Bipasha Basu may be the epitome of today's woman but in her heart she wants to transport into another era and work in a costume drama.
And her newest project - Raj Kumar Santoshi's Ashok - may be her chance to do so.
"I'm really excited about doing the costume drama. To go back in time and recreate an era and character are challenging. And the character of Tishayraksha is certainly not uni-dimensional. I'm in the entire film. The narrative is so captivating," Bipasha told IANS.
And she is also ga-ga over her latest director. "I think Raj Santoshi is a great visionary. Look at the performances he gets out of his actors! And to cast someone like me who otherwise has such a contemporary image in the Mauryan era requires guts," says the sultry actress.
Five years ago, Bipasha was actually supposed to start her career with a Mughal costume drama, JP Dutta's Aakhri Mughal, opposite Abhishek Bachchan. The project never took off.
Sighs Bipasha, "Madhur Bhandarkar, Rituparno Ghosh, Raj Santoshi... these are women's directors I've always wanted to work with. I've worked with two of them. Now hopefully I'll be working with the third."
Incidentally Rituparno Ghosh's Sab Charitra Kalpunik needn't have been Bipasha's first Bengali film. A few years ago she was offered Buddhdeb Dasgupta's Kaal Purush.
"Yes," Bipasha recalls the project. "But you've to be in sync with the person you work with. And I don't know much about the Bengali film industry. With Ritu the comfort level has grown over time. Speaking Bengali wasn't a problem, though I think in English and not in Bengali."
Another costume drama on the anvil is Ben Kingsley's Taj Mahal project.
"Again that will take some time. It's again an exciting film. I'll be transported into another era. My entire body language has to change."
Asked how she feels about working with the Oscar-winning actor-director popularly known in India for his on-screen portrayal of Mahatma Gandhi and she says: "I'm looking forward to working with Ben. He has been around for decades, doing so many kinds of amazing films.
"In person, he's so wonderful. I met him for the first time when we happened to be on the same flight once. He's so full of life, so much fun. He made me roll with laughter. There's never a serious moment when he's around. It's so uncanny that we both were hosting a Taj Mahal project (The Seven Wonders) in Lisbon when he talked about doing a Taj Mahal film with me."
Says Bipasha: "I'm dying to go back in time. For now I'm doing only one film. And that's very modern: the new Yashraj production directed by Siddharth Anand with Ranbir Kapoor. Though there are other leading ladies in the film, believe me I'm confident I'll be very strongly noticed. Every segment with different girls is very interesting."