Anushkha Sharma, the 29-year-old who began her acting career in 2008, has often spoken about how unbelievable it was for her when she found out she’d be starring opposite Shah Rukh Khan in her debut film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi.
Naturally then, the current climate in Bollywood surrounding the debate on nepotism has made Sharma’s struggle as an “outsider” and her success in the industry despite it all the more relevant.
In an interview with The Indian Express, Sharma said her ability to say ‘No’ more than saying ‘Yes’ to movies offered to her is the reason she was able to sustain stardom for 10 years and counting.
“It is always the choices that one makes. That’s what has worked for me,” she said.
“I want to add value to the movies I do. I was not listening to industry insiders telling me about what I need to do,” Sharma said. “Being an outsider, I have charted my own path and not followed any pre-conceived notions.”
The artist has also said that she never let her lack of experience in something stop her from trying something new.
Sharma debuted as a producer with her home production NH10, a revenge thriller, in 2015 ─ largely well-received by audience and critics. However, her second home production under the Clean Slate Films banner, Phillauri, released earlier this year did not do as well as she had hoped.
When asked if it was heartbreaking to see its falling numbers on the box office, Sharma seemed less than defeated about it.
“It was not heartbreaking. All the shareholders of the film profited from it,” she said. “I can’t judge myself as a producer, the way I judge myself as an actor. As a producer, I have to pat myself on the back for doing something different.”
“I’m not an industry kid. My brother (Karnesh Sharma) and I are learning as we go along. We will always take up films that we believe in,” the actor added.
In an interview with Dawn.com in 2012, Sharma shared the story when she signed the three-film deal with Yash Raj Films:
“That was the highest point in my life. I shook his (Aditya Chorpa) hand and left crying all the way back home and feeling the maximum joy anybody can feel. Adi said to me ‘I have not taken you because you are the most beautiful girl, but I have taken you as you are the most talented girl’.”
Looks like there has been no turning back for Sharma after that!