Anushka Sharma, who has soon become a household name , is one such rare lucky actor to have worked with the two most coveted filmmakers of Bollywood, father & son duo - Yash Chopra and Aditya Chopra. Embarking her film career with Aditya Chopra's RAB NE BANA DI JODI and now being a Yash Chopra's heroine with the film JAB TAK HAI JAAN, Anushka has reached the top spot. Where actresses crave to be tagged or get associated with mere Yash Chopra's name, Anushka is enjoying to be called as Yash Chopra heroine. In a span of four years the lady has created a distinct mark for herself in Bollywood. In conversation with Anushka Sharma, who is gearing up for her upcoming film JAB TAK HAI JAAN, which releases on November 13, 2012
"I am an anti-Yash Chopra heroine"
How has been the feedback so far for your upcoming film JAB TAK HAI JAAN?
The feedback was very nice. When the trailer of JAB TAK HAI JAAN came out people felt, after a long time they are getting to see something refreshing and interesting. After a long time they are watching a pure rom-com. As from quite some while we didn't see love stories happening. And, anyways it's a Yash Chopra film so there are humungous expectations and love for his films. Everybody whether its industry or even aam junta they have nice things to say about the film...The pre-release buzz is good. A lot of people have been complimenting me on my song 'Jiya Re'...I think its stunning and shot beautifully.
"Yashji had poker faced sense of humour"
Tell us about your experience and interaction with late filmmaker Yash Chopra
I was launched by the banner so I have met him many a times. But initially when I used to meet him there was a little bit of distance and awe factor because all these years I just saw his movies and his work and suddenly when you get the opportunity to work with whom you have held respect for years it's a different feeling. Moreover I am a kind of person who just can't go to Shahrukh or Mr Bachchan and casually say like 'Hey there' as there's lot of respect. Similarly for Yashji! But during JTHJ I realized that I don't need to be that way because he is just so relaxed, warm, funny and simple. He had the best and fantastic sense of humor and would have everyone in splits. He had poker faced sense of humor. He would be genuinely concerned about his actors and the entire crew. Often what happens is when a person is donning two hats of a producer & director the sense of playing the dual roles automatically comes up. But when Yashji was directing he was only a director. I mean, when he was involved he was creatively involved he wasn't bothered about figures, box office numbers. He was just shooting the film and enjoying it to the fullest.
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The last time I met him was at Rani Mukerji's house when she had arranged for Ganesh Puja...He spoke to me for an hour and told me anything and everything about me in the film. He singled out few scenes that he thought I'd really stand out. Strangely, whatever I would have wanted to hear from my director post watching the film is what he told me that day and I would have missed that opportunity because, sadly, he is not there with us anymore. So I would have never heard of those things from him. It's very bizarre that before he left he told me things otherwise I would have felt empty ki yashji ne muje kuch bataya hi nahi mai kaise thi like was he happy with me as he puts so much efforts behind his actresses...like he could have taken any other actress for this particular film. As actresses die to do a Yash Chopra film and he took me so I just wanted to make sure that he was happy with his decision and whether I justified his choice.
You are the rare, distinctive actress who have had the opportunity to work with both father and son - Yash and Aditya Chopra how do you feel about it and also comment on their respective styles of filmmaking?
I feel very special, unique, honored to have this chance to work with both of them. From a director's perspective, I think Yashji makes eternal love stories about man-woman relationship, whereas Adi's (Aditya) stories concentrate on principles, correctness, goodness of an individual. Yashji makes ultimate love stories apart from that he is much quicker, shoots much faster, he completes the scene in just 1-2 takes for instance if we had 12 hours schedule in Kashmir for JTHJ we would finish it in seven hours. Adi is also very quick but he is still someone who would go for one more take until he is satisfied. While Yashji is very clear and confident that actor apna pehla 3 take best deta hai uske baad koi actor apna take accha nahi de sakta hai however talented he/she may be.
And as persons...
As a person Yashji was younger, cooler, funnier and the youngest person I have ever met because your age is in the mind, it's in how progressive your thoughts are or how well you are moving. I am older than Yashji in my thought process...He would accept the person as it is. When he would talk to somebody he would come to that person's level...He was people's person and that's why he stayed so young and so fit. Like I remember it was shocking when I saw him climbing mountains in Kashmir, it was hard...but he was so hale and hearty as he was mentally fit, strong, he took things lightly and never showed an iota of stress. Though Adi is very much influenced by his father's cinema but his sense humour is not as good as Yashji's...Adi is very correct, a principled man, everything is very transparent for him There's no chal kapat in him...
Was there any particular scene in the film to enact or which hit you hard or touched you to the core?
Honestly there's no particular scene that I can single out and say it was tough. Sometimes it so happens is even if your scene is tough but with the kind of atmosphere you are surrounded is good, fun and light the seriousness of the scene doesn't hit you. You perform in the relax state. While shooting for JAB TAK HAI JAAN I had a great atmosphere around me but I think as far as my character was concerned it required me to be physically fit not just by appearance but actually physically fit as my character is outdoorsi and very adventurous. She is documentary filmmaker and going to places like Ladakh and Kashmir. Since the oxygen level is low there so it could take a toll on you and that's the reason I had to be physically fit.
"SRK-Katrina first time pairing didn't bother"
Actresses have always looked special and beautiful in Yash Chopra's films
It's there for everybody to see. All his actresses have always looked beautiful. That is not because of any physical appearance or any special treatment but its more to do with the fact that he saw every woman beautiful. According to him every woman is beautiful...He had that love and respect for women which translated in his movies, it was his vision that we saw. He was very chivalrous towards women; he found beauty and was believer of beauty everywhere around him...
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Right from the beginning there has been noise about Shahrukh-Katrina's first time pairing. Does that bother you that you might get overshadowed?
No not at all because you know when you are offered a movie, you know the script, the role. The nature of Yashji's film is always a triangle. So his stories are relationship between three people and how they are interlinked with each other so obviously that concern did not even strike me little bit also. Even if you watch his earlier films like VEER-ZAARA, DIL TOH PAAGAL HAI you can't say that Rani or Karishma had less of a role. That's the nature of his films and Karishma Kapoor even won National award for her performance. The strength and weight of his roles are equal and that kind of thought never arise in my mind.
From the promos it appears that you will not be seen as a quintessential, conventional Yash Chopra heroine in the film?
My character Akira, which I play in the film, is very refreshing and unique. When I saw VEER-ZAARA Rani came out to me like a strong Pakistani lawyer something very new which I had never seen before. So somewhere here also this girl is also like that. There's a Yash Chopra heroine and then there's anti Yash Chopra heroine...I am an anti Yash Chopra heroine...and the way you can differentiate between the two is simply by the fact that a Yash Chopra heroine is someone who believes in love. For her nothing is beyond love, that's the beginning and end of all thing for her...whereas an anti Yash Chopra heroine is someone who's a little too practical, bit cynical about love. I play a 21-year old ambitious girl who wants to achieve her dream, a documentary filmmaker on Discovery channel. So she feels love can come on the way of her success, her dreams...that's what sets the two apart...Furthermore, Katrina is also not like typical Madhuri...you will see a new twist to a Yash Chopra heroine because you will be seeing her in a more contemporary fashion. Though the soul of the film is old world charm, it has love as its core, the expressions and language is contemporary.
-- By Rachana Sheth, Glamsham Editorial