Anushka Sharma

Bangalore girl Anushka Sharma announced as Shah Rukh’s latest leading lady

THERE’S no doubt about it: being picked as a Yash Raj heroine is a dream come true for most Indian girls. Throw into this heady mix the badshah of Bollywood Shah Rukh Khan as your hero, and it’s the ultimate fantasy. For Bangalore model Anushka Sharma, 19, this dream is now a reality. She’s been announced as SRK’s leading lady in the latest Yash Raj film, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi, which commences shooting on May 16 and is slated for a December release.

Anushka is the second Bangalore model to star opposite SRK in a super-hyped film. Earlier, Deepika Padukone who was cast opposite him in Farah Khan’s Om Shanti Om hit the fast track to fame when the film became a hit. Will it be the same for Anushka? The tall, pretty, fair model certainly has oodles of star quality, say those who know her well.

Bangalore’s style guru Prasad Bidapa says this star quality was evident even when Anushka was brought to him by her parents when she was just 13. “She was very tall and beautiful even then,” recalls Prasad. “Her parents were keen she should do some modelling without losing out on her studies, so she started off very easy and gently. Even then, one look at her and you knew she would hit the big time soon.” Prasad credits much of her inherent dedication and discipline to her services background. “Look at Sushmita Sen and Lara Dutta. The services life prepares you well for this kind of work.” But more than her poise, it was her willingness to listen to advice that struck the right note with industry pros. “She would never come late or party too hard the night before a shoot. Sometimes models tend to go a little crazy when they enter the glamour line. Not Anushka.”

Fashion designer Wendell Rodricks is one of those who says he spotted a special something in the young model years ago in Bangalore. “I recognised that quality she had — innocent yet beautiful — and took her to Mumbai to the fashion week to model for me. Anushka has an expressive face that can look tragic at times — almost like Meena Kumari — and youthful and shy at other times. I have seen so many models that I can recognise star quality when I see it — and I saw it in her long before most others.”

Fellow model and good friend Zoheb Yusuf feels that Anushka deserves her big break. “She’s a very talented girl and a gorgeous person inside,” he says, describing her as self-motivated and ambitious, yet full of fun and very sporting. “This is a superficial industry, but Anushka is good at heart. And I believe that good things happen to good people.”

As for the much discussed age difference between the two — SRK is 43 and Anushka 19 — Zoheb believes it won’t matter. “They will look great together. Shah Rukh makes stars. In Om Shanti Om, the age gap between him and Deepika didn’t show.” Adds Prasad, “We’re used to seeing older male stars romancing younger heroines. Look at Sivaji The Boss — it’s the ultimate suspension of disbelief. And it’s so great! There’s no reason Anushka can’t pull it off like Deepika did.”

Shahrukh Khan's new film Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi to be produced by Yash Raj Films and directed by Aditya Chopra will have a new heroine who hails from Bangalore. She is Anushka Sharma, who has been a successful model. Aditya Chopra who directed block busters like Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Mohabbatein is returning to wield the megaphone after a long gap.

Eighteen year old Anushka Sharma who is still studying for graduation in Economics has a set of expressive eyes which paved way for her selection as Wendell Rodrick's finale model at the Lakme Fashion Week. After getting this recognition, Anushka has done major campaigns for Silk & Shine, Whisper and Fiat Palio.

Though modeling work excites her, this new development in which she will play the heroine to one of the top stars of the Indian film industry may well take her to the top line in films. And she will be the second heroine from Bangalore who will be pairing with King Khan. Deepika Padukone had played Shahrukh's heroine in Om Shanti Om. Sources say that Chopras found a spark in her which paved way for her selection.

Sources in fashion industry in Bangalore say that Anushka left for Mumbai to pursue her modeling career and was not keen on films. "I will venture into films only if I am picked for a good banner. I will be happy modeling. I can not think of any other profession now. As for as I remember, I only wanted to be a model," Anushka is reported to have told some of her modeling colleagues.

Anushka was the show-stopper for designer Wendell Roderick’s Spring Summer 07 collection. She has also promoted hair-products in television commercials, and not to forget the Fiat Palio Stile Meri Sapno Ki Rani ad, which is currently playing on television

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