Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Priyanka Chopra

There’s a stereotype in the west about us, and I want to be able to change that”

By Ankita R Kanabar

(This interview has been published in the September 6, 2013 issue of Super Cinema)

She personifies sexy. And no it’s not her well-toned body, or those drop-dead gorgeous looks that make me want to say that. It’s her attitude, her confidence, and that husky voice, which make her effortlessly sensuous. While many actresses would be happy playing the hero’s sidekick, and filling in for the glamour quotient in a film, here’s an actress, who not only makes men skip a heartbeat, but also goes beyond that, and does performance-oriented roles. While she plays seductress in films like ‘Aitraaz’, then, she makes you fall in love with her child-like innocence while portraying Jhilmil, in ‘Barfi!’, and that’s an almost seamless transition. While I meet the lady for a little chat, she’s busy promoting her film ‘Zanjeer’, despite keeping under the weather. She looked as stunning as ever, even in a simple ‘choti’, black t-shirt and floral pants. She almost lights up the atmosphere when she’s around, and no, the little fever didn’t dip her enthusiasm and willingness to talk. Needless to say, she’s a true rockstar in every sense! So, here we Priyanka Chopra, in an engrossing conversation talking about ‘Zanjeer’, her singing career, her approach as an actor and why she picks the kind of films she picks:

So, what is it that draws you towards doing a film? Let’s say, ‘Zanjeer’ for instance.
I do films because of strange reasons. I do films very instinctively. When Apoorva (director) came to narrate the film to me, the narration was for an hour and a half, but we sat for 7-8 hours discussing the film. I really liked Apoorva’s perspective of it. We were thinking as to how can we make Mala’s character different and when he left, I thought I’d really enjoy working with him, which is why I said yes to the film.

But comparisons with the original would be inevitable, isn’t it? Because I’ve done three remakes, I can say that out of experience, that these films which I’ve been a part of, they’ve all been almost tributes by the directors to the older films. Because, it’s Apoorva’s favourite film, the remake is his perspective. While comparisons are inevitable, people should try and look at it as an individual film. It’s an entertaining action thriller. Also, Mr Bachchan is my favourite actor, and I’m glad that I could be a part of his film’s remakes. The earlier remakes have done well, and I’m hoping ‘Zanjeer’ does well too.

While Ramcharan makes his debut in Hindi cinema, he’s a superstar down south. How was the experience of working with him?
I didn’t know he’s such a huge superstar down south, when I signed the film. When we were shooting in Hyderabad, thousands and thousands of people would come and see him, the roads had to be blocked. He’s very sweet; Chiranjeevi sir, Ram’s mother, his wife, they’re all so sweet, they spoilt us a lot, and every day the food would come from their house only. And everyone knows I’m such a big foodie! He was really helpful because, we were also doing the Telegu version, and Telegu was difficult for me but Ram would really help me with the words and pronunciation. 

Your song ‘Exotic’ is garnering some great response…that must feel good?
I think what I’m finding amazing is, to give everyone in the west, a taste of how we are. I was very excited when we went to this one club in LA, and people were telling me, to show them how to do the ‘thumka’. There’s a stereotype in the west about us, and I want to be able to change that.

Hindi films, few films down south and now with your album you’ve also gone international. Do you treat every medium differently, or it’s all the same for you?
In the last few months, I have done Bollywood, Tollywood, and got a little bit of an international feeling with my album too, but for me it’s all the same. I’m an actor, give me any film, I’ll do it if I like it, irrespective of the medium. My work conducts where I should go. No work is small for me, whether it’s two scenes, or the whole film. Work is work, and I worship it. I don’t have a perspective, that this is big or this is small. I don’t have any priorities. Nor am I looking to do some big crossover film, but I like expanding myself, and being a creative person and an artist, wherever I can show my creativity, in different ways, I’ve tried and done that. Though, as a musician, it’s just been a year, so mistakes may happen, but hopefully, with some more time, I’ll be the musician that I want to be. But I take all the work coming my way seriously. For me, work is ‘Lakshmi’, work is my worship, and I never take my work for granted.

