Anushka Sharma shot to fame with her debut opposite none other than Shahrukh Khan, in “Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi” in 2008. The movie got her noticed for her performance and dance skills. However, she truly solidified her place in Bollywood with the 2010 release of Yash Raj Films’ Band Baaja Baaraat opposite debutante, Ranveer Singh. Since then she acted in Patiala House earlier this year. However, it is the next Yash Raj Films’ production, Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl that reunites Anusha and Ranveer, which is the current buzz around Bollywood. Check out this interview with Anushka below and let us know if you will be seeing the movie in theaters!
Yaar, kabhi jab main dekhti hun ki yeh film Band Baaja Baaraat itni badi success hogi ya hume itna pyaar milega tho sochti hoon ye kissi one man show nahi tha – I think everyone’s work has been appreciated on this film. I think somewhere as a team we were trying to do that. Jab hum bana rahe the iss film ko, energies were real good. It was a young team –and everybody was there to prove themselves toh hum log ek film bana rahe the hum sab logon ko script se pyaar tha hum sab logon ko un characters se pyaar tha aur hum ek film bana rahein hain Band Baaja Baaraat, lekin ab jab main sochti hoon hume nahi laga tha ki hum successful film banana ja rahein hain ya dekho ki main aisse performance karungi iss film mein ya Director Maneesh ne soocha ki meri pehli film mein main dikha dunga sabko ki main zabardast director hun. Kissi ka attitude aisa nahi tha, sab logon ko film acchi lagi and we stayed true to the subject so a film like Band Baaja Baaraat came about and I think koi bhi jo successful films rahi hain ab tak, I don’t think makers, filmmakers, actors, technicians have ever thought that we are going to turn this into a blockbuster we are going to turn this into a cult film. Aisa soch ke aap films nahi bana sakte. You just make films with a clean heart, you make films because you are in love with those scripts, you make films because you are in love with the characters and you make them and then a Band Baaja Baaraat is created!
Q. When the shoot of Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl began, BBB was still running in theatres and the experience of working on BBB was still fresh in your mind-what did you feel when you were offered LVRB with the same team (except for the three ladies) the technicians and the core team, you and Ranveer are the same so what did you feel when you got this film?
See because I know Director Maneesh you know, I knew that when he is going to set out to make another film right after BBB mujhe itna pata tha that he is not going to make something even close to or similar to BBB and I knew that. So when I read the script of LVRB I was like see I knew this – he is not going to make another BBB. This film is the opposite of BBB and yet there are some moments which make you feel reminiscent of BBB but in such a different environment, in such a different space with two very different characters and you know they are very different from Bittoo and Shruti but at the same time the situation might remind you of something but the environment, the body language and the way the characters are speaking – the way Director Maneesh is taking the shots, it completely changes the whole thing so I think ki disadvantage or advantage or I don’t know what you want to call it hai being that BBB is like a monkey on our backs right now or for everyone who is expecting a BBB. So if people are coming to watch BBB they are not going to watch BBB – they are watching a very different film, a very good film and exciting film, a very stylized film and a film which has intelligence yet it has emotions and a lot of freshness because of the three girls in the film jo sabki I think sabki almost pehli film hai and I think aise three faces hain jo kabhi dekhe nahi hain which has added so much of freshness to this film and then of course there is me and Ranveer but poora jod ke ye ek cast ensemble hai. Yeh technicians aur ye saari team jo assemble hui hai it’s the same almost but with a very different film this time – yeh maine expect kiya tha Director Maneesh se ki he is not going to do the same thing and yeh he hua and I think we have made a good film!
Q. Tell us about your character Ishika?
I think maine ek baat jo identify kari is character ke saath woh ye thi ki jab you know when a girl lives alone in a city like Mumbai or in a city like Bangalore or Delhi you naturally develop a sense of independence, a sense of you know you start to guard your surroundings and you guard yourself. You shield yourself very well and you become street smart. I think that always almost happens and it’s a very natural progression so even if you come from a protected family and if you are living alone in Bombay you will become a strong girl who needs to take care of herself in a very positive way so I think this is what for me Ishika is. Ishika is a very strong girl and she is very intelligent girl and an adventurous girl. She loves life and she seeks pleasure in life and at the same time she has her head on her shoulders and she is carefully guarding herself. She is street smart, quirky and intelligent and I think these qualities make her very relatable – like a lot of girls will be able to relate to Ishika.
Q. How did you prepare for your character – did you go through a process of readings with director Maneesh Sharma and with Habib Faisal?
