Anushka Sharma is the only actress who can claim to have been directed by both a Yash Chopra and a Raju Hirani. The best part of her stardom is that she does not have the trappings of a star. She may be emotional and feisty, but she is also sorted and has today a grip on her emotions. At the core, she is simple and has simple fundas that she follows. Ahead of her upcoming romantic period film 'Bombay Velvet', Anushka talks to Bombay Times about her real life romance with Virat Kohli, what makes them so similar and why football fans outside India are more loyal than cricket fans in India. Excerpts:
Ranveer Singh recently said how you now have a grip on your emotions that you did not have earlier, and how you are a sorted person. Has that change really happened? Yes, there is a change. It just happens with experience and age. I want to evolve as an actor, but most importantly, I want to evolve as a person. I want to be in control of how I feel. When I came into the industry, I wasn't ready for either the adulation or the scrutiny. I was anxious when I had come in but was very confident about my work. Over time, you start understanding what is really important for you. I have always had a strong family support and have always lived with my parents and brother. Also I was very clear about my career and knew the films I wanted to go after. So the nonsense gets cut off as I am clear about the fact that I don't want to be No 1. I don't have to be present in all kinds of faltu things. I want to be relevant for the work I have done and not for how popular I am. It's great that with this I get popularity also. But once you realise what is important for you and let go of things you don't want, you can take decisions like doing an NH10 as it comes with stability in your head and conviction. So my security really comes from what I don't want to do. And now I am becoming sure of even what I want to do and that development is taking place. Also what really can be important for you in your life is either your work or your personal life. And I get stability from both.
Anurag Kashyap is really impressed with the way you have learnt to control yourself and be calm. In fact he fondly said how Virat's presence in your life has brought this change and he, in fact, wants to learn from you. Do you feel that Virat has brought about this change? I don't think I would have been open to a relationship had I not been feeling stable already. In fact, I would not have taken on a relationship at the level I am with Virat, if I myself was not feeling like a proper person. It's only because I started feeling sorted two years back when I met Virat that I was open to the beautiful relationship that we have right now. So it came together at the right time, but also, it is true that people do that to one another. When you respect and love each other for the right reasons and for the real reasons, that's when you bring that stability and calmness in one another. Why do we say that our family and friends bring us stability? They bring stability as they love us for the real reasons. They are not seeking anything from you. I can't stress the importance of the 'real' part enough. Virat is family to me and we want each other to be happy. If my parents or brother or Virat were upset, it would upset me but those are the only people who are important for me and can change my mood. Earlier I would give that power to anybody, but that power is today only with them. Now no one else has the power over me.
Virat told me how the quality he likes the most in you is your honesty and simplicity and that you are real as he too, is like that. What do you like about him the most? I like the exact same things that he likes about me. Not many people know that me and Virat are very similar and we are actually the same people. It's very scary as it is actually like that. He is also someone who right from the beginning of his career knew what he wanted and I can say the same thing about myself. We keep thinking that shit it can't be more similar. We are both kids who come from middle-class backgrounds and are both kids who did well on our own. Nobody helped us or opened that gate for us to say aao andar aao. And we didn't follow the beaten path and we took the beating for not following the beaten path. He went through the same things as I. He was judged on his tattoos, his aggression that today people celebrate. Both of us are clear today about what we want.
However strong you could be, no one can remain insulated from what happened during the World cup this time. It was obviously very harsh. But you have no option and you have to find a way of dealing with it. It was very nasty what was being said. It was like bullying and regressive. And it is sad to know that this is how people think about women being these kind of Mandakinis who are there to distract men rather than the contribution they make to society. With both Virat and me, individually, we know where we stand with each other. We know what impact both of us have on each other and no one else needs to know that. And whether people know the wrong or the right thing has no bearing on our relationship. We are both very good at cutting that chatter out and such things only test you and in a way and it has only made us stronger and closer. I come from an army background where my father always taught me to be brave and a young confident woman so this was wrong at every level. On the other hand, I felt very bad for Virat as here is a guy who went and played a cricket match for his team when his dad passed away and then went for his last rites. I know Virat's passion, even passion is a lesser word to describe what he feels towards his game and when I see that and see how people reacted, I felt very hurt for him. But then it's like the same when your one film does not do well people say all kinds of things but that is only till your next good Friday. With him too that is true only till his next 100.
Did you feel proud as a girlfriend when he held your hand proudly coming out of the airport? He told us that for him, it was about respecting his relationship. I have always done what is right for me and he has always done what is right for him. We are not people who have thought if that was socially the right thing to do. For us all these things were very normal and organic, it was not a statement we were trying to make to anybody. People say I don't know why celebrities don't open up about their relationship, you please tell me, do people know how to respect people in a relationship? And whatever people might say, we will continue being the same with each other and that is something we both have understood. And it's something we have prepared ourselves with. It used to happen earlier in small small ways, with the World Cup, it happened in a big way but we now know that it is a part of life. And if it happens 17 more times it doesn't make a difference. At the end of the day, these are some really silly people saying some really silly things.
Since you have seen the world of cricket through Virat as an insider, how does a player feel when his loved ones feel the impact of his performance on the field? In India, whether it is cricket or anything else that India loves a lot, be it your husband who first beats you at night and then in the morning claims to love you, that's really the relationship that people have. But that's not love. If you talk about sportsmanship and when people say that this is my favourite football team or club outside India, those fans cry with their players when they lose. That's team loyalty, but thinking that we are with you only when times are good, what loyalty is that?