The Yamla Pagla Deewana actor is all set with her second film, Chaar Din Ki Chandni. Emphasising the fact that she bagged the project only because she shares a certain special chemistry with director Samir Karnik and not because they are romantically involved, this one-time telly star gets into a freewheeling chat as she meditatively sips cold coffee…
Tell us something about your character in Chaar din Ki Chandni…
She’s a girl who comes from the UK and falls in love with this guy who belongs to a royal Rajput family. The two characters are extremely different in terms of their family backgrounds, so the way they convince each other’s family is what leads to utter chaos. The story is about the four days she stays with her lover’s family and hence the name: Chaar Din Ki Chaandni.
It has been quite a transition from TV to Punjabi films to mainstream cinema – some give up in the process. What kept you going?
I haven’t exactly been desperate, but there was always a fire within to do good work. One can’t achieve it in a day. I also have been extremely choosy about my work. Kareena Kareena was a hit on TV; my Punjabi films were blockbusters; Chintuji with Rishi Kapoor was a critically acclaimed movie, but wasn’t promoted well. Yamla Pagla Deewana and CDKC are good films. I think I gave better performances each time I was in front of the camera.
CDKC releases on Lohri (January 13), a day a lot of producers want to release their films. Any plans on how to deal with the competition?
Even Yamla Pagla Deewana released the same day, and it’s by the same director (Samir Karnik). It’s an auspicious day for everyone. I don’t think we need to be scared, as the content of the film is quite strong. If it’s good, it will definitely stand out.
Bollywood is known for groupism, where people belong to certain camps. You seem to be following that trend by working in back-to-back Samir Karnik movies…
Not at all, it’s just that one film has followed the other. I never wanted to sit and wait for too long for my next film. This was an apt script, so I readily agreed. Any other actor would have jumped at this role. It’s an out-and-out girl’s film, where Chandni is the protagonist. Also, I wouldn’t mind joining any other ‘camp’ if good filmmakers come up with good scripts.
There were rumours floating around that you were dating Samir Karnik…
Can’t do anything about rumours, can I? I can’t go and clarify each and every one with the media. I just have to accept it as a part and parcel of my profession. Well, thank god all this hasn’t ruined my relationship with the director. A lot of directors have repeated their actors not because there was something brewing between them, but because the actors were able to convey what the director wanted in a better way…
RGV’s gloomy tragedy or YRF’s surreal love story?
Hands down YRF – I prefer YRF over RGV! Yashji is a very sweet person. It would be a dream come true if he personally directs a film but, yes, everything to do with that banner excites me.
Any unpleasant experiences in the industry till now
Yes , there are, but then you tumble and then get up again. I don’t think there are any significant ones that I want to put on paper. But there have been failures, false accusations, irritating media stories. Also, it hurts when you have expectations from a certain project and it doesn’t turn out the way you want it to. Critics dissecting you in and out are things that affect you.
Considering that you have been raised with an Armed Forces background and you are also an actor by profession, what kind of mom will you be – a disciplinarian or a chilled out, glamorous one?
I think certain things can’t be changed. I have been brought up in a certain way and that remains glued to the way I think. I will stick to being a disciplinarian.
What would be an ideal challenge be for you, in B-town?
Every day is survival here. There are dolphins and there are sharks in the sea at the same time and they all live in the same place. I think one just needs to be smart to sustain oneself here. There’s no fixed formula – in fact, I am waiting for a phase when I’ll be one of the best actors.
Whatever stardom you have achieved, has it changed you?
Of course! One positive transformation would be that I have learned a great deal about how to conduct myself in public and connect with people.