On realising that hanging around in Bollywoodwould "restrict her growth", she hopped westerwards.. and doesn't regret it. She was back in India to inaugurate a showroom of Rado watches, which is when we asked her:
Have you quit our masala movies?
It's not that I've sworn that Iwill not do any more Hindi films but I certainly won't do the Bollywood masala films. There are gifted directors in India who don't do typical Bollywood cinema. I would love to work with them. But Hindi films are primarily Bollywoodish.
Mani Ratnam and Deepa Mehta do not belong to Bollywood. I have worked with Deepa and have enjoyed doing her films.
You were also not comfortable with your Hindi.
I still can't speak Hindi. I never claimed that I was comfortable with the language. English is my first language. I’m comfortable doing English films.
Why did you pack up and leave Mumbai for Los Angeles?
I'm very happy to be in LA. I'm getting the kind of roles I've always longed for.
Are you trying to make it in Hollywood then?
Neither Hollywood nor Bollywood. I'm only interested in good cinema. I'm doing six films, including European,Canadian and American ones.
Does that include Deepa Mehta's Stella?
That is one of the big films but it's too early to talk about it. I have developed a good rapport with Deepa after Bollywood Hollywood and Water. This time, too, it's a super role. I only do roles which don't present the woman as a vacuous creature.
How come endorsements then?
I'm endorsing international brands only. That's why I chose Rado. This gave me a chance to come to Kolkata. I feel at home there. I have a house in Shyam Bazar.. the narrow alleys drag me back to my childhood days.