"I don’t wear my excitement on my sleeve, I’m an introvert,” says Uday Chopra when you comment on how placid he sounds just just a day before the release of his high-octane adventure film Dhoom 2.
Well, Ali and Neal, his characters in Dhoom and Neal N Nikki respectively, were anything but introverts.
“That’s me acting. It’s easy to take off the layers onscreen but it’s tougher being yourself in real life because you are being judged as you. I open up once I know people better,” he says.
The rough and ready Ali teams up with hip inspector Jai (Abhishek Bachchan) in Dhoom 2 (releasing today) once more for another bike action film. Not surprisingly, Chopra says getting back into Ali’s skin “was not an issue. In Ali’s case, it’s really the dialogues, so I just got into his clothes and I was Ali.” Perhaps the two differences between Dhoom and Dhoom 2 are Ali’s styling and bike.
“The long hair has gone and the layers of clothing (shirt over T-shirt) have gone too. Now I’m mainly in T-shirts,” says Chopra. Ali also starts off on his old bike, but later on he’s seen revving it up on a Suzuki GSXR600.
So did he too get to try out some new action equipment in the ‘bigger and better’ Dhoom? Chopra rues that he did not. “I was mostly on a bike and legs. Hrithik got to do lots more.” Whose legs – yours of someone else’s? “Both,” laughs Chopra. Speaking of legs, where does Bipasha Basu fit into Ali’s world?
“Ali falls in love with almost all the girls. When he sees Bipasha, he falls in love with her too.” But it appears as if she is romancing both Ali and Jai. “Wait and see,” is all Chopra says.
After the sorry response to Neal N Nikki, playing Ali must have been a welcome “I will always be happy playing Ali, regardless. But yes, the adverse reaction of Neal N Nikki did surprise me,” he says candidly, adding, “You wonder what went wrong in a film in which you thought you were good and worked hard on. You ask what was it: me; the film? But it was a fait accompli.”
You can’t mention Neal without wondering about Nikki – Tanisha, but Chopra dodges enquiries with a “I don’t want to talk about that”. How boring. “It’s better to be boring than trying to be cool when you are not,” he replies.
How does he deal with being Yash Chopra’s son, Aditya Chopra’s brother and an integral member of Yash Raj Films (he handles the internet and digital domain space for the studio)?
“People think I get the films I do because of who I am. But the films are not made keeping me in mind. I know it comes across that way, but it isn’t. Like Neal N Nikki was a film they wanted to make and I fitted the role. It was a screen test that got me Mohabbatein.”
As far as future work is concerned, Chopra confesses, “as an actor I am completely unemployed.” He adds that if there is a Dhoom 3, he’ll be a part of it, as it is about the “adventures of Jai and Ali. We are the constants.”