I'm lucky: Jiah Khan
Spunky Jiah Khan, who wasn't seen much after her debut in the controversial Nishabd, says she was waiting for Ghajini to roll out. In it, co-star Aamir Khan presents her in a different avatar.
"I haven't been hiding. I was just waiting for Ghajini to start. I had no reason to be in the news. In between, I did a brand endorsement, that's all," Jiah told IANS.
"I don't go out to party. Not that I'm a recluse. But at this age, I don't want to get unnecessarily influenced by the wrong kind of people. Once I'm 30 and achieved what I've set out to, I can visit all the night places that I want to."
Jiah started as the audaciously saucy desi Lolita in Ram Gopal Varma's Nishabd in which Amitabh Bachchan played her male lead.
Commenting on choosing an unconventional role, she said: "Being so young and coming into the industry with no knowledge of how it worked, I picked an unconventional role. No regrets. I maintained my distance after Nishabd. I waited for the right opportunity.
"For Aamir's film Ghajini I did an audition. It was a long process. At the end of the day, it's a fantastic role, and it's going to be one of the biggest releases of 2009. Aamir has given me a completely different look."
Tell her she's a misfit in Bollywood and Jiah chuckles in amusement.
"Really? You think so? I had no problem fitting in. As long as you're respectful to people who are older and more experienced there's no need to try to fit in."
She is currently working with two generations of stars, Aamir and Shahid Kapur, in two different films.
"And if you consider the fact that I started my career with Mr. Bachchan as my hero, I've got three generations of remarkably talented co-stars in my first three films. I'm lucky. First, Mr. Bachchan, then Aamir and although Shahid hasn't got to their stature yet, he's equally dedicated and passionate. I think Jab We Met was fantastic."
Jiah says she's equally comfortable with all three generations of actors.
"I can get along equally well with someone 16 or 60. It's a gift, I guess. I really think I'm lucky. As for my so-called audacious launch, I was very comfortable with my role in Nishabd. Maybe other people weren't. It didn't affect me beyond a point.
"If they reacted violently against my relationship with Mr.Bachchan in Nishabd, then good. Aggressive reaction is far better than indifference. Now in my next two films, I'm totally conventional. It's quite shocking, really. Suddenly, after Nishabd when I see myself on the monitor doing the heroine's routine, I am shocked. I like it."