But what took so much time to kick-start your singing career. You’ve had singing offers before as well…
Offers were always coming, but I was shy. I sang for my first film, which was a Tamil film and when I heard myself sing in that film, I decided I’d never sing again. My father used to always push me to sing, because he knew I sang well. Then for ‘Bluffmaster’, I sang for Vishal -Shekhar, but when it was about to release, I asked them not to release the song. They still have that song. Then, when I got this offer from Universal, my dad told me, it’s high time you do it. Actually, in the beginning of my career, I didn’t really know much of acting, I’ve learnt everything on the go, so at that point of time, it was important for me to pay attention to my acting career than singing. I had to learn and know what acting was, and how one goes about it. It took me a few years to actually get the hang of the whole process. You know when you’ve gone to film school, or been an industry kid, you are familiar to these things. But in my case, when I came into the industry, there was nobody to teach me or guide me, I had to learn everything on my own. Then I reached a point when this offer came in, and by then I was very comfortable in films, and Dad really wanted me to do it, so I said yes.

So, you’re still more of an actor than a singer?
I’m very new as a singer, but now acting seems like it’s in my blood, I’m doing it since I was seventeen. As a composer, I’m a year old, so I still need to grow on that front. So, as of now, yes, I’m more of an actor.

Is there always an aim of doing something different with every film and every character?I don’t know if I think like that, I just do what I feel. I’m a very different or weird kind of a person. I want to do things that are the most difficult. My mom also keeps telling me why do you work so hard, and do all the difficult things? But, what excites me is, to try and do things which people don’t expect people to do. It would be very easy for me to be in the safe box, and do things that a heroine is expected to do. But I think it’s more fun when you push the limits, and surprise people with your work. Which is why, on one hand where I’ve done commercial films like ‘Zanjeer’, ‘Don’, ‘Krrish’, ‘Agneepath’; on the other hand, I also pick up ‘Barfi!’, ‘Fashion’, ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’, ‘What’s Your Rashee’, ‘Mary Kom’. I like keeping a balance between different kind of things. So, yes it comes naturally that I don’t want to ever repeat myself in any film, and that’s my biggest challenge, to myself, because I keep competing with my own self. Having said that, every script can’t be different. And every script doesn’t even give you the opportunity to do something different. But from my end, whatever I can, I do. I don’t make films for myself, or I don’t have a production house or some relative making a film for me. But I think I’m lucky that I have filmmakers coming to me, who’ve written roles keeping me in mind.

What sort of homework do you have to do to get into a character even now?
You have to prepare for everything, because I never go to any film being Priyanka. For me, every character is different. Like, the preparation for ‘Zanjeer’ was to keep a very bubbly personality, because she’s a Bollywood fan, and she thinks she knows everything about India, just because she’s seen Hindi films, which is so stupid, so I had to give that air-head type vibe to my character.

There are actors who’re always trying to make or break some image. Does this whole ‘image’ thing ever bother you?
There’s no image that I have, this is me. I never do any work for my fans, I do the kind of work I want to do, and if people like what I’m doing then they become my fans. I have never done any kind of work, for some image. My image is me. I’m very black and white. I believe in being honest, but I also think that it’s not necessary for the world to know everything about me. But then, I don’t even play hide and seek. I’m very private, which I think is my right. But I don’t believe in having any image.

You steer clear on commenting on any controversy…
I don’t feel the need to clarify a controversy. I’m very private as a person, and I really believe that by giving statements to controversies, I’m giving importance to them, because then people will write two more articles about that, and then someone else will react, so it’s pointless. If it’s something that I really feel the need to talk about, I will. Usually, these controversies are about very trivial things and I get very hurt by them, because I’m a very family girl, and it affects my family. Which is why, for me, I rather just keep quite. I just go into my shell.

I believe, you’re slightly emotional, that’s a Cancerian trait, so when you do grey characters in films like ‘Aitraaz’ or ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’, do they somewhere emotionally drain you, or stay with you?
Not slightly, I’m extremely emotional. But no, no character has really drained me emotionally, or stayed with me. The only time that happened to me was in ‘Aitraaz’. I was so new and involved in the character that I used to talk like that at home. I’ve realised over time, that I’ve tried to be a method actor but that hasn’t worked for me. I am just in my character between action and cut, because otherwise, I get bored. I can’t do it. Different actors work differently. I don’t know if my way is right or wrong, but this works for me. I do a lot of research. I do a lot of preparation, before the film begins. But then when I start a film, whatever comes naturally, I do that. 

