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John's high on heroines

india Updated: May 15, 2008 17:52 IST
Nilufer Qureshi
Nilufer Qureshi
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

Bipasha Basu
Frankly, she is the reason why people saw my first film Jism. I was a nobody then. The posters of Bipasha in black satin were amazing. They say there’s a woman behind every successful man. Bipasha is that factor in my life.

During the shoot of Jism, Mahesh Bhatt would brief me so strongly about the character that I would go into a shell. Bipasha would see that and say, “You’re going to be very irritating now.. so I won’t interfere.”

We also worked together in Aitbaar and Madhoshi. Bipasha was outstanding in Madhoshi..but unfortunately the film was a commercial disaster. Aitbaar I had signed even before Jism. She is physically very intimidating because of her sheer presence and the way she speaks. I used to be a media planner in an ad agency. She was a model for one of our clients Calida.

As soon as my colleagues saw her photographs, they went, “Wow!Who is this hot model?” From the days I used to plan her accounts to today, when I am actually seeing her it has been quite a transition. I believe Bipasha is one of the last real super models in the fashion industry.

Udita Goswami
Her short hair and lean frame worked in her favour in Paap. She has a beautiful bone structure. She’s an athlete, a crazy runner. Abbas bhai (action director)would say, “Udita is my favourite actress because she is great in action.” She would fall, tumble, roll down, do everything herself.

I couldn’t see her movies after Paap. Neither have we been in touch. But I always wish Udita would do more important and substantial roles because she deserves to.

Lara Dutta
When we were shooting for Elaan, we had nick names for each other. She used to call me, “Hey sidey,” and I would call her, “Hey item.” We are a little formal with each other but at the same time, we’re pretty cool too. Lara is more like a guy buddy. In Elaan we had quite a few bike riding stunts but with her I was never worried. She is a Jat. She would keep telling me, “Don’t worry about me, just get the shot right.”

The rumours of our affair were strange because Kelly (Dorjee) was on the sets then. And Kelly actually trained me to walk the ramp during my Gladrags contest.

Priyanka Chopra


She is one of the most professional actresses I’ve worked with. I’ve never heard her say, “No!” Tell her the shoot will be extended and she’s okay with that.. even if that means pack-up at five in the morning.



She never carries her personal problems to the sets. Many of us have lots of problems which show on our face.. but Priyanka can conceal them. I did

Karam

with her.. the film didn’t do well but she was brilliant. She is one of the few actresses who didn’t have a problem working with me when I was a newcomer. I will always respect and love her for that.

Sameera Reddy


During the shooting of the song

Ek nazar

for

Taxi No 9211

, the choreographers were breaking their skulls trying to make me dance. Then in walks Sameera.. she starts moving as if there is no tomorrow.. and that too without rehearsals. She is one of the most outstanding dancers, if not the best.



She has her limitations just like I do. She would tell me, “John you help me in this shot and I will help you in that scene.” She was perturbed about her character in the movie because of the way it ended. But she did her job exactly the way her director wanted.

Vidya Balan
We had a serious problem while shooting for Salaam-e-Ishq, we couldn’t stop laughing. Even before a serious shot, we’d break into fits of laughter. Sometimes, we had to do as many as 15 takes because of those giggling fits. She’s mind blowing, especially in emotional scenes.

Rani Mukherji
I’ve always said that she’s my favourite actress. She has an earthiness and a voice that can never be duplicated.
She has extremely beautiful eyes. And she believes in doing loads of homework. She sat with the director of Baabul, Ravi Chopra, for 15 days to study the character, the way she thinks and dresses..

Esha Deol
She was my co-star in Kaal. She is probably stronger than any man around. If you talk rubbish in front of her, she’ll whack you. She won’t mince words, she comes straight to the point. She’s a bit too innocent and gullible though, she needs to get a little smarter and wiser.

Tara Sharma
She looks docile and sweet but is very witty. During Saaya, she needed the right start in her movie career with the right actor. I probably wasn’t the right actor because I wasn’t saleable then. Infact, I was a negative factor as far as saleability was concerned.