Debuting in the Hindi film industry under the Yash Raj Films banner opposite Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan is a dream for any aspiring actress. Anushka Sharma earned that opportunity and achieved more milestones in her decade-long career.
As the actress gears up for the release of her upcoming film "Zero", once again with SRK, she says the only way to grow as a performer is to challenge herself.
"I think as an actor, I am always trying to put myself in an uncomfortable position, taking up roles that are challenging and interesting. I think that is the way for me to grow as an actor.
"In fact when I took up my role in ‘Zero', it was an opportunity to know and get into the mind of a character with a certain physical condition that I do not know anything about…that's what excites me, an opportunity that allows me to reinvent the actor in me, whenever I come on-screen," Anushka told IANS in an interview here.
Directed by Aanand L. Rai, the story of "Zero" revolves around three characters played by Shah Rukh, Anushka and Katrina Kaif in the film.
Anushka plays a NASA scientist with cerebral palsy in the film.
"Very interestingly, Aanand Sir and our writer celebrated the character beyond her physical challenges and that is beautiful. It was a very well researched script and the projection of the character is very positive you know…she is very accomplished as a professional, she is intelligent," Anushka said.
"My and Shah Rukh's characters have challenges but they also have dreams and desires. On the other hand, Katrina's character has her challenges that are not so visible to people," shared the "Band Baaja Baaraat" actress.
Starting her career in 2008 with "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi", Anushka has acted in films like "Jab Tak Hai Jaan", "PK", "NH10", "Dil Dhadakne Do", "Sultan", "Ae Dil Hai Mushkil", "Pari", "Sanju" and "Sui Dhaaga".
So, does the transformation from a pretty heroine to a physically challenged character with no vanity attached, a shift from an actress to an artiste?
"If you look at my debut film, there is no scene where my hair is flying and I am wearing a glamorous dress. I played a small-town girl in ‘Rab Ne…' because I think Adi (director Aditya Chopra) Sir believed that I could stand on my own with my capability as an actor. Then I acted in ‘Band Baaja…' opposite a newcomer, with a debutant director."
"You see, in the beginning of your career, nobody will come up with a challenging role because they do not know your worth as an actor. One has to earn that body of work to prove the fact how well you are as a performer, as an actor. When I did a film like ‘NH10' in the fifth year of my career, it was quite challenging because nobody wanted to do that film you know…. So I would say the transformation is nothing sudden, but a continuous process to chase excellence as an actor," explained the actress.
Quite interesting to observe how the actress chooses films with unconventional choice of roles. Coming from a non-film background, where does she gather the self-assurance from?
Anushka said: "From the beginning of the journey, whoever came to talk about missing out on visibility and insecurity, I told them to go out of the door. When we are starting out, there are people who would create a sense of insecurity in our mind and then they will start controlling our decisions based on that."
"It affects confidence level you know, and I learnt very quickly about the nature of the business here, which is success-driven. Since I had no desperation and insecurity to be part of every film, I actually waited patiently to choose the right role," she added.
"Zero" is releasing on December 21.