‘Never enjoyed in comfort zone as an actor’

Anushka Sharma is all set to entertain her fans again with her film Sui Dhaaga, in which she portrays a small town girl. IBNS-TWF brings some excerpts from her trailer launch interview
What are your initial feelings about the film and its trailer launch?
The response of the trailer has been really overwhelming, positive and good, so I am very thrilled. Sui Dhaaga is a very special film made by Sharat Kataria, who had directed Dum Laga Ke Haisha. He has always been successful in telling a simple story but a very poignant, important one though in an entertaining way. Sui Dhaaga is a similar type of film. It is a film celebrating entrepreneurship, love and self reliance. Personally, I am very happy as an actor to do such a film. The film is much more than my different onscreen look and the audience will see various elements of the film in the course of the film’s promotional campaign.
Why did you say yes to the script?
I was excited to read the script offered by Sharat (Sharat Kataria, director) as I have seen his last film and really loved it. But honestly, I said no to Sui Dhaaga initially because of the lack of self belief. I conveyed to Sharat that the script was good but I cannot portray the character as it is beyond my level. I was very afraid. I thought I won’t be able to do justice to the character. But Sharat and Maneesh (Maneesh Sharma, producer) were extremely convinced that I could play the character. Later Sharat came to my house and explained to me what he thinks about the character and why I am appropriate to portray Mamta (Anushka’s character in Sui Dhaaga) onscreen. I will be very honest, that I went into the film with Sharat’s faith in me more than mine.
Did you learn weaving for the film?
I didn’t weave earlier but did embroidery. I really enjoyed the whole process. I have seen my grandmother and mother doing weaving, so it was there in my memory. So when I started to do embroidery, I picked it very quickly in the course of the film. I am happy that I could do things which I didn’t know earlier. So awareness about the life of a tailor, their skills or different kinds of arts increased.
The film also demonstrated financial crisis. Did you face similar situation in life?
I come from a typical middle class family. My father was in the Army but his salary was not much. My parents tried to give everything they could. There was a time when I had to participate in a dance competition in school and a certain fee was needed for the clothes (costume). So I was very excited and told mother that I have been selected. My mother was very happy and then asked about the fee. But when I told her the price of the cloth, she refused to pay citing the various loan amounts which were due to pay. I was devastated. As children, we don’t realise what our parents sacrifice. But my mother didn’t let my opportunity go and weaved and stitched my costume throughout the night. So I have gone through that phase when we didn’t have money and lifestyle that I can provide to my family today but our parents never let us realise.
You have been living an urban lifestyle for quite sometime now since joining film industry. How did you feel the character of a small town girl internally?
It was actually a long process. The first step of the process was to get prepared mentally to play this character and I think it was needed to exclude things from myself rather than including. It is important to remove something from oneself rather than adding while playing any character. An actor can play any role. It’s just that one needs people who believes in that actor like Sharat and Maneesh did in my case. So that belief is important. But honestly that does not happen often over here (in film industry). People usually cast one depending on how they understand his or her personality or what kind of film they have seen of that particular actor. So when a director or a producer take that kind of faith in one’s talent then obviously it becomes a huge responsibility of the actor (to do justice). The same thing happened with me in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (Anushka’s debut film) also. I knew that very few people wanted me to be part of that film so I had to prove to people who believed in me.
Do you think you came out of your comfort zone for the role in Sui Dhaaga?
I am actually never in the comfort zone of my life. I like to put myself in uncomfortable positions at all time specially as an actor. I was never in comfort zones while doing films like Pari or Sultan in the past. The character in Pari or Sultan were something I didn’t do before. But Sui Dhaaga was different because of the submissive nature of Mamta’s character. By no means, am I submissive but then I realised that even Mamta is not. So the discovery of Mamta as not a submissive woman was the starting point for me. I have never enjoyed myself in a comfort zone.
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