She was out of the news in Mumbai for five years after her debut. In that time, the lively and pretty Genelia D’Souza scored several hits in south Indian cinema. And then, she returned to Bollywood, and how — Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, her film with newcomer Imran Khan became one of most anticipated, talked about and appreciated films of 2008.
The grapevine still connects her, stubbornly, to her debut film co-star Riteish Deshmukh. To that, India’s sweetheart sighs, “Ab bas karo please!” Genelia D’Souza takes on a volley of questions from Hiren Kotwani.
Why aren’t you in Mumbai basking in the success of Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na?
Hey, I’m doing other movies, too, which are being filmed outside Mumbai. So I have to be away a lot.<b1>
Don’t vanish down south again.
(Laughs) After Jaane Tu... Hindi movies are my priority. But I won’t stop acting in Telugu, Kannada and Tamil films.
The success of Jaane Tu.. took the film industry by surprise. Your Mere Baap Pehle Aap was expected to click, too, but...
Well, since I was in Mere Baap..., I wanted it to work, too. Akshaye (Khanna) and Priyan (Priyadarshan) are a successful team. We were quite anxious about Jaane Tu... but as its release date came closer, our confidence grew.
But weren’t you sidelined in the promotions after the debacle of Mere Baap...?
Eventually, the spotlight was only on Aamir and Imran Khan. I don’t think Aamir is that kind of a person. I don’t know how the talk about his interference went around. I got my fair share of publicity.
Do you get along with Imran Khan’s girlfriend, Avantika?
She’s a nice girl and would visit the sets regularly. We got along well. We’re in touch.
How do you view the Jaane Tu... and the Love Story 2050 clash in retrospect?
I wanted both the films to work. One had me, the other had Harman [Baweja] with whom I’m doing It’s My Life.
Have you seen Love Story 2050?
Not yet, I’ve been busy working. Harman (Laughs) hasn’t seen Jaane Tu... yet either.
Despite the denials, buzz is that Riteish Deshmukh and you are still dating.
This is just a rumour, and I’m tired of denying it.
If it’s not Riteish, who’s the man in your life?
Ha ha, no one. I work over 300 days a year, juggling movies in Mumbai and south... so where’s the time for romance?
If you could jumpstart your career all over again, what would you avoid?
Hmm... I’m happy the way things have turned out for me. So, no jumps, no restarts.