Jacqueline Fernandez celebrates her birthday today. We recently met the glamorous actress for a candid chat where she spoke about playing a mother on screen for the first time, her love for Salman Khan and how she deals with box office failure...
Were you apprehensive about playing a mother on screen at such a young age ?
No, actually not. It’s really funny because before they started casting , everyone knew Karan (Johar) was making Brothers, so we all were excited about the film, but no one knew about who would play the role of the mother, Akshay’s wife. You don’t even think you will be offered that role, but then I got a call from Karan one day and he told me, "Listen I want to meet you and talk to you about Brothers." I said ok and I thought he might be asking me for an Item number. But, when I met him, he said “No, it’s actually the role of Akshay’s wife, you will be the mother of the child.”
I was shocked and I didn’t believe that I was offered this role in Brothers. My initial reaction to it was a no. But, then after discussing it with them and reflecting on it, I really thought that I needed to start changing some things around me and stop playing safe all the time. I was actually hiding behind this from a long time. I always played this glamorous girl, a character that is safe and one that I can handle it, but this was a role where I wasn’t sure if I would be able to handle it. It’s the role of a mother to a daughter who is really sick and they(the parents) cannot afford her treatment. She as a mother is afraid of losing her daughter and at the same time she is scared of losing her husband because he has gone back into fighting, in order to pay the medical bills. So it is quite a dilemma for the character and I was really impressed by the role.
We actresses generally do glamorous roles and we get asked all the time don’t you feel bad that you are not getting some serious roles and I say “Yeah, we do feel bad, we are waiting for such roles and people are actually just stereotyping us.” But, when we finally get the opportunity to do something like that, we reject it. So this time I decided to do this one. I had a fantastic time and it was really different from what I have done till now. It is also empowering when you are a part of such cinema.
How did the box office failure of Roy affect you ?
Any actor feels bad if his/her film doesn’t do well. No one rejoices when a film doesn’t do well, but actually there is nothing you can do about it at that time. I never get nervous before release because I know that I have done what I could have done and now the fate of the film won’t make a difference to my performance, I can just hope for the best. The film doing well is just the icing on the cake, what is more important is that you have been part of a project, a work of art. Whether it is appreciated or not is not in your hands, it’s like a piece of art, some people will like it and some people won’t like it. That’s how I see it. I don’t get sad or nervous. In fact I really like watching the film and learn from it. I can judge myself what worked, what didn’t and that way you grow.
How has the success of Kick with Salman Khan helped you in your career ?
After Kick, I have shot four movies in a year and this year I am shooting three movies, so seven films back to back after Kick. I am even shocked about what just happened. This is the busiest I have ever been. I owe a lot to Salman Khan and I owe a lot to Sajid Nadiadwala. For them it was just about casting someone, but I don’t even know if they have realised how this has changed my life.
The main challenge actually came after Kick. When you are in a Salman Khan movie you are pretty safe, you are guaranteed success. The hard part was after Kick as I really had to stand up and prove that even if there’s no Salman, I could do the right movies and I could still perform well. Then only will good offers come your way. Now it becomes quite challenging as it is the test of what I can do.
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