Anushka Sharma (pronounced born 1 May 1988) is an Indian film actress and producer. She has established a career in Hindi cinema, and is one of the most popular actresses in India. She has received one Filmfare Award from six nominations.Born in Ayodhya and raised in Bangalore, Sharma had her first modelling assignment for the fashion designer Wendell Rodricks in 2007 and later moved to Mumbai to pursue a full-time career as a model. Following an audition at Yash Raj Films, she made her screen debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in Aditya Chopra’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), for which she received her first Filmfare Award for Best Actress nomination. The sleeper hit Band Baaja Baaraat (2010) marked a turning point in her career, earning her praise and several accolades.In 2012, Sharma won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for portraying a documentary filmmaker in the Yash Chopra-directed romance Jab Tak Hai Jaan. She had her biggest commercial success with the role of a television reporter in the fantasy drama PK (2014), which ranks as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time. In 2015, she starred and co-produced the crime thriller NH10, which garnered her critical acclaim, and appeared alongside an ensemble cast in the comedy-drama Dil Dhadakne Do.In addition to acting in films, Sharma is the ambassador for multiple brands and has an active social media presence. She also supports multiple charities and causes, including gender equality and animal rights. She and her brother are the founders of the production company Clean Slate Films.
Sharma’s acting debut was in Aditya Chopra’s Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), opposite Shah Rukh Khan. She took a day to prepare for her screen test at the Yash Raj Films studio and refused to do an impromptu one. She landed the leading role of Tani Sahni, a young bride to a middle-aged man, portrayed by Khan. Giving the film a three-and-half star rating, Khalid Mohamed called her “assured and upright”, while Nikhat Kazmi wrote about Sharma’s performance that she “lacks all chutzpah and can barely hold your attention”. The film received positive reviews and was a major commercial success, emerging as the second-highest grossing Hindi film of that year. It earned her the Filmfare Awards nomination for Best Actress and Best Female Debut.
Anushka Sharma and Ranveer Singh holding up DVDs. While Sharma, wearing a pale yellow top is smiling directly at the camera, Singh, dressed in a white shirt, is looking away.Sharma with co-star Ranveer Singh at the DVD launch of Band Baaja BaaraatTwo years later, Sharma played the leading lady in the crime-comedy Badmaash Company, directed by Parmeet Sethi and co-starring Shahid Kapoor, Vir Das and Meiyang Chang. The film, dealing with four underachieving friends who begin a scam business enterprise, met with mixed reviews. 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.Her role was that of Shruti Kakkar, an ambitious middle-class Punjabi girl who starts her own wedding planning business. In preparation for the part, Sharma learned to speak in the 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 saying that by then Sharma was an “almost-forgotten” actress.However, Band Baaja Baaraat earned positive reviews and emerged a sleeper hit. 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.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”. The same year, she re-united with her Band Baaja Baarat co-star Ranveer Singh and director Maneesh Sharma for the comedy-drama Ladies vs Ricky Bahl, produced by Yash Raj Films. She featured as Ishika Desai, a salesgirl hired to outwit a conman (essayed by Singh), who ends up falling in love with him instead. The film and Sharma’s performance received mixed reviews, with Piyali Dasgupta of NDTV calling her “believable but not endearing”.Despite mixed reviews, the film was a moderate success at the box office.