Bollywood beauty Dia Mirza, who has shed her delicate doll image for the upcoming film Acid Factory, insists that she is one of the heroes in the movie and not a heroine.
"My character is called Max, who is a daredevil. She is no less than a man, as you can understand from the name itself. You can say I play a hero in the movie, not a heroine," Mirza says.
The 27-year-old actress, who had to perform a number of stunts and action sequences in the film, says that the character of Max is like an alter-ego of herself, but is not a tomboy.
The former Miss Asia Pacific says that her look was re-vamped in the film to suit her character.
"My look in the film is quite opposite to that of my real life. It has been stylised by Shantanu and Nikhil, who had to keep it feminine as well as very structured and strong. There aren't many changes because it is a single day's story, so I wear a full-bodied black suit for the most part," says Mirza.
The actress, who believes that strength lies in the will and not in physical capability, had to go through rigorous training to gather strength to be able to do the action scenes in Acid Factory.
"I had to undergo 5-6 months of functional training which strengthens your core, then I trained in action for three weeks," said Mirza, who made her mark in Bollywood with her debut film Rehna Hai Tere Dil Mein in 2001.
Mirza is the only actress in Acid Factory which has stars like Aftab Shivdasani, Dino Morea, Irrfan Khan, Danny Dengzongpa and Manoj Bajpai playing major roles.
"Manoj ji called me Deepak on the sets because I am like a boy in the film," said Mirza.
When asked whether she felt overshadowed by the presence of so many macho men in the film, the actress shot back, "How can a woman ever be overshadowed by men?"
Talking about her co-stars, Mirza had something to say about each one of them.
"Fardeen is very well-brought up, he is a gentleman. He was very protective on the sets and also taught me the technique and execution of some action moves," said Mirza.
"Dino is a clown, he is too nice. Aftab was slightly aloof, listening to music and lost in himself on the sets. Probably he was trying to live his character as a part of method-acting," the actress joked.
When asked about the kissing controversy involving actor Irrfan Khan, the actress said,"There is no kissing scene, Irrfan had to plant a kiss on my cheek to greet me. Irrfan is a mature actor and he did not make me feel uncomfortable at all."
Mirza also narrated an incident when she was driving a car at a high speed as a part of a scene and her co-stars were furious at her as she forgot to fake it.
"I actually started driving the car at break-neck speed. When I finally stopped, I had Fardeen, Manoj and Danny waiting to kill me!" said the actress.
"We all have performed our own stunts without using a double. This film has made me do things which I had never done before," she added.
Mirza insists that this film, shot largely in Cape Town, has an international look and can compete with any Hollywood action flick.
The actress's upcoming films include Kaun Bola, Alibaug, Johnny Mastana and Fruit n Nut.
When asked what makes her choose the films that she does, Mirza's reply was, "I make the best out of what I am offered."