There’s also ‘Krrish 3’. How has your role shaped up in the film?
I play a journalist in ‘Krrish 3’, and I have a new-found respect for journalists after doing the film. I had to do a scene without tele-prompters, and had two paragraphs of dialogues. I usually don’t forget my lines, but since it was more of a live-action, I forgot my lines. I wonder how these TV journalists do it. ‘Krrish 3’ is a film, where after a long time, I’m just going to look pretty, that’s it. When you have a superhero like Krrish, what’s the need to do stunts?

Tell us about ‘Mary Kom’.
‘Mary Kom’ definitely is going to be one of the hardest films I’ve done. When people usually do a biopic, the subject is either very senior, or has passed away. But here, Mary is 32 years old, she’s still a sportsperson and a national icon. So, it’s a very difficult film. People don’t really know her as a person, and I want people to see her personality in the film. You’ll never imagine that a tough boxer girl, discusses nail paints, saris, and all of that. So for me, to portray that whole personality is interesting. Also, to learn a whole new sport, and build my body like her, that’s a tough job. And I never liked sports even when in school, so yes, it’s one of my toughest roles.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Vivek Oberoi

“Acting is just what I do, it’s not who I am”

By Ankita R Kanabar

(This interview has been published in the September 14, 2013 issue of Super Cinema)

It’s always so delightful to meet a happy person; someone who’s genuinely happy, positive, and more often than not, that kind of positivity is infectious. Which is why, you can’t help but smile when you meet Vivek Oberoi, because it’s amazing how he manages to remain more positive than ever despite his share of criticism, tough phases, and failures. He gets funny while he speaks of ‘Grand Masti’, and then he suddenly turns intense while speaking about his baddie act in ‘Krrish 3’. It’s like he is seamlessly seeping into his characters, one after the other as he’s talking about them. But, the best part is to see him get into the role of a husband and father. Those twinkled eyes coupled with a huge smile while he speaks of his wife and son could make anyone go ‘awwww’. All this and more, in this candid conversation with Vivek:

So, may I rightly assume that this year is going great for you, in every way?
(Smiles) Yes, it’s been a fabulous year for me. It started with ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’, it was my Television debut and it became a huge success. I’m really excited that we’re doing season 2, and we’re going to announce it very soon. After that I got the world’s biggest gift, Vivaan Veer Oberoi, my son, I think it’s incredible, that you feel like he’s the centre of your whole universe. Now, it’s ‘Grand Masti’, and it’s exciting because the response right from the first promo has been phenomenal. And then of course, there’s ‘Krrish 3’ at the end of the year. That’s like the cherry on the top of everything, it’s the crown on top. It’s so nice to be a part of that film, and the way people are reacting to my work, to the film, the promo, all of it, it’s such a joy ride!

How was it like to re-create the whole ‘Masti’ camaraderie after so many years?
It was awesome because ever since ‘Masti’ released, Riteish, Aftab, Induji, me, all of us have been great friends, we’ve always been there for each other through life, and the friendship has only grown, so when we came back together professionally again, it was so much fun. It was like getting on a bicycle. You don’t ride it for years, but when you suddenly try riding it again after years, you get it right naturally. We all had our doubts if we’d be able to create the chemistry that we created in ‘Masti’, but on day 1 itself, the chemistry was beyond ‘Masti’. If you see the film, you’ll know the timing, the chemistry, and the fact that we were on the same wavelength on this film. This film has only got us closer, and made our friendships stronger.

Is it easy for you to now slip into a character which is so not you? For instance your character in ‘Grand Masti’… It’s definitely not easy, but that’s the challenge that you look for as an actor, that’s what excites you. There is this excitement of playing Meet Mehta who’s this husband with a very dominating, over-ambitious wife, and he’s actually thinking of doing some ‘Grand Masti’ with his buddies, and that’s so not me. Playing that character on one hand, and then playing this intense, very powerful, aristocratic villain, this prince of darkness in ‘Krrish 3’ is so nice. He’s the master of his own universe. For me, to play these characters completely opposite of each other was such an incredible challenge, but so exciting. It was a totally different rhythm. What I love about it is that they were shot over different periods of time, but they’re releasing two months apart from each other. So you’ll see one kind of me in one film, and another kind of me in another film. And there could be nothing better than that for an actor, that people see your ability to do this and do that and see it back-to-back being put into perspective. What I’ve been banking on always is to put my talent out there as an actor, the rest is in the divine hands.

