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I feel fantastic: Bipasha Basu

Essentially, she's been all over the glam-sham-wham columns. Now she's about to return to the multiplexes with Race.Hiren Kotwani chats with Bipasha Basu.
Hindustan Times | By Hiren Kotwani, Mumbai
UPDATED ON SEP 29, 2008 05:59 PM IST

Essentially, she's been all over the glam-sham-wham columns. Now she's about to return to the multiplexes with


, has traipsed the ramp at Delhi's Fashion Week.. and is pretty okay about a media connect. So, here's Bipasha Basu in the high-speed lane with Hiren Kotwani

Where were you hiding?

You think so?

See now, Katrina Kaif is being pushed ahead in the


promos. Aren't you concerned about being sidelined?

No. I'd be glad if everyone is promoted in the promos. It's a fantastic script and has shaped up very well. I'm confident that I'll be appreciated.

It seems both Ms Kaif and you had told the producers (Tauranis) that you wouldn't make appearances together for the film's promotion.

Nothing of the sort. It isn't essential to make friends for life in the course of every film you work in. The producers will confirm that I'm a professional who could have never made any such demand. One is cordial with a co-star, filmmaking is a team effort.

Cool. What's this buzz about your extra-steamy scenes with Saif Ali Khan?

I've done intimate scenes before.. with Dino Morea in


, John Abraham in


and Aftab Shivdasani in


. There has to be a comfort level. I'm friendly with Saif. At the end of the day, it's a very technical thing. There are about 200 unit people watching every breath you take.

How did John Abraham react to the talk of your liaison with Saif Ali Khan?

I'm not answering that.

Awrighty. I believe you've done some strenous action stuff in



Saif has done most of the action. and a car chase, I was like hanging on. Then I had to jump out before it exploded. More strenuously, I had to run up and down 11 parking lots.. this was shot over three days. I was so tired at the end of the day that I couldn't work out later.

Did Saif Ali Khan actually say that he won't work with Abbas-Mustan again.. because he couldn't understand their Hindi and they couldn't understand his.

How can I answer for someone else? I've always felt good about working with Abbas-Mustan right from my first film



Has your other Abbas-Mustan film,

Mr Fraud

, been shelved?

Yes, it has been shelved for now. I don't know the reasons. Sad, since we had completed 60 to 70 per cent of the shoot. But I'll be there any time they want to revive it.

How come after


, Madhur Bhandarkar opted to cast Priyanka Chopra in



Ask Madhur. I know him well, I think he likes to experiment with his acting crew. He had been in discussions with Priyanka from the time


was conceptualised. She has a strong background in modelling right from her Miss India and Miss World days. Anyway I'm here for a very long time, so is Madhur.

Your profession demands looking hot. What's your take on actresses who pop pills to look thin?

What about the actors?

Alright. What about actors who must look hunky?

That's very foolish.. because it's a very short-term gain. Soon after you go off pills and a crash diet, you regain weight. Long-term fitness and health are more vital. I want to look good, healthy and fit forever. I complete my daily exercise regime, whether it's 5 a m or 11 p m.

Starving oneself to look thin can be bad for health. One should eat the right food at the right time. Without that balance, you can end up becoming a bulimic or anorexic.

So, how come you had put on oodles of weight some three years ago?
At the initial stage of my career, I was working up to 18 hours a day. I had no time to take care of myself – until the newspapers started saying, (laughs), "Bipasha is fat." I began working out around the time of No Entry.

I read health magazines, Esha Deol and Lara Dutta gave me fitness tips. So today, when Reebok signs me as their brand ambassdor, based on their survey of the fittest women in India, I feel fantastic.

Do you feel vindicated about the Bipasha Basu look then?
To start with I wasn't the rosy-cheeked heroine. Now, girls want a bronze tone, look sexy and are leading an open lifestyle.

What has impelled you to do projects like the Sanjay Gupta-produced Pankh and Rituparno Ghosh's Bengali movie Shab Charitra Kalponik?
I go by my gut feeling.. about the script and my role. Pankh is a novel concept and my character in Shabh Charitra Kalpanik is the sort that I'd never get in a Bombay movie.. I'm not doing it for the money at all.

You've been paired with Ranbir Kapoor in Bachna Aye Haseenon and with Neil Mukesh in Freeze? Do the scripts demand an older woman?
(Impatiently) No, no, there's no such thing about a young guy and an older woman in either of them.

Talk is that you will do Sanjay Gupta's Acid Factory only after certain script changes.

My suggestions can only add to the entire product. I'm working out the dates. Whoever does the role, won't regret it.

You've spoken about venturing into business like a fine dining restaurant and a fashion line.
I spoke about a restaurant a few years ago. I've grown since then, a restaurant is certainly out. I'd like to do something in fashion and fitness.. when I get some time. Quite a few actors are juggle their other interests along with their acting careers.

Like who?
Suniel Shetty? He has Mana to help him out. I'm multi-tasking enough already as an actress.

Tell me, why has your relationship with John Abraham been going through so many dramatic highs and lows?
One year, the media breaks us up. Another year they patch us up.. then they get us engaged. We don't react to conjectures.

John Abraham.. it's said.. was planning to present an engagement ring on your birthday earlier this year.
No engagement yet. You'll know when it happens.

Haven't your parents suggested that you exchange rings?
No. My parents are the non-interfering sort. They know I'm a responsible girl. I'd told you the last time, that I'll marry after another four years, maybe, when I'm 32.. so what's your problem?

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