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Bipasha Basu unplugged!

The Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, who has just ventured into business with her fitness DVDs, tells you how to be fit and fab. There’s a month-long beginner’s course, followed by a more advanced work-out that she suggests. Read on for the full interview.

entertainment Updated: Feb 04, 2010 20:42 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya

Bipasha BasuHow did the idea of a fitness DVD come about?

I got tired of hearing women giving excuses for not working out. Working women and young mothers have no time, housewives are too conscious to go to the gym and college kids can’t afford a membership. So, I’ve come up with a 25-minute workout that’s been tried and tested on my friends and me. I’m launching it under my brand, BB Love Yourself. It’s your guide to a fit and fab you.

There’s a month-long beginner’s course, followed by a more advanced work-out. If you can give half an hour in a 24-hour day to it, stick to a normal diet, which means no gorging on pots of mishti doi (sweet curd) and French fries, I can promise definite fat loss and muscle toning.

We believe you, given that even your beau, John Abraham, has admitted that you are perhaps the only woman who can keep pace with him in the gym.
(Laughs) John’s lying if he said that or may be he’s just scared. I can outdo and outrun him any time. But yes, it helps to have a fit partner even though John found me hot when I was overweight. It took a screaming front-page headline to make me realise that I was fat.

In my dictionary, fit doesn’t mean being pencil thin. It’s about being happy with your self-image. That’s the reason my DVD is called Fit and Fabulous.

John and you took a romantic vacation to Australia recently…
(Laughs) It was more energetic and athletic than romantic. Australia was the only continent I hadn’t visited during the course of my work in the last 13 years. Every time I was supposed to go Down Under, the trip got cancelled. So I thought of taking off on a holiday there.

And the jinx continued. We were supposed to leave on January 6 but the trip was pushed back. We finally flew down three days later.

Australia was my idea but a belated birthday gift from John. I had an amazing 31st birthday. John and I were both in Delhi and had a lovely, romantic dinner outdoors, followed by a family lunch and a surprise birthday party the next day. Then, we took off to the Gold Coast. We walked 20 kms every day, worked out every night and ate all the pasta in Australia. We came back tanned and smiling.

There is talk of you launching your signature prêt line too.
Yeah, it’s a fitness line that should be out by the first week of March. Earlier, the perception was that sportspeople was boring and their wardrobe lacked oomph. But not any more. My outfits, designed by Rocky S, will be sexy, fun, modern, fashionable and exercise-friendly.

A designer line will follow. I haven’t set a date for that yet because I am a hands-on person. Unless I can spare time for the project, it’s not going to happen.

Now that John’s turning producer, are you encouraged to make a movie too?
Is John really turning producer? I know the ideas are there but is the plan in place? When he’s ready, he will announce it in a big way.

I will make an amazing producer some day. Like a typical Capricornian, I’m very organised, focussed on managerial work and finance. I even started studying chartered accountancy though it was the most boring thing I’ve every done. I was a science student— biology, physics and mathematics were my subjects— economics, in comparison, was so dull. Thank God, modelling beckoned. Till I start my own movie, I can always help John.

Will you feature in his film given that you seem to have almost completely stopped working together?
We’re a strange couple who don’t fancy working together. (Laughs) Actually, that’s not quite true. We’d love to do a movie together. But we’re both strong individuals, with our own thoughts and values. And we are unwilling to compromise for the sake of enjoying each other’s company. It’s not necessary since we spend a lot of our free time together. The day we get a script we both like, we’ll take it on.

What about marriage? You had said once that you’d tie the knot when you turned 32.
(Laughs) That was eight years ago and you don’t have to hold me to my word. At the moment I don’t feel like getting married. When the bell rings in my head, I’ll know it’s time.

Buzz was that you had been approached to host a show for Red Chillies along the lines of the Tyra Banks Show that would unearth India’s next supermodel?
We’ve been talking about it. It’s right up my alley since I’ve been a part of the modelling scene and understand fashion. Let’s see what happens.

I also want to do a show of my own that will involve common people’s take on life and reflect my philosophy. Today, chasing after success, we’ve ceased to be content with what we have and what we are. But unless you love yourself, how can others love you?

What makes a man sexy?
Personality... He need not be successful but he should be able to walk into a room and hold a chat


Good looks

A good body

Effortless about his charm... Even if he’s aware that he’s irresistible, he should not carry it on his head

5 fitness tips
Appreciate what you were born as. Once you love yourself, everything else will fall in place.

