Anushka Kaushik: Satish Kaushik sir was just like a child and the most energetic person on the set – Exclusive – Times of India

Anushka Kaushik has been living her childhood dream of being an actor ever since she first came to Mumbai. After proving her mettle in films like SP Chauhan and Ujda Chaman, she impressed viewers with her performance in Thar, Ghar Waapsi, Crash Course, Maharani S2 and so on.
In an exclusive interview with ETimes, Anushka spoke candidly about her growing up years, memorable moments with Satish Kaushik, the best and worst part of being an actor and many more.
What is the best and worst thing about being an actor?

The best part about this job is that you get to play so many different characters, understand different types of people, their psyches, their backgrounds and for that it becomes your syllabus to actually be aware in your day to day life. It is a lifestyle process which is the best thing about this job. And the worst thing, I think when we say it like a public figure. Your day to day life is very much out there in the hands of people. They have the access to your life and they can say anything about it which sometimes you know might trigger you or make you feel bad. But that’s in your hand how much you want to get affected by that.

Did you always think of acting as your career choice?

Yes, it was always. I don’t even remember saying anything else as a kid. Right from the start, I always wanted to be an actor. It was a childhood dream.

Did your parents support your decision of becoming an actor?

Yes. I’m blessed with supportive parents. But I’ll say that they were not very supportive in the initial stage because of the things they have heard about Bollywood and Bombay. They were very much scared about it and my mom used to say that nothing will happen. So I think that was the dilemma my parents were going through, where they really wanted to support me also but protect me from everything.

Would you like to share your good, bad or ugly experience in the industry so far?

In spite of just picking on an incident, I’ll just say that there’s this one theory of mine where I genuinely like to prove myself. I’ll not take the name but there was a celebrity who ignored me when I was going to meet him on the first day on set. His bouncers didn’t let me go there. But the next day when I performed my scene, sir liked it and started coming to me asking me how are you and everything. So I have understood in this industry that you have to create your space. When we talk about casting, those back to back rejections make you question yourself, ‘Am I not a good actor?’ But you have to understand it’s not in your control.

What is your biggest fear?

I’m a very family oriented person. So I think losing my dear ones is the biggest fear. Not only losing them like them leaving this world but rather losing them physically and emotionally. Sometimes your family is not inclined with the same thought and then you have to make a decision what is right for you.

You’ve worked with Satish Kaushik in Patna Shukla and Thar. Would you like to share your memories with him or his family members if you’ve ever met or heard about them?

I still cannot get past that news of him leaving this world. Satish Kaushik sir was one of the best people I have met in this industry. I am privileged and blessed to share screen with him. In Thar I couldn’t get that much of time to spend with him, but in Patna Shukla it was crazy. He was the most energetic person on the set. He was just like a child. When I was busy doing something, he used to call me Kaushik. That’s so fresh in my mind. The best part is he used to tell me about Bombay and how much this city and the industry has changed. When I told him that Bombay will always be like big buildings, he used to tell me to sit on the beach, think that we will do this, we will do that and then see that life is so beautiful.

Tell us about your childhood memories, walk us through your growing up years.


I think my journey has been reversed. When I was a kid, I was a very studious person, not deviating into a lot of things and just being a good kid and a good student. But then growing up, now I think I explore more. Be it even like meeting new people or just chilling with people. Now I am more notorious and more chill. I was mature then and now I am kiddish.
I did my schooling from Saharanpur, a district in UP and then shifted to Delhi for my graduation. My graduation time made me mature in terms of understanding life. Because I think when I was in Saharanpur, I was in my cocoon. Parents were there to solve the problem but the biggest exposure was coming to Delhi. There was a huge culture shock where people were talking about different things, different brands. I was mentally not prepared for it. People would tell me I was not ready.
I felt like they were bullying me. I used to feel pretty bad about myself. I used to come home and cry. But I realised that it’s not what people think about you (that matters), but what you think about yourself. That’s something I learned in life. From there my positive journey and my career and my thing started by God’s grace.

What drives you the most?

I think it comes from within. Nobody can give you that drive. Definitely I love my work. I do this because I love it. Because I want to do it. Because I see my life this way. I have chosen this. So I think it is the internal drive which keeps me pushing – ‘What next?’ I enjoy this. So I think enjoyment is also important because apart from the journey of your career, your life is also decreasing, which is the truth. I mean one day we have to leave this world. So we have to understand that we have to enjoy this journey and the process.

Since you have worked with many experienced actors, have you ever been star struck by any of them?

A lot of people don’t know this, but many years ago when I was in college, I was in this show Made in Heaven where we were made to stand in the crew and it felt like, okay we were like junior artists. But because that show was directed by Zoya Akhtar ma’am it didn’t bother me. When she came to me, it was just a passing walk. She came to me, she put her hand on my thighs and just made me understand the scene and I was so star struck. I was just looking at her and I’m like, ‘Damn guys! Please, someone click a BTS!’ That was the time when I was actually star struck, but now when I’m on set, it feels like I genuinely enjoy their aura, their understanding, be it Anil Kapoor sir, Satish Kaushik sir, Annu Kapoor sir, Raveena Tandon ma’am, or Arbaaz Khan sir. There’s so much to learn.

What advice would you like to give to your younger self as a child or teenager?

I’ll tell the 19-year-old Anushka, to relax and to chill more and to explore more. Life is all about exploring. The areas where you feel like, ‘Oh, I don’t know about this,’ and you get scared… But confidence comes with knowledge and knowledge comes from learning. There will always be something left. So, there is time. Just relax, chill, and just leave the self pity thing. Just love yourself and yes, you can take yourself out on a date and celebrate, because you are doing well.

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