Not much is known about how you bagged this role.
Ha ha, this is an interesting story actually. Nikhil had already finished casting for his entire film and was looking for a girl to be included in the Anil Kapoor-Juhi Chawla story. He had already short listed 2-3 girls but still hadnít taken a final decision. Meanwhile the producers of the film had seen me and promised to keep me posted if there was a suitable role for me. They spoke to Nikhil about me and showed him my photographs but somehow he didnít like me (giggles)! Later I was called to his office and while I waited in the lounge, a door opened, Nikhil came out, he looked at me for 30 second and told me right away that here is your story, letís start working on it! It actually took me a few minutes to realize that I was actually doing the film!
Were you apprehensive when you entered the sets on the first day?
You would be surprised but I didn't feel anything of that sort. I just didn't have any reaction that I was really shooting for a biggie like this. It is only after I spent some time on the sets did I realize that the magnitude of the entire experience. I mean there I was amidst huge sets, magical ambience, mega stars and seasoned performers and the only thought that I had at that moment was to be 100% competent in what I do. Though I was not intimidated by stars, I wanted to live up to expectations that I had set for myself since I knew that everyone around was just so competent! Eventually it was all OK and I could find myself relaxing.
Other woman generally comes with a certain image in a Bollywood film. How similar or different you are in your track as you come between Anil Kapoor and Juhi Chawla?
Contrary to what you say about me coming Ďbetweení Anil and Juhi, there is nothing of that sort! I am not projected as one of those women who are scheming or make up things or try to take a married man away through unmentionable means. I play a London based educated woman of today who has her logics clear in life. Her point to the man (Anil) is that if he finds his marital life is not happening and there doesnít seem to be much hope in future too, he should just walk out and find a better way to live. She believes that this would only help him as well as his wife. There is no planning, no jealousy factor, nothing at all like that!
Your innocent looks must have also come handy in justifying your character!
Exactly! This is why if my character was that of a Ďchaluí girl, she would have been someone with a bitchy look, sharp eye brows, overdone makeup etc. But here, I am shown as someone who is independent, intelligent but sweet.
And how sweet did Anil Kapoor turn out to be?
Oh, he is such a thorough gentleman. He made me so comfortable while we did our scenes together. He is such a seasoned actor and a perfectionist to the core.
But didnít perfectionism get on you ever?
But then you only pick up finer nuances if he insists on a retake. When someone like him says he is not happy with a shot and wants a repeat performance, you realize that you have such a long way to go in the industry. When he gives his 100% to a scene, you donít feel bugged but actually strive to be on your toes throughout.
So tell me about this. Is your story linked with the rest of the film or all the stories independent of each other?
Itís a misconception that SEI is episodic with first one story coming and then other and so on. There are 6 couples in the film and at an average each of the tracks get roughly 30 minutes screen time spread over the 3 and a half hour duration of the film. Each of the stories is interlinked with each other and you would find all the tracks running in parallel.