People tend to take ‘commercial cinema’ actresses for granted: Jacqueline Fernandez
Actor Jacqueline Fernandez says commercial films involve a lot of hard work, and so not everyone can be a ‘commercial film actress’; also talks about link-ups with Sidharth Malhotra and ‘catfight’ with Alia Bhatt.bollywood Updated: Nov 22, 2017 17:35 IST
It has been eight years that she has been a part of Bollywood (she debuted with Aladin; 2009). Ever since, Jacqueline Fernandez has made her way slowly-but-surely into the film industry. “I have met amazing people along the way. So, all I can think about right now is that I can’t complain,” says the Sri Lankan beauty, Jacqueline in an interview as she talks about life, career, link-ups, teaming up with Salman Khan again in Race 3 and more.
This is your eighth year in Bollywood. How have things been?
I don’t think things always go as per your plan as everything in life is unpredictable. You can plan things but there is no guarantee that it will work out the way you want it to. Even for me, things did not work out the way I planned them at all. Coming to India was also not a part of my plan. Everything that has happened in my life till now, I never expected them. The very fact that I wanted to be an actress all my life and I am getting to be one is amazing. I am independent and am happy that I have made it my way.
Success is always welcome but doesn’t it come with a lot of responsibility and negativity too?
Of course, there are positives and you must always look at them. But success necessarily doesn’t give you an amazing life. It’s not something you feel until you actually experience it. With success, you lose friends, gain enemies and tend to attract a lot of people with ulterior motives. People constantly judge you and expectations keep rising; and that comes with a lot of pressure. You can dwell and let it get to you or can say, ‘it is my life and I don’t need to give thought to anything negative.’ A happy person contributes more to the world than an unhappy person.
Your last release, Judwaa 2 fared really well. Do you still get extremely kicked about success?
Yes, absolutely. I almost forgot what success tastes like (laughs) because Judwaa 2 came after a small gap. Last year, I had two hits, and now Judwaa 2 has been very well received. So, yes, it feels amazing. With every film you learn, but when a movie does so well, it just motivates you to do more work and better yourself. Everyone who has worked hard on a film is very happy when it does well; and that’s the most amazing thing.
Till now, you have majorly done commercial films. Are you happy to be called an out-and-out ‘commercial’ heroine?
Absolutely! I love my commercial cinema and enjoy doing them. I feel people tend to take commercial cinema actresses for granted. They forget that even though we make things seem effortless in commercial films, it involves a lot of work, which is why not everyone can be a commercial actress. More than anything else, I see myself as an entertainer. Commercial cinema gives me an opportunity to do that, and I am happy doing it.
There is a perception in the industry that unless you do the serious cinema you are not an actor. Do you ever miss that ‘respect’ as an actor?
You cannot base your life on what other people think of you. I am extremely proud of the work I have done and the journey I have been through. I am proud of the things I have achieved. I would never put down the work that I have done. Only I know the kind of hard work that has gone to do the work that I have done. I am not looking for other people’s approval they can say what they want to say.
Recently, it was rumoured that you were dating Sidharth Malhotra and that there was a ‘catfight’ between you and Alia Bhatt. Do such stories upset you?
It is sad because I honestly felt very hurt as an actress. It’s the same media and same people that ask you, ‘why don’t you do more female oriented roles, what are you doing for women’s rights?’ And it is the same female reporter who asks, ‘what about your cat fight with Alia?’ I was like, ‘you are a woman and how could you even ask me that. Shouldn’t you be uplifting us as actresses?’ Sonam (Kapoor) went through the same thing. I feel the only thing I get written about is she is either dating someone or she is in a catfight with someone.
So, you’re single?
I haven’t dated anyone [for a long time]; I am so focused on my work right now; those things are not my priorities. I feel so hurt that just because I am an actress, people think those are my priorities. They completely forget the fact that we are working hard and running our families and our house on our own. I wish they would grow up.
Do link up rumours affect you a lot? Aren’t you used to it now?
I don’t give too much importance to gossip or judgements (by others) and that’s the general rule in my life. The only time it affects me is when I feel it will affect my relationship with the person from the industry. For some reason, everyone feels that since I am a single actress, I should be linked up with an actor I’m working with which is not the case because my values and my beliefs don’t allow it. Usually, I never talk about it or give out statements but when it affects my relationship with someone for no reason – and I really respect everyone I work with – I clarify as I don’t want any bad blood [between us].
Do you feel one of the biggest drawbacks of being an actor is that you constantly get pitted against others?
Absolutely, but that is the game. It is funny but I’ve realized that when I was less successful and less famous, no one really cared writing about a catfight I had or no one linked me up with anyone. But when I became successful, the articles started becoming nastier and more negative. It is human nature for all of us to gossip. When you are successful, people like to read the not-so-good things about you. It probably gives them a sense of satisfaction. I am fine with it because I ignore it anyway.
After being in India for so long, do you feel like an ‘outsider’ or is it home now?
Not at all, India is home now. I have everything here now except my family. Sometimes, when we have a long schedule abroad, I actually feel homesick for Mumbai. The only other place I feel homesick for is Sri Lanka, especially if I haven’t been there for a long time because I have grown up on Sri Lankan food and my family is there. But I have created a life in India now.
Also, how is your Hindi now?
It is good; I carry my book, Kore Kagaz everywhere and read a lot now. I enjoy the process. There was a time when learning Hindi was a task and I found it difficult. I enjoy learning new words, and grammar even if I am making mistakes. Doing Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa helped me a lot as I had to speak entirely in Hindi. I love the show but one of the main reasons for me taking up the show was that I also wanted to brush up on my Hindi.
You are now going to start Race 3. You must be excited?
Yes, I am back with three men, who have played a very important role in my life – Ramesh Taurani, Remo D’Souza and Salman Khan. I am excited to be reunited with Salman after three years and especially, on a franchise that I have worked on before. When you are back on a franchise, it’s always like you are on your home ground.
You worked with Salman for the first time in Kick three years back. How has your equation been with him since then?
Honestly, my equation with Salman during Kick was not like what it’s now. At that time, I was actually getting to know him. He was an acquaintance then, but now, he has become a really good friend. He helped me a lot and continues to do so. During Kick, I didn’t have much confidence, but now, my confidence is also a lot better. One thing that he asked me to do was to learn Hindi, and I am still working on that. I hope he sees the change and what I have been working on all these years.
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First Published: Nov 22, 2017 17:33 IST