Soha, you in a hot, new avatar tell us about the Maxim photo shoot.
That's really not a new avatar at all. It's just a photo shoot and I'd like it to be seen in that context.
You had that girl-next-door image and now...
Image? I believe I am an actor and idea for an actor is not to get slotted in any stereotype. Yes, I have been seen in an image, which you would call girl-next-door, or sweet girl and now I wanted to have fun and try something new. But it's certainly not a statement of any kind.
Any inspiration from Kareena then she's also sizzled in Tashan.
No, not really. I am not in it because of anyone else. It's purely my own decision.
Your mom was the first leading lady to sport a bikini. You think you match up to her and did she give you any tips?
I think you should ask her if she's given me any tips, if you dare! Am not trying to compete with my mother. She's incredibly classy, extremely elegant woman. I hope I have managed to imbibe some of those qualities from her.
Your family wasn’t very supportive with your decision to join films.
I wanted to act but I also knew the rules of the industry as my mother and brother had been a part of it and so there was some unease regarding it. I took different career perspective into consideration and wanted to do something on my own and hence became a banker. When I joined films there was some amount of pressure on me from the press and my family. I quit my job, took the independent decision to join films, signed my first film and informed my family later about it. It was not a nice thing to do knowing that my parents won’t be very happy to hear about it. That was irresponsibility on my part.
You’re highly educated. Did this work against you in the industry?
I don’t feel that education and films are relatively connected. People ask me ‘Why did you study if you wanted to be an actress, that means you never wanted to be an actress?’ But a person can be an actress in spite of her educational background. Since my initial days I liked acting, but I diverted from it as I grew up. I did theatre in school and university but was never in touch with film industry. In that regard I was never influenced to join films and went to London for four years to study. Only after I started working in Mumbai I got inclined to join films.
Now that you’re here, how do you feel being compared to your mother, Sharmila Tagore?
Whenever there is a comparison I feel that it is a huge compliment to me. I do look like her from certain angle. However I’m more like my father.
You’ve been appreciated more in serious roles like ‘Antar Mahal’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’ than light hearted films like ‘Dil Maange More’ and ‘Shaadi No 1’. Do you think that you’re better as a serious actress?
I don’t think that there is much difference in acting in serious or commercial films. So I cannot categorize myself as an art actress or commercial actress. My strive is to work hard and be known as an intelligent actress, in the sense that I want to do intelligent film. But such films can also be made in a glamorous and entertaining way.