Working with Pankaj Kapur, an educational experience: Anushka Sharma
Anushka Sharma on not relating to her character in Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, crying in front of Vishal Bhardwaj and working with Pankaj Kapur being an educational experience
Anushka Sharma is clearly one of the most sought after actresses in recent times. While her debut in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi didn't make her an overnight star, as she claims, her spunky performance in 2010 sleeper hit, Band Baaja Baaraat had several A-list directors knocking her doors. While this year, she got an opportunity to work with Yash Chopra in his swan song, Jab Tak Hain Jaan, January 11 sees the release of Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola directed by Vishal Bhardwaj and in the pipeline are P.K. with Rajkumar Hirani and Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet.
"My biggest greed is to work with the best directors in the industry. There is no greater satisfaction," says Sharma, who was approached for MKBKM after VB (as she addresses Bhardwaj) saw her in Band Baaja Baaraat. She beams, "He has led life in a certain way and you see a lot of that in his movies. They are the perfect description of the grey nature of human beings. For instance, though everybody in Maqbool does something which is unethical, by the end of the film, you don't feel that anyone is a bad person. He sells you this belief that every human being is flawed and that is why, I have always liked his work. That was a learning for me too, while doing this film."
Apart from the director, the biggest draw for Sharma was her character, Bijlee. "In our films, we over-simplify characters and categorise them as 'sexy', 'bubbly' or 'female-oriented' whereas no role can be played similarly when you are in a different world. VB's world is so different and the characters have a lot of layers. When we started off, even I thought that Bijlee is just a spunky girl but when the script progressed I realised that she is a lot more than that," says Sharma. Elaborating more on the character, she plays, she says, "Bijlee is an attention-seeking, spoilt brat which is evident in her in-your-face dressing. She is the most eccentric character I have ever played." Comparing Bijlee with Shruti Kakkar (from BBB) and Akira (from Jab Tak...), Sharma believes that her previous characters were more level-headed and ambitious, but "Bijlee has no ambition or grounding at all. It's the most tricky role I have ever played because playing regular people is more difficult than getting into an action gear because there are a lot more props available."