Take a sample survey. Supply a list of top ten heroines of Tamil and Telugu movies and ask people to rate. One name would surely figure in both lists and as a popular favourite. You guessed right – Anushka Shetty. The 1.83 m tall lass, a sure-fire femme fatale for her looks and acknowledged for her acting prowess, Anushka Shetty has travelled quite a distance and in a fairly short time.
Born Sweety Shetty in Mangalore on Nov.7th, ’81, to Prafulla and Vittal Shetty, Anushka Shetty or Anushka as she is known on screen, schooled in Bangalore, and also completed her Bachelor of Computer Applications at Mount Carmel College there. She was a yoga instructor initially , who had trained under Bharat Thakur. During her yoga coaching days she got her offer to act in films.
Initial days of Acting
Entering films for the first time in 2005 in the movie ‘Super’ by Puri Jagannath, she was cast with Akkineni Nagarjuna and Ayesha Takia. The movie received mixed reviews, but the media awakened to a new face on the horizon that showed promise. The tall lissome lass who carried herself well, was noticed more for her looks than acting which the film did not offer much by role. The same year with ‘Maha Nandi’ having Srihari and Sumanth, she was noticed even more for the photography by Vasu that showed her panache for looking glamorous and chic.
The following year, 2006, saw her do four films, noticeable was her Telugu starrer with Ravi Teja named Vikramarkudu. The film drew crowds for their on-screen chemistry, with a good endearing performance by Ravi Teja and she supplying the female interest. She instantly became the darling of Tollywood. Following up with the C.Sundar film ‘Astram’ she next went to debut in Tamil films with ‘Rendu’ opposite R.Madhavan. In the latter half of the year she did ‘Stalin’ opposite megastar Chiranjeevi in Telugu.
Her 2007 film ‘Lakshyam’ and 2008 film ‘Souryam’ that put her with Gopichand were successful at the box office.
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2009 onwards, a different Anushka altogether
Till now she was only portrayed as a new face glamorous heroine who kept the audience interest alive. But with ‘Arundhati’, where she essayed a double role, the critics were left gaping and the crowds loved it too. Two characters portrayed and what a contrast in the natures of both, yet brilliantly justified by superb acting, Anushka, the actress, simply ‘wowed’ everybody. Deservedly she took home the Nandi Special Jury Award and the Filmfare Best Actress Award that year.
Despite some run-of the mill movies the same year, as her luck would have it, the following year in 2010 she got another opportunity to show her histrionics with Krish’s ‘Vedam’. Undisputedly she walked away with her second Filmfare Award for Best Actress consecutively.
Some notable films later like ‘Panchakshari’, a woman-centric film where she again had double roles to play, ‘Nagavalli’ with her playing the role of Chandramukhi, Khaleja and Ragada with top heroes of Tollywood, the box office was not kind, but the public acknowledged that Anushka had arrived and would give more and more raving performances if given the opportunity.
She had some success in the Tamil industry too with Singam, Suriya being the hero. The Tamil remake of ‘Vedam’ got her critics’ acclaim there too.
Alex Pandian, Mirchi, Singham II (Tamil) came and went, she did her best irrespective of how the movies fared.
Towards the end of 2013 came the Tamil hit ‘Irandaam Ulagam’ which gave Anushka Shetty once again the opportunity to show audiences the stuff she is made of. This Selvaraghavan fantasy adventure put her in double role opposite Arya where she played Ramya, the shy doctor with docility, and also Varna, the warrior, full of spirit and aggression, with extraordinary ease and the audience was left wondering how one person could harbor such contrasting qualities within oneself to play both characters in the same screen space.
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2015 and beyond for Anushka
Gone are the days when Anushka was merely a beauty to fill the screen and mouth a few lines here and there. With three outstanding woman-centric movies like Arundhati, Vedam and Irandaam Ulagam in her kitty of acclaimed movies, there is no looking back for Anushka. It is only going to get better and better with more movies that offer such scope, where she can continue to display her acting skills in all shades and hues, coming her way.
Lingaa opposite Rajnikanth in 2014 was a welcome experience despite the film not doing well at all as expected.
2015 holds promise. Starting with the much-talked about bilingual ‘Rudhramadevi’ opposite Rana Daggubati and Allu Arjun, where she plays the titular role of the Kakatiya queen RudramaDevi, the promo video already indicates it to be a promising film for all concerned and the single screening for lucky winners of a draw with the cast, received rave reviews. Release shortly this month, Rudhramadevi should take Anushka miles ahead of the rest if her performance is as rumoured. Bahubali with Prabhas, Rana Daggubati and Tamannah Bhatia is already on its way towards completion and a performance oriented film called ‘Size Zero’ is also on the floors as on date. If Anushka is level-headed and maintains her composure, she should rule the roost for many years to come, and we would get plenty of occasions to cheer her sensational acting skills and on-screen presence.
Anushka the personality
Her on-screen performances have given all around something nice to talk about her extraordinary displays in acting. But off-screen also she has been approached for her tall, lithe and very famous figure to endorse their products and as charmingly as on screen, she has obliged. The Chennai Silks, Shri Lakshmi Jewellery, Colgate Active Salt, Head and Shoulders shampoo, MBS Jewellery are some on the list and it is growing. M/s Intex & Co. already have her as the brand ambassador for their Intex Aqua Smart Phones.
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Suggestions for Anushka Shetty saree
Products of all sorts may be endorsed by her, but the Indian saree would love to drape her 1.83 m frame, like some of the other tall Bollywood females, because she has elegance, she has class, she has style and what better than a model frame like hers to carry it off so naturally.
Unnati Silks, with traditional handlooms since three decades has the following saree ideas for her.
- Andhra Handlooms, plain cottons, large stripes or colour bands at the border areas in a multitude of colors, that hardly have a hint of cotton because of the fine count weaving, would suit very nicely for the oncoming summer. Paired with a good blouse she would look ravishing.
- One side border sarees of Gadwal and Uppada cotton with the rich zari borders and plain fields with a kalamkari type blouse would look sensational on her.
- Ikat printed sarees, be it the Venkatagiri handloom or Pochampally cotton, Sambalpuri mercerized sico or Bomkai pure cotton saree, Bengal handloom pure cotton or the Assam tie & dye saree, any of them would look super on her because of her height.
- a gicha work tussar or raw silk jute saree paired with a kutchi embroidery blouse or designer to even light contrasting blouse for her and onlookers would know what womanly allure is.
- and not to forget the Kerala cottons range, a new collection of fusion sarees in cotton with vibrant colors and combinations.
For a woman like Anushka Shetty who has carved out a niche for herself in two prominent film industries like Tollywood and the Tamil film industry, her confidence and bearing at such a young age and her ability to stand tall amongst the counted is remarkable, indicating the right approach and thorough professional that she is.
May the Lord get her the place in the sun that she rightly deserves!