Let's start with your debut release "Black". What made you take up the miniscule role of Sara McNeilly, Rani Mukherjee's sister in the film, when you had two other big films in the offing, both with full-fledged roles?
A lot of people are curious to know why I agreed to do the brief role, but the truth is that I wasn't conscious about the length of the role as the experience of working with an established director like Sanjay Bhansali. I had no insecurity about how I would be perceived in a brief appearance in the film.
On the contrary, it was quite a challenge playing the role and working with artistes of the calibre of Amitabh Bachchan and Rani Mukherjee. Actually, I don't quite go by established norms when it comes to signing films. It has more to do with the director I am working with and the kind of challenge the role involves.
That's also one of the reasons why I am looking forward to both my forthcoming releases, "Tango Charlie" and Ram Gopal Varma's "My Wife's Murder", which I would consider my actual debut, since that is the film that officially marked my foray into Bollywood.
Considering that every possible newcomer in the industry is craving to work with the Ram Gopal Varma banner, were you excited when offered his film?
I was pleasantly surprised when I got a call from Ram Gopal Varma's office. He had seen me in a few ad-films and had quite liked my work in them. The role was offered to me the same day after I met Ramuji. I was absolutely elated about it. Moreover, the film is a very different kind of a psycho-thriller set against a middle-class backdrop and I have a very interesting role in it.
Tell me something about your role in "Tango Charlie".
Well, it is an anti-war film made on a very ambitious scale, where I am cast opposite Ajay Devgan. I have a very performance driven role of a rich spoilt girl, who is the daughter of a zamindar and undergoes a total transformation when she is overcome by a tragedy.
The role also has a streak of comedy to it and it was quite a challenge doing it. One of the factors that got me quite inspired about the film is the fact that I am playing a Bengali girl in the film. It was second nature to me enacting a Bengali character.
You are also said to have recently signed "Marigold" opposite Salman Khan.
That's another prestigious project that I am looking forward to. It is a film that draws its inspiration from Bollywood, which has a very interesting script, once again. I was offered the film sometime ago, while I was shooting in New York but it is only now that I chose to announce it.
You are also said to have two interesting films lined up in Hollywood. Between the offers that you have been getting from Bollywood and Hollywood, how do you prioritise films?
I have two forthcoming Hollywood films, "Over The Mountains" and "It's A Mismatch", both with very promising characters. However, when it comes to choosing between the two, it is the roles that I am being offered here that take a place of priority.
I love being in India and no matter how far I travel around the world, this place and the films being made here, always hold a special importance for me. Besides, I am glad that I am getting to play a variety of roles in the beginning of my career, be it the role in Ramuji's film or the role in my forthcoming film, "Tango Charlie" or the one in "Marigold".
Does your intellectual background in being the daughter of noted economist Amartya Sen, come in the way, while taking up roles?
When I first set about acting, a lot of people felt that it was a clash of identities for a girl hailing from an intellectual family wanting to be an actress. But I have overcome that phase. It is a wrong notion that actors don't make great intellectuals.
Today, we have a breed of actors who are extremely intelligent, well read and politically aware. Besides, the roles written for actresses also demand a certain level of emotional intelligence. It is your perception of the role that gives it a certain amount of individuality.