After working with director Maneesh on the first film and with Habib sir I would like to surrender myself to these two people because they are very good at what they do and I think most of my energy as a performer comes from Maneesh and Habib so you know when we do readings they’ll ask me to say lines in a certain way and most of the time we are all on the same page but there is always this extra direction that comes from director Maneesh which are these little nuances that he tries to add in characters that I fully trust so there was preparation but the preparation was almost like an activity that we all you know did together and this was for the first time in my life ever that I have been a part of workshops before a film. Atul Mongia (Acting Workshop Director) was there and actually the idea was that director Maneesh was just having a workshop with the three girls and I just said yaar why don’t you include me, let me also come for the workshops and I actually realized that it really helped because it broke those barriers that we might have had you know, it was like 5 people in a film so it broke those barriers and we got more comfortable with each other through those workshops and understood the characters better. Also when you are studying so many different characters together you can easily demarcate ki yeh aisa hoga aur yeh aisa hoga verna there can be some similarities that can come in but when you are developing the characters together as a team with the involvement of Atul Mongia, director Maneesh and all the actors then it really adds those different dimensions to each character which was very helpful to make everyone look so distinct in the film.
The first thing that I feel is that every girl has been cast for this film so correctly that I don’t think you could have had a better cast. The way they are in their real life, the way they carry themselves and their demeanor is very similar to the reel characters like Aditi Sharma is playing a girl from Lucknow so she has that little tehzeeb in the way she talks. Usko waise bhi aap miloge kabhi toh who bahut tameez se baat karti, bahut aaram se baat karti hai…who ji bol ke baat karti hai aur who yeh film mein bhi kar rahi hai. I feel like yeh sab real log lag rahe the film ke andar. Dipannita Sharma – Dipannita is someone who is very poised she has been a super model and she is so tall and so stunning. She holds on to a certain authority and you can’t mess around with her. She is someone who doesn’t take nonsense and that’s Dipannita in real life and that’s Dipannita in the film when she plays Raina. Parineeti Chopra – plays Dimple. We kept calling her ‘alhurd’ and in real life also she is like that. She is very full of life and that’s what she plays in the film. So I think these people have been cast so accurately for the film and I don’t see anybody else who could have played these characters and acting with them just became so easy because like mere kuch experiences hain unke sung jo off camera hote the wohi experiences we were seeing while the film was happening also and I think you can feel that on an actor’s level ye ek subconscious level pe ek feeling hoti hai toh unko main observe karti thi even off camera like I used to keep observing them and thinking yaar this is working so well because the reactions to them used to be so real you know and so I think it’s a great mix. I really feel I may be wrong but mujhe ek level pe lagta hai ki all the girls ka experiences gets put into this one ladki so there is a Dimple in Ishika, there is a Raina in Ishika and there is a Saira in Ishika. I think somewhere you know you live these things and director Maneesh ne mujhe ek baar kaha bhi tha ki who un nuances ko add karne ki koshish bhi kar raha tha and its come out really well. So yes I think the ladies are very well cast.
Q. Tell us about some memorable moments with the 3 Ladies while shooting Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl.
Mere sung aisa pehli baar hua hai ki mujhe itne saare actors ke sung act karna pada hai aur maine kabhi bhi aisa film nahi kiya hai jahan pe ek scene ho raha hai jisme 4 actors involved hain. Main Ranveer ko hamesha bolti thi you know when he used to say mere sabse zaada looks hain mera yeh hai mera who hai, main kehti thi zyada mat bol – I have to act with three actors because you see Ranveer alag alag episode mein aata hai aur ek bar ek ladki ke saath hi hai but I am sort of like the person jo yahan bhi hai aur vahan bhi hai that’s why there are three ladies, there is one Ricky Bahl and there is one v/s and this versus is the conflict which is with Ricky Bahl. When I used to be with the girls ek samay pe pehli baar toh ajeeb lagta tha ki teen log baat kar rahein hain kis kisko reactions do so woh bahut funny hota tha! Humne jab hamari workshop kari thi tab maine decide kar liya tha mera attitude har insaan ke saath kaise hoga. So with Raina there is a little bit of like kyonki who authority mangti hai so there is a little bit of respect for her – she is a thinking person in that group. Then there is Saira she is someone jisko aapko kabhi gussa nahi aa sakta, she will always be like someone who will hold things together and she will always keep things together – she is that girl, toh uske saath hamesha ek hum kya bolte hain mein polite thi is character ke saath. Dimple is someone who is always getting into the face of people you know, she is a spoilt kid and there is always ek undercurrent raha hai uske aur mere beech mein because of her relationship with Ricky. So Dimple was someone who used to keep talking and everybody was like okay Dimple fine theek hai haan now lets move on to this topic. There was Raina who is instructing and Saira who was the calming force. I think we have just developed like mera sabke saath ek relationship tha. Har character ke saath there was a different level on which Ishika was interacting. The three characters of these girls are so different from each other you know so for me I think as an actor I have never done a film in which mujhe itne saare actors ke sung perform karna pada – alag alag characters ke saath so mere liye bahut bada learning experience tha yeh.
