It’s Holi in two days and you’re not expected to be in town with your friends that day.
I don’t want to deliberately avoid being a part of the revelry. But chances are that I could be shooting that day for Pradeep Sarkar’s film. That will keep me busy. I haven’t planned anything else for the day.
How is the film shaping up?
Very well, it’s fun working with Dada and Neil (Nitin Mukesh). Neil is a cool co-actor and Dada is a fabulous director. He gives his own performance behind the camera simultaneously. It’s hilarious!
Karthik Calling Karthik recently premiered in Dubai. Yeah, I was really excited about it. The response was overwhelming, for both Farhan (Akhtar) and me.
You play a Bengali girl, Shonali who works in a construction company’s office. Wasn’t it difficult doing the smoking scenes?
I tried to do justice to my character. Vijay (Lalwani) is a chilled-out director. He was very clear about how he wanted the scenes enacted. So, it wasn’t difficult.
Your chemistry with Farhan is the talk of town.
Yeah, but I wish it had just stayed to the screen. Farhan is a fantastic co-actor. To see him go into the details of a scene and take it to another level from what it is on paper, is pure pleasure. I was told we have great chemistry but our friendship now is being given all kinds of wrong connotations. That’s not fair!
How important is Karthik Calling Karthik’s success to you?
As much as any other film’s success would be. I’d love to see Karthik Calling Karthik sky-rocket in terms of box-office collections.
I would love to count it among my qualitative and quantitative successes because this is a film I opted to work on when I had other choices. The project was my baby. It was more special than the other offers that I didn’t take up. So, I really want it to do well.
Was Love Aaj Kal as important a film?
Of course, Meera Pandit was a fantastic character. And Love Aaj Kal wasn’t a typical love story with repetitive, monotonous situations. It was very hip and talked about the kind of relationships youngsters get in and out of these days. It was about how love hasn’t really lost its meaning over the years.
The film did well commercially and critically and that matters to every actor. I didn’t take off on a movie-signing spree after it’s release though.
You have four films lined-up this year. Aren’t you biting off more than you can chew?
Yeah, four films, counting Karthik Calling Karthik. But they will come at a gap of two months from each other. I’ve worked on some projects through last year and some I will start working on this year. There’s plenty to do, I have no time to waste over mindless stuff.
‘Priyanka and i haven’t hung out together’
I can’t speak for others but I am extremely cordial with all my co-actresses. I have friends from outside the industry. They are special because they have been with me all my life, through school, college, the modelling years and even now.
I wished Priyanka (Chopra) when she won the National Award for Fashion because I know from my modelling days. We had gone out once or twice, we even watched a film together. But since then, we haven’t really hung out together. Who has the time for it now?
On the Twitter craze
I’m a private person and I can’t write every minute on a public forum. I tweet once a day to keep in touch with everyone. I find it odd that so many people love sharing so many details of their personal lives on Twitter. ‘I don’t owe an answer to anyone other than my family’.
You are obviously hinting to the gossip about your personal life?
I’ve become rhino-skinned about that. There is no other way to deal with it. No matter what you say, the media writes and reports what it wants to. I’ve stopped caring now.
I don’t owe an answer or explanation to anyone other than my family. I’ve maintained dignified silence about all that was being written (read Ranbir Kapoor) and I will continue to do that. There’s no point in reacting to it.
How does the family react to it?
It upsets everyone but beyond a point, everyone knows how the media functions. My parents know what’s happening in my life more closely than the media does. They trust me. And that’s what really matters!
Why did you stomp out of a press-meet when someone commented on your RK tattoo?
I am not the sort to stomp out of a press meeting. The organisers told me that the interaction was over. So, I left. It doesn’t matter to me what anyone says about me. It’s not going to get any comments on my personal life from me. Period. My tattoo is special to me because it’s mine. I don’t care who draws what conclusions.
Colleague, aaj aur kal on her co-actors
Shah Rukh Khan: He’s the best co-actor you can start working out with. I learned so much working with him in Om Shanti Om.
Ranbir Kapoor: He’s a professional whose concern is restricted to his roles (Bachna Ae Haseenon). He doesn’t push for anyone.
Saif Ali Khan: Everyone found our on-screen chemistry in Love Aaj Kal really cute. I agree.
Akshay Kumar: My Chandni Chowk To China co-star maintains his body and stamina very well. He pulls off young characters better than most youngsters.
Farhan Akhtar: To see him go deep into the details of a scene and take it to another level from what it is on paper is pure pleasure.
Neil Nitin Mukesh: I’ve just started working with him.
On her directors
Farah Khan: I owe a lot to my first director who brought out the best in me. As an actress I scored with my first film, Om Shanti Om.
Farah dressed me in up western and Indian clothes and made me look and feel like a million dollars. She’s choreographed me so many times and has always worked keeping my strengths and weaknesses in mind.
Imtiaz Ali: I’ll always owe him a big one for Love Aaj Kal. We had a blast working together. He’s very focussed and works on the details of every scene.
Vijay Lalwani: He was the actual Karthik on the sets of Karthik Calling Karthik. He was confident man while he was directing us but the minute we packed up, he was a meek subdued guy.