She used to be softspoken, bright and studious, but model Anushka Sharma also has what it takes to reach the top in showbiz, say people in Bangalore as she makes her dream debut opposite Shah Rukh Khan in "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi".
While her mentor and fashion guru Prasad Bidappa says Bangalore girl Anushka was always a good learner and he had an inkling that she would do well in the glamour and entertainment industry, her friends say she has always "stood out in the crowd".
"Anushka showed her zeal in learning things fast. She started walking the ramp perfectly just after a few days of guidance. She was agile and had a perfect body language. She was a good learner and worked hard to reach the top. It did not surprise me when she got such a good opportunity in Bollywood," Bidappa, who also groomed Deepika Padukone, told IANS.
Well-known designer Wendell Rodricks spotted Anushka at an event in Bangalore and saw her potential. He brought her to Mumbai and made her the showstopper in his Les Vamps show at the Lakme India Fashion Week.
After making a mark as a model, Anushka did big assignments for products like Fiat Palio and Silk and Shine products.
A trained bharatanatyam dancer, Anushka is playing a dancer who gets married to a nerd in "Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi".
Former model and Kannada actress Andrita Ray says Anushka's entry into filmdom brings hope for others who are trying to make it big in filmdom.
"Certainly this was the most encouraging news for many models in the city who are trying for a foot hold in the film industry," said Andrita, who forayed into the Kannada film industry with director Mahesh Babu's "Meravanige".
Andrita remembers Anushka as a softspoken girl.
"More than me, some of my best known friends who describe her as one girl who could be noticed even in a big crowd.
“Though I did not have too many interactions with her, I was very happy to see her getting such a big break. And what makes it more exciting is the fact that she was chosen after more than a hundred girls were interviewed," said Andrita.
Some of Anushka's friends who studied in Mount Carmel College with her say they were not at all surprised that she chose a film career.
"Working in films was her first ambition," said a friend.
One of her teachers on request of anonymity said she was surprised when she saw Anushka's photograph in a newspaper with Shah Rukh. "She was very studious and I thought she would complete her post graduation in economics," said the teacher.