|You must’ve tapped some dark corner of your mind, want to disclose some secrets…?
“Yeah, we all do have dark corners, and dark secrets, but some of us are aware of it and some aren’t. Vikram told me - “You can’t be so good, Amrita. C’mon show me your dark side.” So the same Ammu bursting with energy and talking nineteen to the dozen had to transform into a brooding, silent person. I am so talkative that I can even talk to a wall, so when Vikram gave me the brief for me role - ‘Lock your mouth and throw away the key’, I didn’t know what to do. There’s one thing I discovered about myself - that I enjoy moments of silence too, I have an intensity which I didn’t like to portray, now I am comfortable with it.”
Vikram must have seen some evil in you to cast you for the role?
“I asked Vikram why he choose me for the role, I am not like the ‘obvious’ choice to play a vamp. He told me that people, who are so full of energy and life, are the ones who have a deep, dark intensity in them. He observed me closely and saw that intensity in me while we were shooting for Speed. Vikram is like an intense, brooding man himself…so in many ways he was like my inspiration for the role.”
If you love someone, lust follows? You believe that?
“Being lustily in love is great. You have to desire your man, and feel incredibly physically attracted to him. You have to lust for your partner to be able to love him more. I know the term ‘lust’ is used loosely, but love and lust go hand-in-hand.”
Have you ever felt lust for someone and then realized it’s actually love. Or vice-versa?
“Not really. I could feel lust for Brad Pitt and Leonardo Di Caprio, but that’s like falling in love with their screen images, which becomes more like an obsession. Half the women in the world feel that way, don’t they?”
Has Usman seen the dark side in you?
“Usman has been the victim of the dark side in me. In fact, most of my loved ones - my mom and Malaika have seen the dark side of me. I’m a person who believes in self-therapy, when something is wrong with me; I like to be left alone. Not too many people have had a sneak-peep in to my dark side.”
Now that you love being bad, are you going to be the bad gal permanently on the prowl?
“No, I don’t have fears of being typecast. Today all actress small, big, mediocre - are all toying with different kinds of roles fearlessly. Imagine actresses like Kareena (Don) and Ash (Dhoom 2) played bad girls to the hilt, there’s no reason why I should think twice.”
There have been a lot of comparisons between Celina and you. Are you peeved about it?
“Do I have reason to be? Whenever there are two actresses sharing the frame there are comparisons and controversies. She’s a weepy widow I am a brooding vamp. We have our own spaces. Celina’s looking sizzling hot, too.”
There were media reports that claimed you were upset because Celina was more prominently showcased in the promos?
“That’s all rubbish. I am an actor; I do my job and go home. I don’t interfere with the director’s marketing and promotion plans. That’s their business, not mine. Vikram told me I am the thriller element in the film; he didn’t want to reveal much about my character. I know what I was getting into, and I took his word. People have been throwing this question at me, but the point is I am not upset. And I didn’t want to hog the limelight. Sometimes actors get swayed by people’s gossip and the media statements, I don’t.”
Did you get some special tips from Bollywood’s finest vamp ever, Helen (aunty) considering you know her so well?
“I know it’s in the family, but I didn’t get any tips from her. I wanted a fresh take; I didn’t want to imitate anyone. Not that anyone can ever imitate Helen aunty. I think she’s the most dignified vamp the Indian screen has ever seen. She wasn’t a vamp; she was a diva of a kind. Audiences went to the movies to watch Helen (as much as the lead actors). She ruled the roost. I know I have an institute of great cinema at home, but this time I didn’t refer to it.”