Asin recalls moments from the London Dreams shoot
So what’s the most bizarre rumour you’ve heard about yourself recently?
(Laughs) Oh, there’ve been hundreds of them, from Salman (Khan) and me dating each other to us having a fight and now no longer being on talking terms.
And have you, had a fight, I mean?
We haven’t even had an argument. It’s been a professionally friendly relationship from day one.
Did you have to contend with such gossip down South too?
Not this much. These days I’m scared of opening the papers, wondering what I’ll be reading next. I’ve been in Mumbai for 10 months and I’m still clueless and not immune to all the barbs. I try to focus on work but there are still times when I find myself asking “Why Salman? Why me?” I’m just a newcomer who like any other girl-next-door goes out to work and then returns home to her family. Why can’t they let me be!
There was talk of a nose job too?
(Sighs) See, what I mean? I was in hospital for two days for a minor sinus infection and the next thing I know, people are talking of a nose job. Oof!
The rumours could have professional repercussions too. For instance, Farah Khan may be wary of casting you after reading that you had turned down her supposed offer.
I was on Farah’s show and we didn’t once discuss her film. Yet, one fine day, I wake up to read that I have turned it down. I called her instantly. We discussed the non-story and shrugged it off. Farah knows me well and we have no issues. If she were to offer me her film tomorrow, I would definitely give it serious thought.
Salman Khan or Aamir Khan?
(Laughs) You’re asking me to choose between the two?
Yeah, who’s the better co-star?
Both have their own styles of working. Aamir comes on the sets, bounces off ideas, then, goes with the director’s point of view. Salman thinks in his mind without expressing himself verbally. He’s a “Lights, camera, action, cut, bye’ kind of an actor. I’m comfortable with both because for me it’s a little spontaneity and some preparation.
What’s Ajay Devgn like?
(Smiles) I was given to believe that he is a brooding, intense guy, probably because of the kind of movies he’s done in the past. But he turned out to be chilled out like Salman and quite the prankster.
Did he make a bakra of you?
He tried; I was too smart for him.
(Laughs) One day, on the sets, I was startled by loud banging on my caravan door. I opened it and this huge six-foot plus black giant fell into the room and started yelling at the top of his voice. For a minute I was intimidated. Then, I wondered, how an intruder could enter a closed set. Something was fishy!
I let him rant for a while, then, told him politely, “Thank you sir for the entertainment. Now can you please leave so I can get some work done?” He was momentarily stumped, then burst into a loud laughter knowing the game was up.
I stepped out to find Ajay and his gang of boys waiting for me to run out screaming. I smiled sweetly at them, “Hey guys, all the best for the next one.” Ajay sighed, “Ladki badi hoshiyaar hai.” Vipul (director Vipul Shah) rued, “Asin, not even one reaction.” I told him I was saving it for the camera.
Salman and Ajay are coming together after 10 years and there are bound to be comparisons with Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, their last film.
That would be unfair to London Dreams. It is neither Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam nor Amadeus.
You could be compared to Katrina Kaif who starred in Vipul Shah’s Namaste London?
That would be unfair to both of us and the film. I’ve met Katrina only once, on a flight to Chandigarh. We haven’t even interacted.
Ever wanted to be a rock star?
Never. And London Dreams while the story of a band, is not pure rock but leans more towards pop. I was signed for it even before Ghajini released. Vipul saw a Tamil film of mine and took me on. For me, the attractions was being a part of commercial Hindi cinema. I love Bolywood masala movies with plenty of song and dance. Ghajini was a remake of a South film of mine, remember?
Yeah, and Wanted was a remake of Pokiri. How did Ayesha Takia land your role?
The film was offered to me. I’d enjoyed working with Prabhu Deva. I was close to Boney and Sridevi Kapoor. We live in the same building, they on the sixth floor and I on the first. I would have done Wanted but I had already doled out dates to Ghajini. The film was a huge hit but in a way I’m glad I wasn’t a part of it. Both Ghajini and Wanted were massy action thrillers, quite similar. I would have gotten slotted.
Why aren’t you signing more films?
(Smiles) Not because I’m snobbish as has been reported. For me the script, character, director, producer and co-artistes are the determining factors.
Money is not a criterion?
No, it’s not a consideration.
You are doing Ashutosh Gowariker’s movie on the Chittagong uprising, Khelen Hum Jee Jaan Sey, opposite Abhishek Bachchan, a role that was reportedly offered to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan first.
(Smiles) Let me be politically correct and say, “No comments.”