Genelia D’Souza is all set to spring a surprise in Force that releases this Friday. The cute girl-next-door of Masti (2004) and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na (2008) has metamorphosed into John Abraham’s sexy life partner whose smouldering kohl-lined looks are a perfect foil for his beefy tattooed biceps.
“Ever since the first promos hit the airwaves, I have been flooded with surprised comments like, ‘Hey, you look so different, so sensuous! You are all grown-up!” Well, I’m 24 and it’s about time I grew up, right?” laughs the actor, admitting that Maya is different from Aditi, Tina and even the Genelia we’ve seen so far.
The film is a remake of Gautham Menon’s superhit Tamil film, Kaakha Kaakha (2003). In the original, Jyothika Saravanam was a school teacher who is pulled up for driving without license by traffic cop Anbuchelevan and ends up as his Mrs Right. In Nishikanth Kamat’s film, Maya has been turned into a social activist.
“A teacher would have put me in a slightly older bracket. My Maya is not a college girl but she’s still young and real with a mind of her own. She stands up for what she believes is right and is as spirited as any girl which is partly what attracts Yash, John’s character, to her,” reasons Genelia, pointing out that even within the framework of the story, it would be logical for a narcotics cop to bump into a social activist. “It was a nice change and suits my personality to the T.”
However, she is quick to admit that the social activist angle is part of Maya’s back-story and so has remained out of focus through the film’s promotions. “Even though Force is an action thriller, at the heart it is a beautiful love story and that’s the reason John and my romantic song in the bedroom was played up in the promos. I think we look lovely together, the chemistry is sizzling and I’d attribute it largely to costumes, make-up and a cooperative co-star,” she smiles, adding that when they’d first started working on her look, Maya had had a fringe. “But later we felt it looked too girlish and did away with it. Maya is not a child, she’s a woman... A lady… And I think that comes across now.”
With just a couple of days to go before the releasse, Genelia admits to feeling the butterflies. “No matter how many films you do, the nervousness never eases. And this time the responsibility is huge because I have to match up to Jyotikha who came up with a super performance in Kaakha Kaakha,” she says. “I saw the film six years ago and it’s remained one of my favourite films for the longest time.”