|How have you grown in the last 2 years?
I have spent a lot of time on the sets. What you learn on the sets by meeting so many people, discussing so many things with them, is the actual knowledge. That is the way I have learnt a lot, it’s been a good journey so far.
What are the things you’ve learnt from your dad?
Well, he says if you can’t be the best just be different and I think that’s what he has followed throughout his career and stood out.
With five films at hand, you are presently busier than any of your contemporaries and even your seniors in the industry. How does it feel?
I feel I am blessed. I love what I do and I look forward to doing it every single day. So much so that if at times I have a one or two-day gap in between I get edgy to go back to sets again.
Are you playing safe by choosing only the quintessential girl next-door roles?
I don’t choose roles based on my look. When filmmakers offer me films I don’t look out whether my character is that of an Indian girl or western. I chose roles that I believe in, the characters I can fit in and know that my audience would love to see me in, and above all, whether I want to be part of the film or not. So this has been my way of choosing roles. It is my second year in the industry and I have a long run left to explore things.
Do you love your desi girl image?
I am proud of my desi-ness. For me desi is something, which is completely Indian. It is not only about your outfit but also your feelings. Filmmakers put me in a sari on screen, so I wear different outfits off it. I think I should change with time. I'm comfortable with the desi tag now, but as an actor, I have to change but that will happen later. You can say that I am the modern-day Sati Savitri.
Are you open for wearing a Bikini on screen?
No, I am not open to donning a Bikini.
What about intimate scenes of even kissing scenes?
It is a complete NO. I am not that kind of a person. I have been brought up in certain way and I have certain restrictions that I follow. I don’t see any reason to change it because if audience has accepted me fully clothed then why will I shed my inhibitions?
However, you are denying the common ingredients of films, which are mostly revered in the present times. Case for example – The Dirty Picture. Do you mean you’d never do such a film if offered?
Dirty Picture was a great film. The performance that Vidya Balan delivered was superb. I respect her so much as an actress. But it really takes guts to do something like that. I don’t think I would be able to pull it off with the restrictions that I have.
I am feeling exactly the same way I felt before Dabangg released, it’s almost like my first film is releasing all over again - it is a good feeling. I have a sense of attachment to the film and what I have already done but I have no control over what is going to happen beyond that.
Rowdy Rathore’s Paro
She is this sweet, simple girl who comes in from Patna to Mumbai for her cousin’s wedding. She’s a little mischievous, she’s a bit outspoken and she ends up falling in love with a guy who is completely the opposite of her - he’s a complete Rowdy guy.
Akshay the awesome
Akshay is a very very nice person to work with; he is a great co-star to have. There’s something about his personality where he makes everyone around him feel so comfortable and at ease, be it a light assistant or a camera assistant or his co-star or the director. While working with Akshay everyone genuinely feels so warm and so welcome, he doesn’t make anyone around him feel that he’s such a big star or that they’re nothing compared to him. Infact in his company everybody is only always laughing.
Chammak Challo Chail Chabeeli
I am a spontaneous performer. I don’t believe in doing homework for a role or preparing in advance. I like to listen to what my director has to say, what the choreographer has to say. With this song particularly, as Saroj Khanji choreographs it I knew I was in the best hands. All the credit to her, she’s definitely the best person to have choreographed this song.
You see I am actually not a very desi girl beyond the screen. When I’m with my friends I am Rowdy - we do fun things, we do crazy things (laughs). I am a normal Rowdy Mumbai born and brought up girl.
Fallout with Katrina Kaif
I’ve never had any fallout with Katrina. Whenever we have met, we have been very cordial. I don’t know where the stories of this rift between us come from. I feel it’s more of a media-created topic.