On the surface, "Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha" looks like just another love story.
A-ha! Looks can be deceptive. Mine is a very sweet role. The whole film has a very nice flavor. It's very sensitive...Yeah, I really liked my role, and the film. I can't tell you more about my role because that would give away the plot. But when people see it they'd know it isn't just another sweet candyfloss film.
Anyway I couldn't say no to Salman Khan and Atul Agnihotri...Of course, I did the film for them. But I wouldn't have done it if I didn't like my role and the film.
How was it working with Salman again?
The comfort level on the sets was very high. It was very chilled set. Doing the film was a cakewalk. So yeah, personal relations do reflect on your profession. It was so stress-free. Salman and I had done "Chori Chori Chupke Chupke" and "Har Dil Jo Pyar Karega" earlier.
"Dil Ne Jise..." is the only film I've done with a co-star for the third time. There was Saif...but he wasn't opposite me in "Dil Chahta Hai". So in a way Salman and I have grown together as actors. Salman is himself with me. He never tries to be a prankster or a gentleman when I'm around. We're just ourselves with one another.
Do you share screen space with Bhoomika Chawla?
She has her own space and a very, very nice role that she has performed very well. Yeah, I do have scenes with her. She's a very sweet girl and a good actress. Don't look for signs of strain and stress here. Like I said this is a stress-free film. I must add Atul Agnihotri is a very capable director.
You've so far been very lucky for first-time directors like Farhan Akhtar and Nikhil Advani.
Have I? But not for Honey Aunty (Honey Irani directed "Armaan"). I hope I prove lucky for Atul. He really deserves to succeed. I don't think anyone will feel cheated after seeing "Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha". Everyone will come out with a smile. And also, the film gives off a very positive message. Cinema does have a huge influence on people's minds. I hope this one makes a difference.
Why do you have only one more film on hand?
Why not? It isn't as though I'm over-choosy. But there's some free time now because Yashji's film "Veer-Zaara" is complete. Another big film that I was supposed to start has been postponed. In any case I've always handled my career this way. I never shot 2-3 films together, never will. For me, this approach to my career is nothing new. Right now I'm just concentrating on the world tour. Rani, Saif, Shah Rukh, Priyanka Chopra and Arjun Rampal are with me. And we're having a ball.
You prepare a lot before going on stage?
That's because I know I'm not too great on stage. The others, Shah Rukh and Saif, are brilliant on stage. Rani, too, is a very good dancer. Arjun and Priyanka have a great presence. Throw me in, and we've quite a group.
Why so many ads?
I'm not doing that many! I do one only when I like the product. I'll never endorse a product I don't approve of. I was fascinated by the Luna when I was a kid. I ask a lot of questions before saying yes.
How was it working with Yash Chopra in "Veer-Zaara"?
It was one of the best experiences of my life. I play a Pakistani girl for the first time. The credit for my transformed look must go completely to the director and to Manish Malhotra. There's no director like him, there never will be.
Working with Shah Rukh Khan is always a pleasure. He's such a generous actor. He gives a lot of space and support to his co-stars. I think people will give "Veer-Zaara" the 2same affection that they gave Chopra's other films.
Are you going to be the new "Chandni" in Yashraj films?
I hope so. Yash Uncle is so cute and so much fun. I think people who think I'm too 'angrez' to play earthy Indian girls will change their mind completely after "Veer-Zaara". People will see I can play 'desi' characters just as well.
My character has a lot of strength and softness. She's both strong and delicate. Though I'm a 'Yash Chopra heroine' this time, a lot of me has also gone into the role. Rather than change me, Yashji has brought out the best in me. He's a master- filmmaker.
Though he's very open to discussion, I just listened and obeyed. Everything he said made sense. And he pampered me so much.... fed me the best food on this earth. He treats his actors like royalty. 'My beautiful girl' ..... he'd call me on the sets. It's so wonderful to be so wanted. It makes you blossom on the sets.