Omkara is based on Othello, so what kind of expectations you have from the film?
I don’t think too much. I’ve seen Vishal Bharadwaj’s work, so I knew I just have to do this particular film as I wanted to work with Vishal. When he told me that Omkara is an adaptation of Othello then I knew that it will be something special as Vishal did a fabulous job in Maqbool (Macbeth). My character is a very interesting character that started off as a special appearance. It is Bianca in Othello. And here it is named Billo Chaman Bahar who is a village entertainer. She sings and dances for villagers for their entertainment. Vishal said there will be two songs, very very different to what you’ve done so far. She is a simple girl, yet very strong, very loud, very loving yet flambouyant. She dresses in flashy clothes, her knowledge of film world is her wisdom. That’s Billo for you.
What image do you prefer, a Beedi Jalaye Le or a Corporate Image?
I don’t prefer any of it. I prefer Bipasha Basu the image I have. As an actor the roles that I get are very interesting and different. I am very lucky at this point of time where I have a Corporate, now Omkara as Billo and then Dhoom2. I have Abbas-Mastan’s film that has me in an altogether different role. I am getting to play different roles and very happy that Film Industry is supporting me in playing different characters.
How much do you know about the story of Othello?
I had read Othello in my childhood. And definitely I know what Othello story is all about. It’s essentially a love story between Desdemona and Othello. That is Dolly and Omkara in this film. So, I knew that it’s a story about them that moves in a film form. The human emotions when one goes through when in love, the hurt, the possessiveness, the guilt, the doubting and how these characters like Kesu, Langda, Billo enter their life and how they move towards the end.
What’s your opinion on Beedi Jalayele that has taken the country by storm?
Beedi Jalaile was a fantastic number from the day one. Vishal told me that he has composed this song and I just loved it. It was a rocking number. I was absolutely sold on it. But when I came to shoot in Wai, I just got a little bit of a shock as there were men with stubble, looked dirty. A bit scary for a girl as I had never done it before. But then my assistants, my director assured me that all of them were actors and there’s nothing to be scared of. Vishal did a beautiful thing. he started the song and asked all the characters to come forward and dance. They danced in the most weird forms and then the whole atmosphere became very light. It was not choreographed. It was original raw flavour as to how a man in that rural flavour will dance to that number. I am completely anti-smoking and I am not supporting smoking. So please dance to the number but don’t go out to smoke
How is Viveik Oberoi as a co-star?
He is a fabulous actor. He is definitely the kind of actor who works well with a good director. I really liked his work in ‘Company’ and ‘Saathiya’. All my role of Bollo Chaman Bahar is the love story of Vivek and me. A very helpful and supportive co-star.
Are you superstitious?
There could be many things. One can ask why I wear this ring or anything else. It’s a mother’s belief that she gave me a black thread. I don’t believe in all these things but if people close to me have a certain belief then I accept it graciously.
Any experiences on the sets of ‘Omkara’ that you will remember forever?
Every film has some remembrances. Vishal’s team, was very professional, very sweet, very beautiful and calm unit. The co-stars were very good. Ajay has been a friend of mine for quite some time now and there’s Saif, I am a total fan of Saif the way he has been performing in all his movies. And then there’s Vivek. I guess it’s going to be a memorable film for me. This is the first time where I shot for a film with sync sound, so that was different for me as well.