She’s the hottest new heroine on the Bollyblock. Jive right over then to Jiah Khan jamming with Rochelle Pinto.
You okay with Ghajini?
For sure.. even though everyone I know thought my character was way too nosy! But seriously, I was also told that I’ve evolved in the acting department, especially since it was a performance-based role.
Well, I’m not naturally nosy so I had to really learn how to play an inquisitive girl. I also learnt to find the balance between being a method actor and responding to my director’s demands. Personally, I’m more subdued now. I used to just speak my mind loud and clear.. you can get away with that when you’re young. I guess growing up teaches you to be diplomatic.
You’ve done a Lolita with Nishabd.. then a nosy medical student.. what do you want to play next?
(Right away) I’d really love to play a simple village girl.
You’ve got to be kidding me..
Hey, I’m sure I could pull it off. Everyone laughs when I say that but I’ve been practising to do that all my life. As in twirling a dress and radiating pure innocence.
And your sex kitten image goes down the tubes. Is this a conscious effort to be a more typical Bollywood heroine?
It’s not a conscious effort but I would surely like my image to stay away from any one groove. Even in my personal life, I’m trying to understand myself better. I can’t possibly be an airhead who used to chew bubble gum all the time. When I look at the photos and videos I shot a couple of years ago, I cringe. I’m ready to dress up and be a diva. I’m young and (flutters her lashes) I want to look pretty.
But since you have a bombshell image how do you escape typecasting?
Surprisingly, after Nishabd, I was offered only serious roles with barely any sex and steam in them. Listen all things considered, a sexy image doesn’t hurt at all.. as long as I’m also known as a bombshell who can act.
With the film industry constantly talking about recession, are you apprehensive that your career could be affected too?
I believe that recession only hits those who are extremely successful. I guess the bigger stars may have to reconsider their fancy fees. Today, big star names don’t necessarily guarantee a big hit, which means that they are not indispensable.
Okay, now tell me what about the talk that Asin and you were butting heads during the making of Ghajini?
That’s ridiculous. I’m not the sort of ill-bred person who’ll fight. If anyone yells at me, I retreat into a corner and start crying, or walk away. But women are supposed to be naturally bitchy.. so I’m not surprised about those rumours at all.
Have the more established actresses cold-shouldered you?
I haven’t really had a chance to interact with most of them. But I do admire the way they’re changing the perception of heroines in Bollywood.
Actresses used to be treated as second best in the business but I was the central character in my first movie.. which does show that girls don’t have to play second fiddle any more.
On a romantic tangent, what would you advise men who want to woo you?
Chocolates! I’m a complete romantic.. a man who showers me with pralines and milk chocolates can sweep me off my feet. (Laughs) Oh god, now I’m going to receive so much chocolate.
So you’re not the sort to go for a certain kind of guy?
I love bad boys.. wait, wait, make that bad boys with a sweet streak. They must be passionate.. which is important for me. Sadly, till now I have to still find a bad boy who showers me with chocolates. Maybe that’s why I have been single for three years.
Yes, yes and the moon is made of blue cheese.
I swear! I’ve been out on dates with a couple of guys but I haven’t been in a relationship since I came to India from the U K. I’m scared that if I give time to a special person right now, it may harm my career. That’s unthinkable.
What do you miss from your pre-career days?
Clubbing with my girlfriends, maybe flirting with the guys. And I really miss my family, especially my sisters who’re in London. Although they visit often, they haven’t really understood my job yet. When they’re here they want to go for a coffee to Barista and if my car isn’t around, they want to jump into an auto rickshaw.
What do we see you in this year?
In Yahoo with Shahid (Kapur). I play his choreographer who eventually falls in love with him. Choreographers were flown in from Los Angeles to teach him street hip hop. And that’s what I grew up dancing to. Now I can finally show off my moves.
So do you have a dance-off?
Ha! My role doesn’t require me to dance too much.. but I do get to boss Shahid around. Now that really made me feel powerful.