Sharma at a promotional event for NH10, 2015
1 May 1988 |
Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India
|Occupation||Actress, model, film producer|
Anushka Sharma (pronounced [əˈnʊʂkaː ˈʃərmaː]; born 1 May 1988) is an Indian actress and film producer. She has established a career in Bollywood, and is the recipient of a Filmfare Award from four nominations.
Sharma began her career as a model, during which the filmmaker Aditya Chopra signed her for a three-film contract with Yash Raj Films. She made her acting debut in Chopra's drama Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) opposite Shah Rukh Khan. She received critical acclaim for her role as an ambitious wedding planner in the romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (2010). Both films earned her Best Actress nominations at Filmfare. Sharma won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a documentary filmmaker in Yash Chopra's romantic drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012). In 2014, she played a television journalist in Rajkumar Hirani's comedy-drama PK, the highest-grossing Indian film, and in 2015 she produced and starred in the thriller NH10.
Sharma was born on 1 May 1988 in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh to Colonel Ajay Kumar Sharma, an army officer, and Ashima Sharma, a homemaker. Her father is a native of Uttar Pradesh, while her mother is a Garhwali. Sharma was raised in Bangalore. She has an elder brother, Karnesh, who is in the Merchant Navy. She was educated at the Army School and graduated in arts from the Mount Carmel College. She later moved to Mumbai to further pursue her modelling career.
2007–10: Early work and breakthrough
Sharma says she originally intended to pursue a modelling career, and had no aspirations to be an actress. She began her modeling career at the Lakme Fashion Week as a model for Wendell Rodricks's Les Vamps Show and was picked to be Rodricks's finale model at the Spring Summer '07 Collection. Since then she has done campaigns for Silk & Shine, Whisper, Nathella Jewelry and Fiat Palio.
Sharma's first acting role was in Aditya Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), opposite Shah Rukh Khan, in which she played a young bride to a middle-aged man. Film critic Taran Adarsh reviewed: "Anushka looks the character and surprises you with a confident performance. It's no small achievement to share screen space with an actor of the caliber of [Shah Rukh Khan] and Anushka manages it very well from start to end." Sonia Chopra of Sify also gave Sharma a favourable review, calling her a "definite star material", and praised her dialogue delivery and range as an actor. The film received positive reviews and was a major commercial success, emerging as the second-highest grossing Hindi film of that year.
Two years later, Sharma played the leading lady in Badmaash Company, a crime-comedy starring Shahid Kapoor, a moderate financial success. Later in 2010, Sharma completed her three-film contract with Yash Raj Films by starring in Band Baaja Baaraat, a romantic comedy directed by Maneesh Sharma and co-starring debutant Ranveer Singh. She played an ambitious middle-class Punjabi girl who starts her own wedding planning business. In preparation for the part, Sharma learned to speak in a Punjabi dialect, which she cited as the toughest part of her role; she described the way the lead characters in the film interact as "crude but cute" which required her to "talk fast, sometimes mix words and even omit words completely".
Trade analysts expressed doubt on Band Baaja Baaraat 's financial prospect, citing the middling response to Yash Raj Films' last few productions, the lack of a male star, and claiming that by then Sharma was an "almost-forgotten" actress. However, Band Baaja Baaraat earned positive reviews and emerged a sleeper hit. Box Office India reported that the film grossed approximately ₹ 214.4 million after five weeks, making it a moderate box office success. Sharma's performance was praised by critics, many of whom cited it as her best work up to date. Film critic Anupama Chopra praised Sharma and said that she "comes into her own as the ambitious Delhi girl, who dreams of upgrading to multi-crore Sainik Farms weddings". For her work in the film, Sharma received her second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress, and earned several awards and nominations at other award ceremonies.
Sharma's first venture outside of the Yash Raj banner was the drama Patiala House (2011) directed by Nikhil Advani and co-starring Akshay Kumar. The film tells the story of a budding cricketer (played by Kumar) who encounters trouble in convincing his father of his profession; Sharma was cast as the love interest of Kumar's character. Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com praised Sharma's work and labelled her a "metaphor for energy". Also in 2011, she re-united with her Band Baaja Baarat co-star Ranveer Singh and director Maneesh Sharma for the comedy-drama Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. The film and Sharma's performance received mixed reviews, with Piyali Dasgupta of NDTV calling her "believable but not endearing". Despite a negative media perception, the film was a moderate success at the box office.
