Her new sultry avatar is a far cry from the chubby Parineeti Chopra of the past. With her latest number, ‘Jaaneman aah’ from the upcoming film, Dishoom, creating a flutter, the actor tells us that she “wanted the audience to see a different side” of her. The actor sits across for a chat, talking about her career, being in a relationship, and more.
Has your image makeover helped you rediscover yourself?
Absolutely. When I entered the industry, I was naïve. I thought it was all about acting, which could hold true for certain actors, but for me, it was never like that. I always wanted to be the quintessential Bollywood heroine. But I didn’t know how to go about it. Now I have learnt on the job. The makeover has helped me look fitter and younger. My fans would always talk about my acting. But now, there’s a section of my fans who love me for how fit I am. I wanted to take a break from films, because I had done four back-to-back movies. So, I was feeling stagnant. Now, every time I do something new, there is a surprise factor.
You’ve got a great response for your new song…
People didn’t know I adore such songs. I love ‘filmi’ things. People have confidence in me as an actor, and that’s why I have the liberty to do all that I want to do for fun. Six months back, Varun (Dhawan) told me, “Rohit (Dhawan; director) wants you to feature in the song, but I told him you will never do it.” But when I was asked if I’ll do the number, I said absolutely, as I knew I was working on my body. I have always wanted to do something so filmi.
A lot has been said about your personal life. Are you dating someone currently?
It’s unfortunate, but there has been no one in my life for a while (laughs).
You have been saying this forever…
It’s true. Sometimes I feel, “Why [am I single]? I am ready [to be in a relationship].” We [actors] don’t get to meet too many people. We are mostly in touch with people who we work with — co-stars, directors and producers, etc. I am totally open to being in love. I’ve been single for a few years now. I want to be in a relationship, with a simple, honest and an uncomplicated guy, because that’s the kind of person I am.
You are also set to go on your first-ever US tour?
We have started rehearsing. Since less than a month is left for the tour, I have started practising actively now. We have to do one grand dress rehearsal to get the timing right. That [grand rehearsal] will happen in the first week of August. Once I return from the tour, I will finish my film with Ayushmann (Khurrana), and I will start a new one with Sushant (Singh Rajput).
Earlier, you had said that nobody wants to be seen as a “fat actress”…
Yes, I have always said that. I was never proud of my body. What surprises me is when some people say that I have undergone this (makeover) because of some external pressure. But if you go back to my old interviews, you will see that I have consistently said that I want to work on my body and change it.
You took a one-year break after Kill Dil (2014). Weren’t you worried about being out of the spotlight for that long?
When you are out of sight, you’re out of mind. But I didn’t think about it at that time because I was focused on what I was doing. There was so much going on in my life at that time. I was doing up my house, working on myself, and I was resting. I needed some TLC for my body. I was going through a lot in my personal life. Thankfully, I had created enough goodwill in the industry; so, people were ready to give me that kind of time. Fortunately, I had done some good work in my first few years.
What made you sign your new film with Ayushmann?
It touched my heart. I connected with the film. It came across as my story, and the story of a lot of other people too. So, I felt it was a sweet film. I don’t know what exactly I loved so much. I was just like, “I want to do this movie.”
You have also signed another project with your previous co-star, Sushant Singh Rajput.
Sushant and I have the greatest chemistry as actors. He is a strong actor. He keeps me on my toes. He says the same things about me, so that’s amazing. The project I’ve signed with him is an intense film, which requires two actors to be at their best constantly. I think he is the best person to play this role. We have the greatest working relationship.
Of late, several reports about you “sending feelers” to Salman Khan have been doing the rounds. Is any of this true?
I read one such story. It’s funny because I have not met him in the longest time. Of course, I would love to do a film with Salman. Who wouldn’t? But the fact that I am trying to meet him is laughable. I think such stories are written about every actor in Bollywood. All of us are constantly discussing stories about each other. These reports come out of nowhere.