I think Ranveer has relaxed a lot as an actor since BBB. I think me and Ranveer have over the past two years have also known each other better even on a personal level as friends so you know there is a little bit of understanding that we have for each other – jo maine kissi aur ke sung experience nahi kiya hai because Ranveer is the hero with whom I have worked more than once so mujhe pata hai who scene ko kaise approach karega aur usko pata hai main scene ko kaise approach karungi toh hamari ek yeh understanding hai without talking to each other, understanding baan jati hai and because hum log itne different hain as people and the way we approach scenes – that creates a very nice energy you know in a scene. Abhi bhi wohi baat hai ki woh zyada rehearsal karta hai main zyada rehearsal nahi karti hun and director Maneesh ko uske sung rehearsal karni padti hai yeh toh abhi bhi chalta hai but I think pehle kya hota tha hum ek doosre se irritate ho jaate the during BBB ki yeh kaise karta hai. Like yeh kaise matlab … how does he work and he is thinking yeh kaisi karti hai so there was that thing (laughs). Today we have understood that yeh aise karta hai accha yeh aise karti hai so you know we have developed that understanding of each other as actors jo pehle hum dono ko may be nervousness thi. BBB was a difficult film for both of us and I guess that anxiety and nervousness was too much but today we are more relaxed and I think we have worked better as a team in this film than in the last. So Ranveer and me have this certain undefined chemistry which even I don’t understand you know but its there and I think most of the time it happens because of the writing. Iss bar the chemistry is there in body language, its there with silence and its there with reactions- when you will watch the film you will understand but its more in silent moments and its more in reactions so that in a very nice way…that’s the main difference between working with Ranveer in Band Baaja Baaraat vs. Ranveer in Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl.
Q. How was it working with director Maneesh Sharma in Band Baaja Baaraat vs. Maneesh in Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl?
Maneesh is a mad director – he was mad during BBB and he is mad now also. Like me and Ranveer always say he is like a bull – he is like someone who is just so focused and he is so so aggressive towards his work. He has to get the shots right. Sometimes you don’t know what he is thinking but I have realized after BBB that Maneesh is a director one should just surrender yourself as an actor to. I believe that I am a director’s actor. I need a director to get good work out of me and Maneesh is a director who I can completely trust you know ki yeh jiss tarah se visualize kar raha hai who correct hai sahi hai because he sees his script not just on the level of the script but he takes it a little beyond and he always gives it his treatment and always creates something else with the script. Obviously I am sure director Maneesh is more confident with Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl I guess because uski second film hai so somewhere I think there is a little bit of comfort level also because he is working with the same team but having said that I think what I have discovered in this film is that the more I work with director Maneesh, I feel that every actor should surrender himself to a director. Maneesh will take out the best in you. Every character he has treated differently – he has treated Dimple differently, he has treated Saira differently, he has treated Raina differently, he has treated Ishika differently and he has treated Ricky Bahl differently that too with so many looks – so for him he had to really distribute himself into so many areas which he did brilliantly.
