Happy to be a gay icon?
I've been told that. And I accept it very graciously. But women have reacted as strongly to me in Dostana as men. Some have reacted to the sensuality; others to the fitness. But everyone has a query about my body. Very often I don't know how to react. Initially, it was fun to be regarded as a 'body beautiful'. I wonder how audiences will react to my physicality in my next release "Aashayein" where I've lost 30 pounds.
Your 'briefs' in Dostana created quite a stir. You seemed to be at your hottest best and flaunting it all, too.
Oh, those bold quotes and pictures were just endorsements for Dostana. But I'm never ashamed of talking about my body. Though at times I do feel like a meat shop. I am proud of my physique. But I'm also good with emotions. In fact, I perform the best when I'm unhappy. I function best when in angst.
Did you have problems working with your New York co-star Katrina Kaif?
See, the fact that we weren't getting along is just not true. We were working on a project, which is about three friends so certain chemistry was essential. She and I spoke work and behaved like thorough professionals. There was no misconduct from either side. The shoot is over and we haven't spoken since.
So is he ready to bury the hatchet with Katrina's boyfriend Salman Khan?
The media dwells on such gossip, I don't. Whatever happened between Salman and me is in the past; I don't care much about it now. I'm not being arrogant; I'm just letting it be.
You and Bipasha have been in a relationship for seven years, something that is rare even by Hollywood standards, what makes your relationship going?
I feel she has made these seven years of being together special. She's a very simple and homely girl. I think we've both matured in our relationship. We don't believe in a public display of affection. We respect each other's individuality. I believe that 40 years down, maybe love evaporates from a relationship, but mutual respect keeps it going. More than loving her, I respect her as a person.
New York is your second film with Kabir Khan?
I loved doing Kabul Express with Kabir. I loved shooting in Afghanistan. I'm a sucker for pain and agony. Now I'd love to shoot in Iraq. My grandfather was from Iran. My mother's cousins are in Iran.
Neil Nitin Mukesh, who's shooting with you in Philadelphia, has great respect for you.
He's like my younger brother. I love him for the fact that he dotes on his parents. He's a wonderful kid with a great future. We spend a lot of time together.
Is Deepa Mehta's Luna with Rachel Weisz
Deepa and I haven't spoken about it. As for Komagata Maru, I'd still be willing to play the other lead because it's as important as Akshay Kumar's role. It's always a pleasure working with Akshay. He's a very positive person. We get along beautifully.
What else have you signed?
Only Abbas Tyrewala's film beyond that I haven't really opened my account book, I'm happy doing films I'm completely convinced about. I'd love to work with Anurag Kashyap again (after No Smoking). I can talk to him for hours. Like me he's happy doing his own thing. I'm an off-roader while other actors are on the highway.