After a two-year break post London Dreams, Asin is back on the silver screen in Ready. She speaks about her chemistry with Salman Khan, her bikini act in Housefull 2 and her plans for Bollywood
When the clock strikes 12, Asin, looking pretty in a strawberry-pink knee-length dress, arrives for the interview. Unlike her temperamental co-star, the southern actor is punctual. The first time I met her was during the promotions of her first Hindi film, Ghajini, back in 2008; this is the second time. Her contemporaries – like Sonam Kapoor and Deepika Padukone – have marched way ahead of her, whereas Ready is only her third release in four years.
“Somewhere I thought that I needed to work with the teams that I would enjoy working with or projects that would be exciting to be part of,” Asin justifies, “I am not very insecure as an actress or as a person. I did not feel the need to sign a lot of films because I had one hit film. Somewhere I think my priorities are also very different. People have their priorities; some want to be in the public conscience constantly either for financial considerations or for fame. I wanted to enjoy the kind of work I was doing, and I thought Ready was the apt film to come out with after London Dreams.”
Once again Asin plays Salman Khan’s love interest in the film. Their onscreen chemistry and friendly vibes off the sets have set many tongues wagging about their personal relationship. The young actor laughingly denies any uncomfortable experience while shooting with the star. “I think everybody kind of gets used to it. You would also know that there is no truth to it. It started during London Dreams, an outdated PR thingy. Obviously it is nice to write about it when there is nothing else. I am single and not in a relationship, perhaps that’s why I think these rumours kind of get accentuated.”
But you can’t miss their comfort level in real and reel life. Asin explains, “I think that our interaction in London Dreams helped develop a comfortable relationship in Ready. He’s always very supportive and pretty chilled out. He’s quite comfortable with me because somewhere I get his straight-faced sense of humour, and I think that’s why we gel pretty well.”
Apart from that Asin points out what she likes about her Ready co-star: “Salman is somebody who is very pure at heart. If he is angry, then he is angry. If he is upset with somebody – he is direct with the fact that he is angry. And if he is happy and comfortable, then so be it. I don’t see him putting on a face for different groups of people. And that’s what I like about him.”
London Dreams, their last film together, did not do well at the box-office. Does that bother her? She says, “You really can’t predict any of the films’ success or failures. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this one works. It is a very commercial format that Aneesji is quite a master at, and so is Salman. So I think that team should be a minimum guarantee at least. I am very positive about the film.”
In Ready, Asin plays Salman’s love interest but, like in most of his films, there is little scope for the female lead. The model-turned-actor doesn’t mind it. “I think that’s not in the hand of the lead actress. I think that would be in the hands of the scriptwriter or the director. You just do the part that is given to you to the best of your abilities and that’s all. That’s where your work ends.” As we all know, working opposite a star is a big deal in Bollywood as it gets more attention, and she is savvy enough to accept that fact.
Recently rumour buzzed that she turned down a film since it did not have a star lead. A slightly shocked Asin says, “I’ve never heard this story. Of my many considerations while signing a film, my co-star comes at the end of the list.” One thing is certain – she prefers commercial films. “I have no such restrictions that I will only work in mainstream commercial films, but the ideal situation for me at this point would be to hopefully get a role in commercial mainstream format cinema that has some scope for performance. I don’t want to concentrate only on niche cinema, because you get better roles there, nor do I want to concentrate on commercial films where you don’t have much to do. The ideal thing would be a mix of both. In the end, you go by what is offered to you and with the current trend that is in the industry.”
During the release of Ghajini, Asin shifted base to Mumbai. Does that mean she will no longer do regional cinema? “It depends on the kind of movies that come my way. I have a body of work down south and if a project comes, I need to find it more exciting than the projects I have done. That would probably excite me to take a project in the south,” says the siren.
Has she made close friends in B-town? “I wouldn’t call anybody my closest friend in Bollywood, because if you have to be the closest friend, that requires a lot of time from both parties to put into that friendship. I don’t think anybody in Bollywood has it,” she explains, “There are a lot of people who are friends, of course, but ‘best friend’ or ‘closest friend’ or ‘4 am friend’ – I don’t think I can define anybody like that. The people I have worked with are quite senior to me and I have a lot of admiration and respect for them. Of course they are friendly with me and I know I can approach them for anything that I want to, but I wouldn’t tag anyone as a ‘closest friend’ or anything like that.”
Immediately after the release of Ready the pretty actor heads to London for a one-and-a-half month schedule for Sajid Khan’s Housefull 2. Apparently she will be hopping on the bikini bandwagon for this one. “Very interesting – I saw reports of that on the Internet as well! Let the speculation go on,” Asin keeps mum. When told that the film’s producer Sajid Nadiadwala had revealed that she would be seen in a bolder avatar, she laughs, “Oh well, then let us wait for the movie. I quite like all these speculations – almost like I got married without me knowing!”
That’s the way the cookie crumbles in Bollywood. Welcome Asin, once again!