I don’t know about fun but itni chot aaj tak life main mujhe nahi lagi hai jitni mujhe iss film mein lagi hai! Me and Ranveer had fallen off a jet ski you know in the water and I am like that was just such a funny incident for me because I can swim! I am a very good swimmer but when we are on this jet ski and we fall and the jet ski topples and me and Ranveer have fallen inside the water where it’s not so shallow and we are little bit inside and I was flapping in the water. When I reached out on the beach I was thinking why the hell was I flapping as I know how to swim so I realized that when you are in fear … that fear when you feel like you are going to drown you forget that you can swim and I had forgotten that I could swim! So for me like in retrospect I laugh about that – I have been swimming since I was 4 yrs old and today when I fall into the ocean I am flapping my arms, yeh kya ho raha hai yeh kya ho raha hai I am going to die so that was hilarious! I mean that day was a very taxing day on the entire unit – garmi mein shoot kar rahe the aur beach pe the aur sab jal rahe the aur the sun was very harsh and we had to finish the scenes because we had those two days to shoot those scenes and we were doing a lot of important scenes – it was a very hard day and this incident happened so I mean ek baat maine realize ki that even when those days were tough days when I look back I remember that funny moment so I think that’s a good experience to walk out from. Then we have fallen off a scooter also which I was riding so before the shot happens I am telling Ranveer I have done one recee on that land toh bahut dicey situation hai yahan par toh hum girne waale hain. Main vapas aake Ranveer ko bolti hun ki Ranveer we are going to fall and I am telling you main apna weight handle nahi kar paoongi when I am riding and tera toh main bilkul nahi kar paoongi and Ranveer is like lost – he is like nahi nahi its ok we’ll manage and all that so I said theek hai we’ll manage and I am taking his support and thinking we can control it and we have gone and we have fallen! Mujhse knees pe chot aayi, hath pe chot aayi ,like you know elbow pe lagi and Ranveer ke paun pe chot laga…aisa laga ki uska thoda sa scratch aa gaya hai and but when we reached the hospital and we realized that Ranveer has had a bad burn actually, very terrible burn and he was so sick for the next three days almost a week actually and it was a tough time! So I think iss film mein hum itne gire hain but who humko abhi funny lagta hai – now it seems like it’s really funny and it’s like we have genuinely given our sweat and our blood to this film.
Q. What have you learned the most from Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl?
I think iss film mein… through this film I have learned a lot – ek bahut zyada learning hui iss film mein on very many levels – kucch personal level pe learn hua hai, kucch professional level pe learn kiya hai, kucch practical levels pe learn kiya hai but I would like to say that iss film mein maine maximum seekha hai and that’s what I remember this film as a very big huge learning experience.
Q. Let’s talk about Jazba which is your introduction song?
For me it was very exciting to shoot Jazba because I live in Mumbai and I am from Mumbai and I have never how do I say… I have never experienced Mumbai in such a nice way like I have while shooting Jazba. We have really tried to show every aspect of the city, the essence of the city you know through this song – there are dabbawallahs, we have shot at the railway station in Mumbai which symbolizes the lifeline of the city – basically I feel like this was my first time to experience Mumbai in this way to be captured on film – you know its unforgettable. Jazba is a song that shows the spirit of this girl in a very positive way – that everything in life can be turned into something more optimistic and to just enjoy life and bad moments can also be enjoyed and I think she has this ‘this too shall pass’ attitude. Ishika has a very positive attitude and she is full of life but at the same time she is street smart and she is bit chaalaak… she is a little bit chaalu but not in a negative way you know so this girl’s spirit, this girl’s energy, this girl’s enthusiasm for life pleasures and adventures that she seeks in life – all this comes through in Jazba.
Q. Tell me something about the dance-a-thon song ‘Fatal Attraction’?
I have had most fun shooting the dance-a-thon in this film. So Fatal Attraction is something that I enjoyed the most while filming – Fatal Attraction was earlier referred to as dance-a-thon in the script – there was just this one line in the script which said dance-a-thon and we used to keep overlooking it kyunki who shoot nahi hua tha. We knew ki chalo kucch ho raha hai vahan pe and its very very important to the film – it’s the conflict of the film and it’s an important part but when we finally filmed it I realized that that little word in the script is actually so big. If I can say so – that if it’s not there in the film, there is no film you know. So I think the way the set was decorated – set designer Abid has just done an incredible job with that set… it was supposed to be a sort of like a trance party in Goa with these psychedelic colors and these neon lights and these UV lights and it was just so amazing that just being on that set made you want to party. I was thinking that I am in a party so for three-four days we shot there it was like for a party and the music is so amazing. It’s the best set I have ever seen and I love the music and choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant has very effortlessly made this whole thing and it was just like these are moments that have been captured along with the dance but the balance that she brought about never overpowers the emotion – its so lovely!
Q. Let’s talk about the song Thug Le.
I think Thug Le is a very very thumping pumping number- it’s a great dancing number. It’s choreographer Shruti Merchant’s debut – you know it’s the first time she is choreographing a song and it’s so different – it’s got a very cool attitude with the moves and the song is also sung like that … it’s so boy v/s girl. There is a lot of heat, there is a lot of energy, there is a lot of aggression but yet there is also a lot of flirting so everything has been combined in this song and the set was just so beautiful. It’s like heavy and everything is so larger than life in that song – it’s a great celebration!
Q. Last words…
You have seen a lot of rom-com’s but if you are really interested in seeing a rom-con please come and watch Ladies vs. Ricky Bahl releasing on 9th December at a theater near you!