth in characters, relationships between the characters, all that really makes you a true actor. So I have really grown as a person in this film. I am really glad that this film came my way.

What can you tell us about the intimate scene in the film?

People might think otherwise, but I can say that this (even thought I am doing it for the first time) is the most mechanical thing you can do onscreen. All you are doing is shooting a scene. All of us, the director, the producer, the actors have been honest to the script because it’s a great script. The more honest you are the better film you are going to make. So if the script requires a certain chemistry, or relationship between the actors, we have no option but to do it. And I believe that’s the right approach to it too. I am an actor, I will do everything I need to do to justify a script and justify the character in the script. This particular scene, even though its spoken of as a “kissing scene”, is important to lay down the foundation for these people. The passion that they share, and the relationship they had. When you see the film you will see why it was needed. We had to show a certain degree to which the relationship had progressed.

If you’re in the mood for some Badmash Company, then you can certainly catch it when the film releases May 7th! Be sure to see it at a cinema near you.

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