No Grudges, No Gila Shiqwa. She’s known to let the proverbial bygones be bygones, explaining her Mehbooba mehbooba danceroo in Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag. Filmmakers swear by her cool temperament, punctuality and talent for making buddies and influencing people. Hiren Kotwani interviews the star.
What does friendship mean to you?
It’s a beautiful relationship which you make for yourself.. unlike the relations you’re born into by blood. I really believe that a man is known by the company he keeps.. it’s very important to have friends who’ll there with you till your dying day.
Who are your closest friends?
Manish Malhotra, Fardeen Khan, Ekta and Tusshar Kapoor, Kim Sharma and Sunita Menon are my friends from within the industry. Manish tops the list because we get along so well that often we complete each other’s sentences. Even in silences, there’s a bond. From outside the industry, there’s Asmita, my college friend. Now she’s related to me.. her brother married my sister. <b1>
There’s (action director) Allan Amin and his wife Mary, he’s my rakhi-brother now.. so is Tony Bagga.
Has any friendship ever gone sour?
Yes, there was a friend. Due to a misunderstanding, we thought it best to go our separate ways. Yet we know that we will wish the best for each other till the very end. I’ve lost out on some friends because they have moved out of the city or country but we have tried to keep in touch. Like Palak Khosla, who shifted to New York after her marriage.
What do you do besides movies?
I’ve been travelling, reading, singing. See, I’ve been acting pretty much since I can remember. I’ve had a tremendous career if I may say so myself without any support. Vis-à-vis, acting I want to do something better than what I’ve done before. Why should I repeat myself? (Laughs). There are enough people who’re into repetition. (laughs).
How come you agreed to do the item number. Wouldn’t you have rather played Basanti or Gunghroo as the character is called in?
Trust me, if I’d played Basanti, you would have asked me, "Why didn’t you do Mehbooba mehbooba, considering your dancing skills?" <b2>
I’ve never asked a director why I’m I doing this and not that. When I was offered Mehbooba, I don’t think I’d have been as happy if I’d been offered Basanti’s role. Besides, you’re forgetting that he’s not making Sholay. I don’t know what exactly he’s making.
What about inevitable comparisons?
It would be tremendously unfair to compare my song to Helen’s. If at all, compare Himesh Reshammiya’s song to Helen.. it is actually the same song. Mallika Sherawat’s outfit, hairstyle and styling in general, colours, everything is exactly like Helen’s song. Coming to my song, we didn’t want anything to do with the original.. it’s turned out well I think, it makes my heart go dhak dhak.
There was this buzz that you would be doing a couple of projects with Ram Gopal Varma’s Factory. What happened?
You guys create and kill this buzz. So, you tell me.. I don’t know what Ramuji’s making next, most of the time he doesn’t either.
Apparently, you’re upset with producer Harry Baweja for sidelining you in the promos of Speed.
Why should I be upset? I think all the questions should be addressed to Mr Baweja. I have no love lost for him, it’s my job to give my best for the film which I did.
Do you think it was a wrong move to do an unconventional film like
Bas Ek Pal?
Not wrong. It was a bit of a lesson.. to be more careful about doing films with independent producers.. today, it’s difficult to market a film without much knowledge and experience.. like it or not
Bas Ek Pal
didn’t get to its target, niche audience.
Do you feel the need to strategise your career now?
Strategising is not the right word.. to date I don’t know all the norms.
You were called M F Husain’s new muse when you agreed to do his movie. Whatever happened?
Husain saab is busy.. globe trotting all the time. He’s working on a big project, a museum of sorts. I don’t know when he’ll make a film but we’ve discussed it. I’d love to be a part of it whenever he makes it. <b3>
Any more singing?
No way. It was embarrassing enough for me to sing with the great Asha Bhosle. Like I wouldn’t be able to show my paintings to Husain saab to know how to take them to another level. I’m quite a pathetic painter. But I’m not Salman Khan either. (laughs)
What’s with the famous gang of five?
We’re like-minded people, movie buffs. Did some critic tell you to ask this question? Thank god he’s not in the gang.. we still have lesson or two to learn from him.
So what has Sunita Menon predicted for you?
Sunita doesn’t make any predictions for me. I just hope that they aren’t so terrible that she can’t tell me.
Ever come close to marriage? <b4>
Baap re! No way.. the closest I’ve come to marriage is by speaking about it in interviews. Why can’t I just be a sexy eligible single woman? Forget marriage, I’ve never felt the need to be in a relationship just for the sake of having a man in my life.
Buzz is that you’re dating a Delhi politician.
Oh my gosh! Just two days ago, I was asked about dating a businessman. Considering the fact that I haven’t even been to Delhi for a long time, you must be hallucinating. I’m not seeing anyone. Full stop.
Apparently, you’ve been spotted at Pyramid Apartments also.
Ram Gopal Varma lives there.
This is ridiculous. You need a shrink to stop your hallucinations.
Have you ever longed for an ideal role?
Nope. When I heard the script of Maine Gandhi Ko Nahin Maara, my first reaction was to say no.. one gets emotionally battered by heavy-duty roles.. but then it grabbed me by the collar emotionally. So umm.. no ideal role.. okay maybe Scarlett O’Hara of Gone with the Wind.