In her flannel shirt (Oh, they're from Sarojini market in Delhi, she was happy to let us know) and skinny denims, Anushka literally looked 'simply splendid'. Adding that touch of designer elegance were her Jessica Simpson ballets. She doesn't change from her picture perfect sitting posture all the while she speaks to us. 'Do they teach that in modelling school'- I couldn't help wondering.
When Anushka Sharma starts talking, she is full of ideas and energy. It dawns on me, she is very, very similar to her 'talkative' character Bulbul that she portrays in her forthcoming film, Badmaash Company that opens at the marquee today.
Tell us about Badmaash Company…
All of these four characters want to have a fun vacation for which they need loads of money which of course their parents won't give. So what they do is invent these illegal ways of making it. Now when they start getting whatever they want so easily their behaviour starts changing. How they come out of it and what changes they go through is basically what the film is about.
You too might have experienced a sudden high of fame recognition with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. How did that affect you?
See, when you get things easily, you don't value it. You take it lightly and it sort of even goes to your head. But I was aware that being selected as a lead for a Yashraj film, opposite Shahrukh Khan is nothing trivial. Plus, I've gone through my fair share of struggle, just that, not for Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. When I came to Mumbai, I had no one who could tell me this is how the entertainment industry works. I did it all by myself to make it in the modelling industry. I know how hard it is to survive alone in this city. So that way, I sort of learnt the value of even the tiniest of grace in my life.
Did you deny being Anushka Sharma, to one of your fans?
Yes, it happened while I was shopping in the US. There was this guy who came upto me with his girl and went 'Are you Anushka Sharma'? And I wanted to shop, so I told them, no I'm not. Then it sort of became too bad for the boy because his girlfriend went – 'I told you it wasn't her.' I started feeling sorry for the poor chap and called out to him and said – 'Yes, I am Anushka'. The boy was so relieved that he would be spared of his girlfriend's scolding that he was no more excited about me being the real Anushka Sharma. He just had this expression of – Thank God, I'm saved. Later I noticed him giving that 'I told you so' look to his girlfriend (laughs).
How was working with first time director Parmeet Sethi?
It was cool! Parmeet has this strange kind of passion. Even while sleeping he was dreaming about Badmaash Company. He was open to suggestions but at the same time, would make us understand his point of the vision.
Did you get cold feet about kissing onscreen?
No, I never got cold feet about kissing onscreen. These days cinema is changing tremendously. We don't need to do such things to attract attention. I don't need to do it to attract attention. I do it because Bulbul at that situation does it.
What about wearing skimpy outfits?
Same again, cinema along with the time is changing…and according to me, clothes don't define you. You define the clothes you wear. The clothes that you wear do not go to symbolize your moral values or attitude.
Tell us about your character, Bulbul.
Bulbul is a strong character. Talkative (laughs). Lots of girls will be able to identify with her.
Lots of times actors carry certain habits of their character home. Did it happen with you?
I didn't carry the character home with me, instead I just started noticing girls who had some or the other quality of Bulbul amongst the crowd. I would catch it easily if any girl did anything like Bulbul. So it was like I sifted out a part of bulbul in all girls while working for Badmaash Company.
How was working with Shahid?
Shahid is a great person! He is a very good actor.
Do the link-ups bother you?
Initially, I was like 'Hain', 'What?!' But now I don't mind. I know its just a part and parcel of my profession.
Is it a conscious decision to stay away from media?
Yes, I don't come and interact with the media often as it's a conscious decision on my part.
Tell us about any badmaashi you did in your real life…
You know in army school we had this SUPW period where we had to cook and all. I was so not interested in it. I was interested in sports. So what I used to do is, forge my PT teachers sign and show it to my Mam and say – I'm needed to help with so and so. This was how I used to escape. I got caught once so I started forging someone else's signature. But at the end of the year I went and confessed to my Mam and she was like – yeah, I knew it all along.
When was this?
This was in the seventh or eighth standard.
Do you think people might try to enact the scams that are in the film?
Seeing the consequences that the foursome suffer, I don't think people would imitate. They'd have to be really stupid to try it after seeing all that.
What kind of movies are you looking forward to do?
I'd like to do period films, action films, I'd like to portray a troubled person…there are so many things I want to do. I've just started.