You have worked with the banner earlier but now you got to work with Yash Chopra himself?
I am glad that I got to work with him. It's my biggest achievement in the industry. It was a dream come true for me. Yash Chopra is a brand by himself and he has been in the industry for more than 50 years which is more than my age. He is not only a great director but he has made a film way ahead of his times. Not only did I get to work with him but I got to talk to him, spend time with and know him personally. He is not only intelligent but he has a child like qualities in him. Cinema was his passion and he respected everyone on the sets.
When did you realize the importance of a Yash Chopra film?
You can't count his fans they are innumerable. Any role you get under Yashji adds to your CV. My father was a very strict army officer. He would never get tears in his eyes. I remember when he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir; I was studying in the junior college. I came back early from college one day and I saw my father watching a film. He would hardly watch 3 to 4 films a year. And what was more surprising was he had tears in his eyes. I went out quietly from the room. Later he came and told me that he was watching Yash Chopra's Veer Zaara. He said that he liked the true love and selflessness he had presented in the film. Now I got to work with Yashji himself. So you can imagine what a great achievement it is for me.
Your father is an army officer too and Shah Rukh has played an army officer in the film. How much difference is there between a real life and reel life army officer?
There is a lot of difference from films and reality. Shah Rukh roles in the film has been romanticized and he has played it very differently from the position my father held in the army. But after seeing Shah Rukh in the army officers uniform my father said ...no one can look so good in an army officers dress as much as Shah Rukh does....
What is your role in the film all about?
I am not a typical Yash Chopra heroine. In fact I am an anti Yash Chopra heroine in the film. I play Akira Rai who is 21 years old and doesn't believe in love. She thinks that nothing should come in between your work. Not even love. She is doing an internship with Discovery Channel and is trying hard to achieve a permanent position in the company. She is always fascinated by everything around her and is over ambitious. She wants to see the world and is not scared of anyone or anything. She is also ready to go on the war front to cover it and is full of life. She doesn't think like girls, She believes that there is no different between men and women.
You made your debut with Shah Rukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and also worked with Ranveer and Shahid. What's the difference?
In Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi I was a debutant and I had already heard so much about Shah Rukh. He is a senior artiste and he has been here for the last twenty years. I respect him and he's a good friend. This experience was even better with Shah Rukh as it didn't feel like work. He is always within himself and a happy go lucky man. With Ranveer and Shahid it is more on the friendlier terms. But since I come from the Army background we have been taught to respect everybody around us.
What do you have to say about Shah Rukh Khan?
Shah Rukh is very polite. He has a great sense of humour and is very real. There's nothing fake in him and that's why people misunderstand him. He has achieved a position in bollywood but at heart he is still the new boy who came from Delhi. They way he presents his heroines brings a softness that cannot be described.
You have become an expert in riding a bike now. We saw you riding a bike in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and now this film?
Personally I hate riding bikes. I rode a scooty in school and college but I am scared of bikes. I don't like to ride on the pillion too. But in the film Akira Rai rides a bike, wears leather jackets and rides a bike on the roads of Ladakh.
What do you like in personal life?
I love travelling and meeting strangers and talking to them. Today I am actress so I get to travel due to my work and also get to meet a lot of new people. I am enjoying it.
It is said that two heroines can never be friends in bollywood. How was your camaraderie with Katrina?
I don't have any best friends. I know two actresses cannot be best friends but I have no enemies too. I know my place in the industry and I am not conniving. I respect her and she is senior to me in terms of my career but she has something special in her. Coming from another country and not knowing Hindi and yet achieving a top position in bollywood is not easy. Today she has made a name and place for herself and is respected by one and all. We are both fit in our respective roles.
What changes have you seen after becoming a heroine?
There are changes in whatever profession you take up and there has to be changes. After becoming an actress I have realized that it is a difficult job. You get only how much you put in. You have to work very hard. Nothing is easy here. I have matured a lot. I have started taking my own decisions and I have become more independent. Earlier I used to depend on my parents for everything. But now I don't trouble them.