Pristine. Girl next door. The next Madhubala.. Or is it Meena Kumari.. These are just a few things that precede any discussion about her. She made waves as Lolita with her freshness and intensity in her first, Parineeta. She has been on a lull, but is now in a post-hiatus work mode.
She changes her cellphone caller tune quite often.. especially when she's travelling on shoots.. it helps her kill time. These days her phone croons, O mere sona re sona re..romantic..hmmm..
An interesting choice of caller tune.. Is love in the air?
(Laughs) No..no.. it's nothing like that. Whenever I am bored, I go through the caller tune list. This song happens to be one of my favourites. Asha Parekh and Shammi Kapoor were great in this song. I loved the energy about it. That's the only reason it's my caller tune.
So, it's not for someone special.
But everyone is still talking about you and John Abraham.
I'm yet to find out where all this news is coming from. It's a figment of someone's imagination.. I've learned the art of laughing it out. It doesn't bother me anymore. Though, before I entered the tinsel town, I used to feel that there can be no smoke without fire.. today I think differently.
Have you ever met Bipasha Basu?
How was the meeting?
She was cordial. See, everyone here is mature. They've realised that link-ups are part of our profession.
<b1>You had mentioned once that Sanjay Dutt, after being linked with you, mumbled a ‘hello' and moved away.
I was misquoted. Sanju is too seasoned to get fazed by these rumours. He has always made me feel comfortable and has no issues with me. I've been linked all the time.. and will be linked further. I've learnt to be cool about it.
You are doing two films with Akshay Kumar Bhool Bhulaiya and Heyy Babyy. Is something happening between the two of you?
Oh god, no way. You know what, Akshay treats me like a boy. In fact, everyone on the sets of Heyy Babyy treated me like a boy. The atmosphere was very friendly and if the media decides to link me.. they'll have to link me with all my other co-stars - Akshay, Riteish (Deshmukh) and Fardeen (Khan).
Since you have admitted to being a diehard romantic.. what's your definition of romance?
Mood ke hisaab se. Since it's monsoon now, my idea of romance would be having chai and bhajiya on the street lined with trees.. and listening to Shubha Mudgal's Ab ke sawan..
Of course, I don't have anyone in my life. So, who do you expect I'll be with?
How long do you intend to be alone?
Hello, I can't decide to fall in love overnight.. and get married the next morning. I'll fall in love when I have to. Though, I must say, I would love to be with someone. But at the moment, I'm not chasing the idea of falling in love.
You mean, it's only work for you?
It's been work, work and more work. But now, I've taken a break. I'm resting after working non-stop for so many months. I choose not to take up any projects for a while. I am doing everything I like to do.
And what is it that you like to do?
Spending a lot of time with my family and friends, exercising a bit and getting my sleeping schedule right. And of course, going out for movies with friends.
Movies in the theatre? Don't you get mobbed?
This is Mumbai. People here are not that star stuck. But then, a few fans do come up to me, praise my work and ask for autographs. But before I grab more attention, I vanish from the scene. I'm a shy person.
Have you tried to see a film in disguise?
No way. I'm always in my jeans and T-shirt with tied hair.
hair? Hope it's not tied oily hair.
(Laughs out loud) No way.. I hate oiling my hair.
<b3>The beginning of this year was a bit sticky for you with
Eklavyanot faring well.
I disagree. I was convinced about what I was doing. I loved my track in
. There is a lesson to learn here. When you are making a film of that magnitude.. with so many actors.. you get carried away.
As for Eklavya, it was a Vidhu Vinod Chopra movie. Even if he asks me to stand in one frame, I would do it. His films always have a certain quality.
What about your insignificant role in Guru?
It was a great script and then there was Mani Ratnam.. And there was also Madhavan opposite you. I don't go by actors.. for me it's only the role, the script and the director.
As far as my co-star is concerned, even if Mani sir pairs me with a tree, I would do it. Though the role was not meant to have turned out the way it did. I guess it was yet another lesson learnt. I'll be careful in the future before taking up any project.
Careful in what sense?
I would want to read the script fully before I take up any project.. even with the best of the directors.
News is that though you agreed to come on
Koffee With Karan, later you stopped taking calls or replying to text messages.
That's not true. I was okay with being on
Koffee With Karan
. I even had a word with Karan. I was supposed to shoot their first schedule but I guess they didn't find another person to pair with me. Later on, I got busy shooting.
Don't you regret losing out on
Laaga Chunari Mein Daagdirected by your mentor Pradeep Sarkar?
Rani Mukherji bagged the role. I was supposed to have done it but the shooting got delayed. My next dates were with Sajid (Nadiadwala).. I had committed to do the film with him. It is really unfortunate that I couldn't be a part of
In the process you ended up upsetting Yashraj Films.
I'm sure everyone understands commitment. Dada (Pradeep Sarkar) is upset but I'm sure he'll always be by my side.. my bonding with him goes beyond the film. How I wish to be a part of all his films.
News is that you've replaced Aishwarya Rai in R Balki's
PAfeaturing Amitabh and Abhishek Bachchan.
I too have read about it. Funnily, I haven't heard anything from the guys who are making the movie.
You're paired with Shahid Kapur for Aziz Mirza's next which incidentally is a love story of an elder girl and younger boy. Comment.
Yes.. yes even I heard about it. It's quite bizzare. In fact, a few journos even asked me about it. I have decided not to comment on it. It was also reported that I did a photoshoot with Shahid. But I've never met him till date. I just want to keep mum about the subject.
<b5>You declined Meghna Gulzar's
I don't want to do films based on short stories. I would love to work with Meghna.. you know I'm a huge fan of her father (Gulzar). I was honest enough to tell her and she understood. There is no grudge between us.
Lastly, are there any plans of shifting from Chembur?
(Laughs) I have been told many times that I stay too far away. But I'm quite used to the distance. Also my parents would never agree to shift... and I won't live without them.
I utilise my travel time productively. During my ride from home to the studio and back, I finish all my talks over the phone regarding work. Because once I reach home, it's family time. And I am off my cellphone.