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'Actresses should be given equal status in B'wood'

Her film De Taali has opened to a mixed response. Here is Ayesha Takia in a frankspeak with Hiren Kotwani

entertainment Updated: Jun 23, 2008 11:41 IST
Hiren Kotwani

She has that killer smile, a peppy personality and she can act too .. as a campus cutie, a Betty to an Archiemukh.. or a widow in the desert lands. So what's the snag? Not much.. except that it's being incessantly wondered whether she'll just up and marry her steady boyfriend Farhan Azmi. Now that's a question. So, here's Ayesha Takia in a frankspeak with Hiren Kotwani

Are producers wary that you could get married suddenly, leaving them in the lurch?
I don't think any producer who knows me well would think that way at all. Besides, I think it's high time that actresses were allowed to lead their lives without the producers worrying if they will just up and get married. <b1>

If our actors can be treated professionally although they are in committed relationships or marriage, why can't the actresses be treated as professionally? It's high time that actresses are given equal status in the film industry.

Has Farhan Azmi popped the question of marriage?
Well, we do discuss it.. but it's not as if we're planning anything..or setting a deadline. So there's no marriage for another three to five years. It's certainly not this year.

Does Farhan Azmi have a say in your choice of films?
I do discuss the scripts that come my way I do that with my mom, dad and sister too. At the end of the day, the decision to do a movie or let it pass, is mine.

Apparently, you've turned non-vegetarian after you started dating Farhan Azmi.. how much have you changed in the course of the relationship?
I used to eat meat earlier.. I had chosen to give it up for a while. And I did for three years. I have started eating non-vegetarian again. But this has nothing to do with our relationship. Relationships do change people.. but that's out of choice, not compulsion.

Although you've been widely acclaimed for films like Dor.. commercial success seems to elude you.
I disagree. I think I'm doing well commercially too.. my performances have been appreciated and I'm getting roles of substance in good set-ups. I've been fortunate, considering the baggage I come with - the dos and don'ts I follow without any compromises.

Baggage like no alluring outfits and no kissing.. don't you lose out on projects because of this?
Yes but if I lose out on projects because of my dos and don'ts, so be it. You may call me a bit orthodox, I don't mind if it takes me a little longer to reach where others have reached much sooner.

De Taali has opened to a mixed response. Where do you think it falters?
Well, that's what I've been told too. It seems the audience has found the second half a bit slow, compared to the first which is a lot more fun.

It's being said the chemistry between the friends.. Riteish Deshmukh, Aftab Shivdasani and me.. is missing after the interval. Actually, I thought things would spice up with the arrival of Rimi Sen. <b2>

Aren't you fed up of playing the goody goody Betty type. How about doing a Veronica for once?
No. I don't think so. I love Betty just too much to be a Veronica.

Buzz is that you didn't get along at all with Rimi Sen during the shoot.

Where are these stories coming from? Sorry, nothing of the sort happened.

But you did bond much more with Riteish Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani.

Because I shot more with them. Even off camera, we got along like a house on fire. (Lauhgs) But I hated them for getting me to do a reverse bungee stunt. I'm so scared of heights.

You've also been receiving flak for your fluctuating weight.

De Taali

was in the making for over a year. Some portions were filmed when I'd put on a few kilos, but later I worked out to shed the excess weight. I've been working out for seven-eight months now. I've made a conscious effort to avoid putting on weight.

Reportedly, you had liposuction done in the US a couple of months ago.

Ha ha! That's the funniest thing I've ever heard about myself. No way.

Now tell me about your stock of films. How come you're doing


in which the focus will be on kids and not on Nana Patekar, Shahid Kapur and you?

Firstly, it's the first film production of Ahmed Khan and his wife Shaira. If they had asked me to do just a walk-on role, I would have done that gladly.

Yeah, the film revolves around the student teacher relationship.. and I think it's a fun, sensible film.

What went wrong with Nikhil Advani's

Jaane Kahaan se Aayi Hai

? Talk is that you have opted out because you're planning to marry your boyfriend Farhan Azmi later this year.

Rumours of my marriage have been going around ever since we started seeing each other. As a matter of fact, the film was slighty postponed due to Riteish Deshmukh's dates. My dates were committed to

Eight by Ten



. I tried coordinate my dates with Riteish for

Jaane Kahaan se..

but couldn't. It's my loss.

How's it been working with the temperamental Salman Khan in

Wanted – Dead or Alive


It's been good. Salman's quite a chilled-out guy actually, he has no airs about him.

Your film

Eight by Ten

, seems to be stuck halfway. With Akshay Kumar and Nagesh Kukunoor not being best buddies exactly, will it ever be completed?

Of course, it will be completed. There's a schedule in September-October. Initially, the plan was to wrap it in a single schedule in Calgary Canada. But there were some issues, some internal matters which I'm not privy to, which caused the delay. But now everything has been sorted.. it should be released by January next year.