Get active. The environment we live in adds to stress, physical and mental. Most of us are on the computer all day and while these machines are a big help, they can make you sedentary. So step out, get moving, take a run, work out, play some sport, get the blood up and pumping.

Look deeply into all that goes into your system. Don’t corrupt it with drinks, drugs, cigarettes and irresponsible medication. Eat right and even if you can’t stay away from fries and sweets, have them in moderation.

Save and drink water, it’s a great cleanser.

Don’t neglect on sleep. None of us our superheroes, we need our eight hours of beauty sleep.

Bipasha on her recent movies

Shob Charitro Kalponik
‘I thought John would doze off but he didn’t even blink’

The film has just picked up a National Award and I’m overwhelmed by the reactions to my plain Jane look and my performance. Even John’s father wants to see the film.

John has seen it already. I thought he’d find it a little slow. If he’s tired, he can sometimes doze off during a movie. But this time he didn’t even blink. He found it an amazingly thought-provoking film and loved me in a sari. (Laughs) He likes me best in a white kurta but I hardly ever wear one.

The film is about finding your identity. In a way, it reflects my journey. In these nine years in the film industry, I’ve grown into a responsible person.

Unfortunately, except for Rituda (Rituparno Ghosh) I don’t know anyone else in Kolkata. Even Rituda and I built an equation over four years before Shob Charitro Kalponik happened. He is so effortless. We’ve been discussing a Mahabharata with me as Draupadi. I hope it happens!

‘I hope the film will see the light of the day’

Pankh is such a powerful and interesting film even if it may not catch everyone’s fancy. I’m playing a character who is supposed to be every man’s fantasy. I love the look and I can’t wait for the film to release. But there are so many films stuck in the cans. I hope Pankh sees the light of the day.

Mr Fraud is another film that is in limbo. It’s 60 per cent complete. I hope they revive it soon.

‘We went through plenty of trauma to shoot it’

Rahul (Dholakia) is a fearless director. Actually, all of us have gone through trauma to shoot the film. It deals with the current situation in Kashmir and requires a decent release.

Today, you open any newspaper and all you read about is deaths. It disturbs me what we are doing with this beautiful life God has gifted us. It’s time we stopped politicising everything. Every time an election comes up, I’ve been offered money to campaign for a party. But I’ve never been tempted. I believe in being an aware citizen, voting and praying the right party comes to power.

‘I wear no make-up, not even kajal

Priyadarshan has been typed as a maker of comedies but the National Award winning Kanjeevaram has proved that he can get serious too. Nishaad, his next film with Ajay (Devgn), Akshaye (Khanna) and me, is an issue-based film on inter-caste
marriages and honour killings.

The film is a break for me too from my usual glam image. Rocky S has given me simple cotton saris. I wear no make-up, not even kajal. Even my hair is coiled in a messy bun. I get ready in record time for this film. Ajay was so surprised by my new look after All The Best but he thought I looked “sweet”.

All The Best 2
‘The original is my two-year-old niece’s favourite film’

I don’t know if Dhoom 3 is going to happen and when. And I don’t think I’m a part of Race 2. But I’m definitely going to be in the All The Best sequel. It should go on the floors this year once Rohit (Shetty) wraps up Golmaal 3.

All The Best is my two-year-old niece’s, who incidentally looks just like me, favourite film. It’s a mad caper and I had so much masti. When they couldn’t find anyone to play the black girl, I offered to play her. Everyone thought I was crazy!

Terrific 3
Jane Fonda, 72, who introduced the trend of workouts and made sweat bands and lycra legwarmers fashionable between 1982 and 1995, inked a deal last year to re-release her aerobics DVDs in a modernised form.

Rekha, 55, was inspired by Jane Fonda to encapsulate her beauty and fitness regime in Rekha’s Mind And Body Temple in 1983. It was a combination of yoga and a special diet that helped her lose all those ungainly pounds and reinvent herself as a diva.

Shilpa Shetty made fitness a best-seller with her 60-minute, English-Hindi VCD-DVD. Shilpa’s Yoga, that has the actress demonstrating asanas in the backwaters of Kerela, with elephants and Kalaripayatti fighters in the background. The video is directed by Manisha Jha under yoga instructor Shiv Kumar Mishra.