From an outsider to an unconventional producer: How Anushka Sharma navigated through Bollywood on her own terms

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© IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd She has, in fact, been able to cement a place she can safely call her own in the industry. 2017 marked an important year for women filmmakers all over the world. She tested unexplored waters yet again by choosing to headline and bankroll a horror film like Pari. Anushka has now gained enough trust of the audience that if her name is on the poster, we know we are not going to be let down. For a girl who is only 30, Anushka is doing a fine job at acting and now has a reputed production house (Clean Slate Films) to lean on to. Her charming smile, her Delhi middle-class mannerism and her ambitious yet straightforward self made her a delight to watch on screen. Patty Jenkin’s breakthrough film Wonder Woman not only received various critical accolades and recorded the highest collection ever for a female directorial but also started a conversation about films on women and by women. Anushka Sharma in a still from Jab Harry Met Sejal. Yes, her films might not have been able to garner the kind of box office collection an A-lister would but they are worth taking note of. But Anushka doesn’t always play by the rules. While NH10 was heaped with praises from all quarters, not the same fate was meted to Phillauri. 2018-05-01T06:37:15+05:30″>
Published: May 1, 2018 6:37:15 am

Anushka Sharma celebrates her 30th birthday today. Whether she is part of an ensemble film or a popcorn entertainer, Anushka makes sure to leave you mesmerised. In an interview to Anupama Chopra earlier, the actor strongly called out the rampant sexism in the industry. Opposite an exuberant Ranveer Singh, Anushka again proved her mettle in the way she embodied the essence of her character. As is visible, Anushka’s brand of feminism is not one of the clamouring variety who just vehemently call the system out but rather of the kind that believes in getting things done, in bringing a change from the inside, in playing by the rules but still holding your own. Back in 2008, when Anushka made her debut with Shah Rukh Khan’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, she didn’t exactly floor the critics with her performance. As Anushka herself accepted in an interview, it was with 2010’s Band Baaja Baaraat that the actor was straddled to the position of an A-lister. “You feel that discrimination. Anushka Sharma in a still from Band Baaja Baaraat. Anushka Sharma in a still from Phillauri. Not ready to follow the herd, Anushka has always been interested in experimenting. This is what makes her one of the few actors to have found the balance between content-driven cinema and commercial entertainers. She has worked with the Khan trinity but never become a prop to them. She has done all that, despite being an outsider. In a career ranging just a little over 10 years, Anushka has comfortably moved from being an outsider to a producer who backs the most unconventional projects. She was just 25 years old when she produced her first feature – NH10. In an industry where female producers are a rare find, Anushka stands tall as an independent producer of unconventional content. And till date, this remains one of the most honest accounts of the position women hold in Bollywood. In the constantly changing landscape of the Hindi film industry, it is quite an anomaly to find an actor as consistent with her film choices as Anushka Sharma. Yes, Anushka’s last few outings might not have been all that impressive but her Wonder Woman is not that far behind. Not just with money, but in general,” she revealed. But Anushka Sharma doesn’t just earn the praise for excelling when given the meatiest roles but she also gets the audience’s approval for playing commercial roles like Aarfa in Sultan or Alizeh in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil. I say this not just because Taani was one of the more meaty roles available to women but because she injected the character with a kind of quiet confidence that left an impression on your mind as you left the theatres. Ten years down the line, Anushka has fifteen films to her name and she has seldom disappointed in her outings. But despite sharing screen space with SRK in a double role, she was able to hold her own.