Debuting her first movie with Shahrukh Khan, she comes again for the third time as a Gujarati girl who loves to explain the meaning of her name even when not asked. The actress spoke with media recently about her role and much more. Excerpts:
How was it playing a Gujarati girl?
It was good. I couldn’t learn the whole language but I worked on the diction. I worked on how the pronunciation could be in English and Hindi language without making it cliché in any sense. Not for anything else but the character is not like that. Once you get a hang of it then it gets easy and then you just go with the flow.
Are there any cultural or character references also when you play a role which belongs to a particular region?
Ideally I’d like to do that, but in this case Imtiaz doesn’t believe in creating a reference, he wants everything that comes out on its own. About the diction, it’s how she talks and that also suggest how limited her environment was, she has only traveled with her family and cousins and doesn’t have a worldly view, which is reflected in her language.
Imtiaz’s female characters has layers in them, do you think Sejal has such intensity as well?
I hope she does. Not just his female characters but all the characters of Imtiaz have layers in them. They are deep and intense. In this case, Sejal’s journey is very interesting. She goes around the same places twice with Harry to find her ring and the whole journey changes her life , I enjoyed playing the character and I hope the audience connect with the layering that she has in her.
How relevant is the Punjabi-Gujarati bond in the movie?
It is purely incidental. It could have been a Punjabi and a Maharashtrian or any other region for that matter. In this story, I think the reason why she is a Gujarati girl is because Gujaratis take these abroad trips with their family and keep an Indian guide with them.
What made you choose this film?
Sejal is a very different person from who I am. We always look at the exteriors a little bit more. This is a romantic comedy where the space to diversify a role gets a little tough task to do. She is very jugadu and street smart but at the same time she has no depth, she is very superficial and takes life as it comes. I couldn’t connect with her immediately; I took my own time and thought a lot about her in order to get into her shoes. Imtiaz told me that he has come across a lot of girls like Sejal and thus he write a character like that of Sejal.
You had your first movie with SRK and then you have your third release with him after all these years, how do you feel about it?
Shahrukh is a great human. I have always admired him for the person he is. He treated me with respect and dignity when I was a new comer and he is still the same. I cannot comment upon his acting because who am I to comment. He is Shahrukh Khan for the talent that he has!
Shahrukh in a recent interview said that Anushka is one of the few actress who would say things only if she believe in it even if it’s for her role, so do you believe in the ideology of what you seek is seeking you?
Oh ya, definitely. I generally truly think that whatever you think is projected in the world around you. The same situation can be different to me according to what my mind set is. If I am not in a good mood I would find everything wrong around me but if I am in a good hit space then I will be more forgiving about the same things. I believe what you look for is given back to you. It is an understanding each day of my observation.
When play characters, do you prefer ones that I relate to more or ones which challenge you?
It’s both the case. Sometimes the ones that I would relate but they have to stand for something. The ones that I don’t relate to has to challenge me because it changes the way I look at something and helps me grow as a person.
What is the factor that makes you choose a film, length of the character or a script in totality?
I don’t think the length matters to me because I wouldn’t have done a film like Dil Dhadakne Do then. The criterion is what my character end up doing in the film. Is my character different from what I have done before and does it intrigue me otherwise it will become very boring for me as well.
You being an outsider is one of the most successful actress and so are other outsider actors who have really made it big in the industry, the why do think the whole debate of nepotism still make rounds?
Nepotism exists everywhere but it does not mean there is no room for other merit talents. People like Shahrukh Khan, Imtiaz Ali and myself wouldn’t have been here doing a film if it did not allow outsiders to show their chance. Like I said, everyone’s experience is different but at the same time it is not that the industry does not give room for merit talent.
Transcribed By – Paridhi Tripathi