While Sejal, Anushka Sharma’s character in ‘Jab Harry Met Sejal’, speaks Hindi with a heavy Gujarati accent, it wasn’t easy for the Bengaluru-based actress to pick up the gradations for her role in the film that toplines Shah Rukh Khan, as she has no friends from the community.
Anushka reveals that she was neurotic when director Imtiaz Ali told her about it. “After staying in Mumbai for so long, I can relate to the Marathi-accented Hindi, but I had no reference for the Gujarati-laden Hindi. I wanted to ensure that I don’t get it wrong even in a single line. So, I started writing the dialogue the way they would sound phonetically. For instance, Harry became Hairy,” she says, adding, “I even made my diction coach record the dialogue and I heard it over and over again. A role is not just about the looks, it’s also about sounding correct.”
Tell her that many Gujarati-speaking girls from the state don’t speak accented Hindi and Anushka reasons, “There are Gujarati girls who speak like Sejal. Now, we can’t say that we only want the representation of those Gujaratis that we know. In fact, I also had asked Imtiaz why Sejal speaks like that. He told me that he has interacted with girls who speak like that.”