In her 13-year career so far, Anushka Sharma has showcased different shades of women — from the ambitious wedding planner in Band Baaja Baaraat (2010) to the spirited Aarfa in Sultan (2016) and the self-reliant Mamta in Sui Dhaaga (2018).

Though the characters resided in different universes, a common thread tied them — each had a strong head on her shoulders and the agency to take life decisions.

Bulbbul challenged age-old patriarchy

As she puts her weight behind another powerful story Mai, the actor-producer says she knew early on in her career that she didn’t want to be boxed as the leading man’s arm candy. “I have been conscious enough to select roles that I felt could contribute towards changing the portrayal of women on screen. I was done seeing myself as an accessory. I vowed that as a producer, I will not allow women to be depicted regressively,” she says. Sharma admits it wasn’t easy to swim against the tide. “It took a lot of self-belief, but it was liberating to do this for myself.” 

Her productions are proof that she walked the talk. If NH10 (2015) told the story of a woman raising her voice against honour killing, Bulbbul (2020) depicted the folklore of a blood-thirsty witch from a feminist gaze.


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Richa Sharma

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