Anushka Sharma, who started off being an actress with the film 'Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi' with Shah Rukh Khan was paired with him again twice more with 'Jab Harry met Sejal' and then in 'Zero'. The other two were not successful as her debut film. Anushka who then worked with the other Khans – Salman in Sultan and Aamir Khan in 'PK' which were Rs 300 crore box office grossers, turned a producer with her film 'NH10' when she was just 25.
And now the actress has created a new genre in Bollywood along with her brother, Karnesh Sharma, with her company Clean Slate Films. The category which is now being billed as the female supernatural genre tells the story of humans and the supernatural from the point of view of a woman. Phillauri, Pari and Bulbbul from the production house that also came up with an NH10 and a Pataal Lok have given the natural woman superpowers.
Anushka says that that creation was more by default than deliberately.
“It happened rather unknowingly. We were trying not really trying to create a sub-genre at all. We were purely telling strong human stories from the perspective of a woman which is highly relatable and unique. I think a supernatural genre allows you a sort of escapism. It aids you to say things that you don’t necessarily have to justify with logic. There are a lot of films that we watch in mainstream cinema but supernatural allows you to do that with a lot more flair and that is what we’ve always tried to explore. We have always tried to tell a subtle message in the most beautiful way like how a supernatural girl can, That’s what we did with Phillauri for the first time where you had this friendly ghost and the VFX that we did was one of its kind. We created that world; an environment; but the story was about a woman who is not able to claim to her own talent because of the times that she lived in. The same was with Pari in a supernatural world. So yes, I think unknowingly we’ve created a feministic supernatural genre and were quite happy about it and hope to continue to do things that haven’t been done before,” says Anushka about her input to the film industry.
But then the siblings agree that there is no boss in the company – neither Anushka or him.
“There is no boss in our company as we have a very democratic and a transparent system and collaborate with some very talented people. Karnesh and I have always been on the same page when it comes to the kind of films that we want to tell; we like the way to tell those stories. As two partners and siblings at that we will have our difference of opinions on things but these are all constructive and all creative. Karnesh and I don’t see ourselves just producers. We are creative producers and so far, we’ve been able to establish that kind of films that we’ve worked on. You can see that there is a vision behind it,” she says.
Her brother was a sailor with the merchant navy and after he ventured into films with his younger sister, it has been smooth sailing for the two.
“We’ve not had any sibling fight. It is but natural to have a difference of opinion on things and in the beginning, I think Karnesh and I have struggled with this because at the end of the day we had to understand that we are partners. So, that is a professional relationship and at the same time we are siblings. Karnesh and I have fought a lot when we were kids and then we reached a point where we started becoming really close and started confiding a lot in each other. So, there will always be that kind of thing somewhere as he always saw me as a younger sister and I always saw him as an elder brother and we really had to get over that. It took time and perseverance, but we now understand that we have a professional relationship and work really well with each other,” emphasises Anushka who is married to Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli.