Anushka Kaushik’s roles in ‘Maharani’, ‘Crash Course’ and the more recent ‘Lust Stories 2’ has definitely given her immense recognition as an actress
The advent of OTT has not just given rise to many talents, but also has provided them with suitable platforms to showcase their skills. Be it direction or acting, OTT space has definitely given them the space under the sun. The Gen-next star Anushka Kaushik is one such talented actress who is a perfect example of the OTT space. Her roles in ‘Maharani’, ‘Crash Course’ and the more recent ‘Lust Stories 2’ has given her immense recognition as an actress.
OTTplay caught up with the actress for an exclusive conversation. Over to you, Anushka…
Anushka, you have been appreciated immensely for your performance in ‘Lust Stories 2’. Have you watched ‘Lust Stories’ part one?
I have watched Lust Stories’ season 1 and that’s one of my favourite series.
What is it about the first part that still strikes you / haunts you?
There is nothing that haunts me. At that point of time, I liked it because it had a new voice. After that, there were a lot of shows being made. But, at that point of time, it was very new and refreshing.
When you were offered the role in ‘Lust Stories 2’, did you readily accept it or you got lost in the flashes of ‘Lust Stories 1’ and were left wondering what your role in the second season would be?
When I was offered this character in ‘Lust Stories season 2’, it was definitely a deliberate decision to know more about the character, the script, what the film is going to talk about, my co actors, the director and the things associated with the story, rather than thinking more about season 1. I think all I wanted to take from season 1 was definitely the legacy, the love it has got from the audience.
Did you undergo an audition process or you just got through without an audition?
It was through an audition process, which was done by Mukesh Chhabra sir, who has done my castings for major of my previous projects.
Can you take us through the process of your audition…
I had a couple of calls with the Associate Director, who said that we are very much confident about my acting. But there were a few things which was associated with my character that I really wanted to put on the table beforehand. So, I think those were the decisions which I was sceptical about. I was mentally prepared for my onscreen character because the psyche of this character is very different from my real-life persona. I really want to convey my thanks to the entire team, my director Amit Sir and my co-director Rupali who from day one was very much confident that I could pull this off.
What was it about Lust Stories 2 that attracted you the most?
It was the director Amit sir, whose previous films like ‘Badhai Ho’ attracted me the most. Besides him, there was R Balki sir and also Konkana Sen mam, whose films I simply love.
What does the term ‘Tilchatta’ mean and what was the reference in ‘Lust Stories 2’?
That's an interesting question! (smiles) ‘Tilchatta’ actually means a cockroach. And this term was used because the film starts with a cockroach in the frame. And, Kajol mam’s character Rani tries to kill that cockroach. Cockroaches don’t die until and unless you just smash its head. That was the reference for the title.
Many were totally surprised to see Kajol in ‘Lust Stories 2’. What about you?
No, I wasn't surprised at all. I think it's just the love of the audience for decades, that they want to see their favourite actors in a certain character and let's say…in a certain way. But, I think, as an actor also and as a person who was born in the OTT space, I can understand how much we truly want to portray different characters. We truly want to try different things. And I think even if she's doing it, I'm happy that she (Kajol) did it and she did it very, very well.
You got to work with the likes of Kajol and Kumud Mishra. What has been your biggest takeaway from both these actors?
From Kajol mam, I have learnt how considerate and important it is to make others feel important and happy when we are working with someone. She provided that space for all of us so that we can be ourselves and perform the best with the utmost honesty. And from Kumud Mishra sir, I have definitely learned how to stay grounded even after working so much on their craft, and how important it is to learn from different people who hail from different aspects of life.
Is it true that there was a time when your mother did not speak to you for quite some time after getting to know the dark side of showbiz? In that case, how was your parents’ reaction after you spoke to them about Lust Stories 2?
That's again an interesting question. During my initial days in showbiz, there was a time when my mom and I were in the same house and were not talking! We were talking only through text messages with each other. Her major concern was that people call actresses by many foul names and stuff like that. But, today, since she knows my work and the kind of people I work with, she is super proud of me and my work. Today, she is fully aware of the fact that I pick my projects wisely.
Looking back, how has been your journey from ‘S. P. Chauhan’ till ‘Lust Stories 2’?
By God’s grace, my journey from ‘S.P. Chauhan’ till Lust Stories 2’ has been exponential for sure. At the same time, there have been times when I used to feel low and there were times when I had said no to a lot of projects. But, today, I am very much happy with my career graph. I really want to thank the OTT space that I could get really good projects with well-defined characters and different voices.
Buzz is that you are now focusing on your combat skills and are learning the Wing Chun art form. Is it out of passion or is it any preparation for a role?
I am of the opinion that whatever we do in our lives should always help us in our acting. I really wanted to learn Wing Chun for many years. I strongly feel that everyone should learn and know martial arts for self-defence because it is very important. That's the reason why I was learning martial arts. It really helps a person in concentration as well as focus.