In 2012, Sharma played a supporting role in Yash Chopra's "swan song", the romance Jab Tak Hai Jaan, alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, which marked her fifth collaboration with Yash Raj Films. She was cast as Akira Rai, a Discovery Channel reporter who harbours an ambition of making documentary films. CNN-IBN's Rajeev Masand wrote that Sharma "brings a spark to the film", however, Raja Sen disagreed and said that "while Anushka can indeed play spunky, she needed here to tone it down several notches". For her role, she won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Sharma then appeared in Vishal Bhardwaj's Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola (2013), a political satire set in a village in Haryana. Co-starring alongside Pankaj Kapur, Imran Khan and Shabana Azmi, Sharma played the role of Bijlee Mandola, a strong-headed girl who engages in a romantic affair with Khan's character despite being engaged to another man. The film received positive to mixed reviews from critics, but underperformed at the box office. Several critics noted that Sharma was being stereotyped as a loud and loquacious girl; Raja Sen noted that she "is great in a couple of scenes near the climax," though Kanika Sikka of Daily News and Analysis was more critical and found her "unconvincing."
Sharma then took on the role of Jagat Janini, a television journalist who befriends an alien (played by Aamir Khan) in Rajkumar Hirani's religious satire PK (2014). Critic Saibal Chatterjee wrote that Sharma plays "a feisty poetry-loving girl who knows her mind far more than most Hindi film heroines are allowed to" and praised her for "hold[ing] her own" against Khan. The film garnered critical acclaim and emerged as the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time with a worldwide revenue of over ₹5.8 billion (US$92 million). Sharma made her production debut in 2015 with Navdeep Singh's thriller NH10, in which she also played the lead role. The film tells the story of a married couple whose lives are endangered after an encounter with a group of criminals. Writing for NDTV, critic Saibal Chatterjee found the film to be a "taut and riveting thriller" and praised Sharma for "conveying a range of moods as she moves from the vulnerable to the fearless in a battle in which the odds are stacked heavily against her".
In Anurag Kashyap's crime drama Bombay Velvet (2015), co-starring Ranbir Kapoor and Karan Johar, Sharma was cast in the role of a jazz singer. Critical reviews on the film were mixed; writing for Business Standard, Ritika Bhatia praised Sharma's performance in the song "Dhadaam Dhadaam", writing that "she fills the stage with such raw emotion that her mascara-laden tears and fake eyelashes flutter with arresting passion". However, the film proved to be a box office flop, failing to recover its ₹1.2 billion (US$19 million) investment.
As of May 2015, Sharma has two upcoming projects. She will appear in Zoya Akhtar's Dil Dhadakne Do, a drama about a dysfunctional Punjabi family, co-starring Ranveer Singh, Farhan Akhtar, and Priyanka Chopra, in which she will play Singh's love interest. In addition, Sharma has committed to star alongside Ranbir Kapoor and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Karan Johar's romantic drama Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2008||Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi||Tani Sahni|
|2010||Badmaash Company||Bulbul Singh|
|2010||Band Baaja Baaraat||Shruti Kakkar|
|2011||Ladies vs Ricky Bahl||Ishika Desai|
|2012||Jab Tak Hai Jaan||Akira Rai|
|2013||Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola||Bijlee Mandola|
|2014||PK||Jagat "Jaggu" Janini Sahni|
|2015||Bombay Velvet||Rosie Noronha|
|2015||Dil Dhadakne Do||Farah Ali||Post-production|
Awards and nominations
|2009||Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi||Filmfare Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Best Female Debut||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Most Promising Newcomer – Female||Nominated|
|Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards||Best Female Debut||Won|
|2011||Band Baaja Baaraat||Filmfare Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Screen Awards||Best Actress||Nominated|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Actor – Female||Nominated|
|Stardust Awards||Best Comedy/Romance Actress||Nominated|
|IIFA Awards||Best Actress||Won|
|Hottest Pair (along with Ranveer Singh)||Won|
|Apsara Film & Television Producers Guild Awards||Best Actress in a Leading Role||Won|
|Lions Gold Awards||Favorite Jodi (along with Ranveer Singh)||Won|
|Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Awards||Excellent Performance Award||Won |
|2012||Ladies vs Ricky Bahl||Stardust Awards||Best Comedy/Romance Actress||Won|
|—||Zee Cine Awards||International Female Icon||Nominated|
|2013||Jab Tak Hai Jaan||Filmfare Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Zee Cine Awards||Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Female||Won|
|Stardust Awards||Best Comedy/Romance Actress||Won|
|IIFA Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Won|
|Screen Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
Other awards and recognitions
- 2011 – GQ Men of the Year Awards: Excellence Award
- 2012 – Hello! Hall of Fame Awards: Face of the Year
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- "Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola Is A Huge Flop". Box office India. 14 January 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- "Inkaar Poor Opening Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola Poor First Week". Box Office India. 19 January 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
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- "Zoya Akhtar’s film is about a dysfunctional Punjabi family". Times of India. 23 February 2014. Retrieved 23 February 2014.
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