>Anushka Sharma says Sui Dhaaga: Made in India and Pari were the ‘two most difficult films’ of her career

Anushka Sharma says Sui Dhaaga: Made in India and Pari were the ‘two most difficult films’ of her career

Anushka Sharma is the only actress to star in two Rs 300 crore films – PK (with Aamir Khan) and Sultan (with Salman Khan), and that too, she broke the norms with meaty parts in these films paired with superstars. And now, with the success of her recent release Sui Dhaaga (opposite Varun Dhawan), the actress, who initially wasn’t too convinced about playing the part, says, that she feels empowered with the choices she has been making. Anushka, who started her Bollywood journey exactly 10 years ago, with Aditya Chopra-directed, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, opposite Shah Rukh Khan, followed by Band Baaja Baaraat (2010, with Ranveer Singh), says in an exclusive chat, “I never regret when I look back. All the things that have happened in my life, the ups and downs, I have been very fortunate, very grateful that I have seen a lot of success in my career. But, at the same time whenever I have felt challenged in any way those have all been stepping stones to where I have come today.”

“I am very happy with the success of Sui Dhaaga because as an actor I have always made some very unconventional choices in my career. Even when I was doing big ticket films like Sultan or PK, my characters have not been undermined or over shadowed that usually happens with female characters in big ticket films. They have been acting driven roles and those things I have always valued. Even with the choices that I have made with Sui Dhaaga or NH10 or Pari, the fact that they have been appreciated and liked I feel my choices have got validated because as an actor you want to feel encouraged for the things you do especially if you are trying to do something different.

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That really empowers me a lot,” says Anushka, who got married at the peak of her career (December last) and immediately rushed off her feet promoting her film, Pari. The shooting and prep for Anand L Rai’s Zero, with Shah Rukh Khan; and Sui Dhaaga — had also started early in 2018.

“I am also very excited about Zero (releases on 21 December) and hopefully again it will be a memorable role in people’s mind. It is a very, very special film, it is really something that will enthral the audience,” says Anushka, who, however believes that actresses have always been doing interesting roles since time immemorial. “Smita Patil, Shabana Azmi, Jaya Bachchan, Waheeda Rehman… they have all done such phenomenal roles and it will continue to happen,” she says.

Though Anushka was confident about the content of Sui Dhaaga, she wasn’t too sure about the character she had to portray (that of an embroidery artist belonging to the heartland). “From the very beginning I was very much convinced about the film because it was making a strong point. I knew that it would connect with people but for me the conflict in my mind was will I be convincing and able to pull off as this person. I knew for the fact that I have a certain personality, people have seen me in a certain way. I knew that Sharat (Katariya, director) made realistic cinema and has Dum Laga Ke Haisha to his credit. I didn’t want to stick out looking unbelievable because so far all my characters had a profession. Here, I had to play a submissive housewife. Initially I felt the character was absent and was bland,” says Anushka, who says that Pari and Sui Dhaaga are the two most difficult films of her career.

“Because these characters are very different from who I am as a person. In Pari, I played a demonic character, she is almost unstable. There is no comparison that you can make with that character but with Sui Dhaaga’s Mamta you know people like her. You could see Anushka in her but I was very happy when people said that they didn’t see Anushka at any point in the film.

For me that was the victory,” she says, furthering, “Lot of times, as actors we feel that when you work really hard on films and you have to learn certain skills, like for instance I had to learn wrestling for Sultan, one may feel that is very difficult, but for me a role like in Sui Dhaaga is far more difficult to do. It’s something which is so opposite from your personality. It was an uphill task for me. But when Sharat explained to me that why he thinks I actually fit being Mamta, I felt I need to have more faith in myself,” she adds.

Anushka says she had to exercise restraint to create the character as raw and real as had been envisioned by Katariya. “After doing Sui Dhaaga I have realised that as an actor you can do everything, and the fact that people have praised my performance in the transformation, I feel confident that you can become anybody and it is all within you. It is just that you have to control certain things of your own personality which are not that of your character,” she says. She continues, “For instance, I am more reactive as a person, you say something to me and my reaction will be much quicker, whereas my character’s quite unsure of what she is saying. She knows it all, she is very strong-willed but she doesn’t have the luxury of expression that perhaps I have because I have lived in an environment where what I said was listened to, where I was asked for my opinion. She couldn’t express her feeling which was very difficult. Literally for me it was becoming the person.”

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