Anushka Sharma is one of the most bold and outspoken actresses Bollywood has ever seen. Over the span of 8 years, Anushka has seen the ups and downs of Bollywood and her perception of the industry has changed. In a recent tete-a-tete with a leading daily, Anushka talks about how Bollywood went from a “dirty industry” to a safe, but “fickle place”.
“Being an outsider, I had a really bad perception (about the industry). First, I come from an army background, so that’s completely different from a civilian environment. My life was protected and most of my friends also belong to the same background. So, my exposure to Hindi films was limited. Barring the movies that aired on TV, I must have watched only the really big releases in theaters. I can count that number on my fingertips. When you are not part of an industry, your knowledge of that field is based on what you read and hear and on the stereotypes that are attached to it,” she said.
Then what changed the actress’ perception? “When I walked into Aditya Chopra’s studio to audition (for ‘Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi’, 2008), it looked like an advertising office, an environment I was familiar with since I had auditioned for ads, etc. I felt it was chilled out and safe. I saw people playing table tennis. When I met Adi, I was suddenly at ease. And then, of course, it was such a big banner launching me opposite Shah Rukh Khan, so I knew that it didn’t get better than that. I know that it’s a fickle industry, no doubt. I understood that very early in my career. While my launch was a big one, I did not become the next big thing immediately. Sure, my work was appreciated, but nothing more. So, I’ve gone through that phase, where I’ve seen how fickle this place is. When ‘Band Baaja Baaraat’ happened, I’ve seen people change. I’m glad my first film didn’t do that much for me, otherwise, I wouldn’t have had this experience.”
Anushka further added, “When you see the industry’s fickleness so early on, you realize that you are only as good as your last release. It is all about your work. And that has set the way I look at my profession and what I do in my career. I don’t believe in a lot of things people say, such as being out of sight is out of mind, or that it’s not good if you don’t do too many films, you don’t market yourself well. I used to hear all these things and they would bother me because I was young. But, at the same time, I couldn’t get myself to do these things because they didn’t make sense to me back then. I believe that if your film is good, and if you are good, and you will do well.”
Well said Anushka!