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Anushka Sharma (pronounced [əˈnʊʂkaː ˈʃərmaː]; born 1 May 1988) is an Indian actress and former model who appears in Hindi films. In 2008, she was signed by Aditya Chopra for a three-film contract with Yash Raj Films and made her acting debut in Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. She received critical appreciation for portraying a vivacious wedding planner in the romantic comedy Band Baaja Baaraat (2010). Both films fetched her a Best Actress nomination at the Filmfare Awards ceremony. She later won the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Yash Chopra's romance Jab Tak Hai Jaan (2012).Sharma's father, Col. Ajay Kumar Sharma, is an army officer and her mother Ashima Sharma is a housewife. Her father is from Uttar Pradesh and mother from Garhwal division of Uttarakhand. She has an elder brother named Karnesh, who is in the Merchant Navy. She studied in Army School and graduated with specialization in arts from Mount Carmel College, Bangalore. She later moved to Mumbai to further pursue her modelling career, where she currently resides.Sharma says she originally wished to make it big in the modeling world but had no strong aspirations for films. She began her modeling career at the Lakme Fashion Week as a model for Wendell Rodricks's Les Vamps Show and was picked to be Rodricks's finale model at the Spring Summer '07 Collection. Since then she has done campaigns for Silk & Shine, Whisper, Nathella Jewelry and Fiat Palio.
Her first acting role was in Aditya Chopra's Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008) opposite Shahrukh Khan. Her performance was appreciated with film critic Taran Adarsh stating, "Anushka looks the character and surprises you with a confident performance. It's no small achievement to share screen space with an actor of the caliber of SRK and Anushka manages it very well from start to end." The film received positive reviews and was declared a blockbuster, and had been concluded as the second-highest grossing film of all-time to that point by the end of the year.
Her second film, Badmaash Company, also under Yash Raj Films, was released on May 7, 2010. While Taran Adarsh added, "Anushka is a revelation. She looks stunning, her performance is livewire and the chemistry with Shahid is electrifying."
"I was very young when I was in RNBDJ and that journey had enabled me as an actor. I am not very confident of my growth as an actor but I am very confident of my growth as a person."
—Sharma on her journey from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi to Band Baaja Baaraat.
In 2010, Sharma completed her three-film contract with Yash Raj Films, starring in Band Baaja Baaraat, a romantic comedy directed by Maneesh Sharma and co-starring debutant Ranveer Singh. She played a middle-class Delhi-Punjabi girl who goes on to launch her own independent business of wedding planning and later falls for her partner. In preparation for the part, Sharma was required to master the dialect of a young Punjabi woman from Delhi. She cited it as the toughest part of her role, describing the way the lead characters in the film interact as "crude but cute", and calling for her to "talk fast, sometimes mix words and even omit words completely". Prior to its release, she referred to it as her "best film till date". Some pundits, however, had expressed doubts about the film's prospects to leave a mark, citing the middling response to Yash Raj Films' last few productions, the lack of a male star, and claiming that by then Sharma was an "almost-forgotten" actress.
Band Baaja Baaraat was released on December 10, 2010 to positive reviews and went on to become a sleeper hit. Box Office India website reported that the film grossed approximately 21.44 crore after five weeks, making it a moderate box office success. Sharma's performance was praised by critics, many of whom called it her best work up to that point. Taran Adarsh described her as "truly wonderful," noting that it is "the first time in her 3-film career, a film rests mainly on Anushka's shoulders, and she handles the responsibility so well." For her work in the film, Sharma received her second nomination for the Filmfare Award for Best Actress and earned several awards and nominations at different award ceremonies. It has often been noted that the film has acted as a major career move for the actress, as it brought her much recognition.Sharma's first venture outside the Yash Raj banner was Patiala House directed by Nikhil Advani and co-starring Akshay Kumar. Patiala House was released on February 11, 2011. Despite the film's lukewarm performance at the box office, Sharma received positive reviews. Nikhat Kazmi of The Times Of India wrote, "Anushka Sharma’s vivacity may have an after taste of her bubbling Band Baaja Baraat act but her passage from Janakpuri’s dhinchak girl to Southall’s siren is sweet and smooth. Watch out for the girl; she’s truly on a roll."
In December 2011, she re-united with her Band Baaja Baarat team of Ranveer Singh and Maneesh Sharma for Yashraj Films's Ladies vs Ricky Bahl. Despite negative media perception, the film was a moderate success at the box office.
Sharma's first film in 2012 was Yash Chopra's romantic drama Jab Tak Hai Jaan, along with Shah Rukh Khan and Katrina Kaif. The film would eventually become Chopra's last directorial venture before his death on 21 October 2012. This would be her second film with Shah Rukh Khan, opposite whom she made her Bollywood debut with Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and her fifth collaboration with the production house, Yash Raj Films. Her portrayal of the extremely ambitious s Descovery Chanel repoter, Akira Rai fetched her positive comments from critics with Taran Adarsh noting: "She's an integral part of this story and it must be said that she walks away with some of the best scenes and lines in the movie. Her performance is full of grit." Additionally, Sharma won her film filmfare award (for Best supporting Actress) for her performance.
Sharma has signed for Anurag Kashyap's Bombay Velvet opposite Ranbir Kapoor and movie scheduled to go on floors in April 2013. Meanwhile, Anushka has completed shooting for Vishal Bharadwaj's Matru Ki Bijlee Ka Mandola, opposite Imran Khan. “I have completed shooting for the film. I was very happy to work with Vishal Bharadwaj. He makes very different and true films. All the characters are very well-written. Each character has a well defined beginning and end in the story,” she said.