Tell us about your role in the British TV series Sharpe’s Challenge? How did you get the role?
I play Madhuvanthi, a smart, cunning courtesan. My agent fixed an appointment with the director and I talked to him for 30 minutes. On my way home, I got a call that I had bagged the part! I didn’t have the script nor had I seen the series. I guess this worked, as I had no preconceived notions.
Your kissing scene with Sean Bean in the film has created quite a buzz. Were you apprehensive about it?
There is nothing romantic about kissing scenes. If anything they are embarrassing. You are under pressure to make it look spontaneous and real while the camera zooms in on you. I know in India there’s a debate over kissing scenes. I don’t believe in gratuitous love scenes.
This is your second coming after Boom. Was it different?
You could feel the history all around you while shooting in Rajasthan. My bedroom in the film is really the Sheesh Mahal in Samod Palace. It was also poignant, as my grandfather died the day before the shoot. He was on my mind all day, so I was grateful that the work kept me preoccupied.
You were pegged as the next Bollywood queen but it went bust with Boom. Why?
I never thought of myself as the next Bollywood anything. My sensibilities are different.
Have you signed any new Indian projects?
I am in talks with an Indian director for a role in her film, but as the dates have not been confirmed, I’ll have to wait before I talk about it.
What do you enjoy most – acting, modelling or cooking?
I am happiest when I am acting or cooking. Modelling can be rewarding when the photographer is an artist.
What’s a usual day in your life like?
I enjoy boxing, rollerskating, writing... I love watching old movies while munching a pizza.
Has your journey been difficult?
I’ve been working since I was 21. It’s nice to finally see the fruits of my labour. Sometimes, it was very difficult.
You wish to be reborn as...
I wouldn’t want to walk in anyone’s shoes but my own. I’m glad to be me.