RJ-turned-actor ANUSHKA ARORA, who shot to fame for her role in Fan and thinks that Ranveer Singh is a younger version of Shah Rukh Khan, talks to MUSBA HASHMI about her journey, struggles and inspiration
An RJ turned actor- Anuksha Arora, who has been a part of films like Fan and Ae Dil Hai Mushkil is a jack of all trades. She is known for her excellent anchoring skills and interviewing some prominent personalities from B-town. She has been there and done that —from a VJ, RJ, voice-over artist, anchor and now an actor. Arora relishes her 11 years in the industry.
“It has been an amazing journey. People say you have to start from the bottom and climb your way up, that is what has been for me. When I started as an RJ. I didn’t know that I will be going to climb up so quickly. It was fun but challenging as well. I have to work very hard for this and as they say, hard work does pay off,” she says.
Arora took a real interest in learning radio during her college days and this is when she decided to become an RJ. “While I was studying journalism in London College of Communication, we had radio as a subject. I took a liking to it. I started working for a lot of community radios. I used to do a two-hour Bollywood show for listeners were not familiar to Bollywood and Hindi music. The community radio was easy and lenient about the kind of shows you wanted to do and it built a strong foundation for me to grow,” she says.
Her family was supportive as well. They encouraged her to work towards her passion.
“When I started as an RJ in Sunrise Radio (UK), I had to do graveyard shifts. It is a show with few listeners but it honed my skills. It was an early-breakfast show and I was doing it from four to six in the morning. My office was an hour away from my home. I had to get up at an odd hour and my parents were a bit concerned. My sister would listen to my show for two hours,” she tells you and says that there were challenges.
“It was difficult. I was a victim of bullying while I was working with BBC. I was the only RJ who used to speak Hindi there and the other RJs saw me as a big threat. Everyone used to talk about me like ‘Ye kaun hai, kaha se aagayi’. My co-presenter used to tell me that I was a bad presenter. I was away from my family and felt lonely. I lacked confidence,” she says.
But not all was bad. “One of the best moments is I did a 24-hour radio marathon for a charity — Childreach International. They do a lot of charity programmes in India, the UK and Africa to raise money for children’s education. The challenge was to be on radio from 10 pm on a Saturday night till 10 pm on Sunday without breaks. Every hour I used to have a telephonic interview with a celebrity and through that we were able to raise around £20 thousand for charity,” she says and tells you that she drew inspiration from Maniesh Paul
“He is an inspiration for me and he is a good friend as well. His tricks and the smallest things he does while anchoring has inspired me throughout my career,” she tells you that says that her wish is to work with Ranveer Singh in the near future. “I would like to work with Ranveer Singh because he is so colourful, energetic and very friendly. He gets along with anyone and everyone and he is the younger version of Shah Rukh Khan,” she says.
Working with Shah Rukh Khan in Fan was great as well, even though she had worked with him when he came to London for promotions of Chennai Express.
“I already had a rapport with him. When Fan came, he was friendly on the sets and helped me whenever I needed. He is an amazing person. We had our ups and downs during shoots. There was a scene where he had to shout at me for asking an irrelevant question and after a couple of retakes, he came and apologised thinking I might have got offended. I knew it was nothing personal. We were professionals working towards getting the work done at the end of the day,” Arora says.