But when you play someone as intense and dark as Kaal, doesn’t it also affect you, mentally, emotionally?
Yes, you’re absolutely right. There are some absolutely emotionally draining characters, and ‘Grand Masti’ obviously wasn’t one of them (laughs). All of us were just doing time pass through the day, cracking up all the time, I was the master of all the pranks, and these two were helping me play pranks on all the lovely ladies. But, when you look at something like Kaal, this character was very physically and emotionally draining. The genesis of Kaal is hate, he hates human kind for what has been done to him, his vengeance is a very powerful emotion, his revenge is a very powerful emotion, and that motivates Kaal.

And just as you speak of Kaal, your face and voice have suddenly gone intense….
(Laughs) That’s because, as an actor you tend to get into that space so I think it comes subconsciously. When I was playing Kaal, it was an extremely intense experience, because I had to go into a space which I’m not in real life. I’m a very chilled-out guy, I don’t believe in hatred, I don’t believe in vengeance and all these things. I’m a happy-go-lucky person. For me to go into that space was difficult, I had to isolate myself at times, I had to dress up, get into that outfit, sit down on that chair, get into that zone, so when they say lights, camera, action, it’s Kaal out there, suddenly there’s this intensity. That was draining. I remember going back home exhausted and tired. Acting is sometimes mentally exhausting, because you’re constantly trying to emotionally be something that you’re not. Playing Kaal was difficult. I tried very hard to make sure that anywhere it doesn’t look like he’s trying to be a villain, because he believes he’s the hero and his way is the right way.

So what is your criterion while choosing a script?
I’ll give you an example. For ‘Krrish 3’, I got a call from Duggu saying Dad wants to meet you, so I didn’t know what was happening. I went to meet Guddu uncle, and he put the script of ‘Krrish 3’ in front of me, and told me that I’d like you to do the part of Kaal. So I was stumped to be offered to do that role. I was so excited to read the script. They actually opened a room for me, I read the whole script there, I came back with my jaw hanging, wondering if this is what he’s going to make, and how he’s going to make it. I thought this is the character of a lifetime. I told Guddu uncle, I’m honoured that you chose me to play it, and I’m going to do it. He said, ‘I thought of you while writing this character.’ That’s the greatest compliment. Once I said yes to the film, I started forming this whole autobiography of the character that would give me the sense of where I am, how to be like Kaal, think like Kaal, and behave like Kaal. So now what I’m specifically looking at, is roles that would be an absolute challenge. Whether it’s an eleven-hero film, whether it’s a solo, or a multi-starrer, whether it’s a negative character, it doesn’t matter. I want to do anything that is a powerful character, anything where I can perform, something that excites me as an actor. I’m looking for those kind of roles.

How is it that there’s no sense of insecurity in you, especially when you say you have no qualms about doing multi-starrers? 
As long as the role is nice, I’ll do it. And I have always been very secure. I’m not one of those insecure guys. It’s so funny, when we were doing ‘Grand Masti’, the three of us, the relationship that we share, it was so cool that we would sit down, discuss and advice each other. We would actually contribute to each other’s performances. We would tell each other, ‘oh you take that punch-line.’ There was no insecurity, we’re friends, and we know that if the film succeeds, everyone will benefit from that. To be secure and do the role that’s designed for you, that’s most important.

Having done some very successful films, and then a few not-so-successful films, how do you look back? How has your learning curve been?
My secret is I don’t look back. Because I believe life is an experience and you should enjoy it. You can’t sit back and analyse everything. You analyse life so much, that you make it clinical and stop living it. It all becomes so thought out and so charted. And I’m not that guy. I’m a wandering gypsy. I’m a free spirit. I’m not a meticulous planner. I’ve always said ever since I’ve come into the industry, that I don’t really plan anything, I do whatever excites me in that moment, sometimes it falls flat and sometimes it becomes a big success. And I take both with a smile. Because I know that eventually, none of this matters. If you’ve done something great in the past, it doesn’t matter because that’s not what you’re doing now. And even if you did something horrible in the past, it doesn’t matter because that’s not what you’re doing now.

And now, you’re in a very happy space…
For me, funnily, I think the last 3 years have just been phenomenal, I think ever since Priyanka came into my life. Two things happened after she came into my life – It gave me this incredible sense of stability that she’s my rock. My family has always been there for me, but she’s taken it a level higher. And secondly I’ve realised that acting is just what I do, it’s not who I am. What I am is so much more. It’s my family, my relationships with people, my friends, my hobbies, my charitable initiatives, my interests, my ideas, my thoughts that make my life. Acting is just a small part of it. Ever since I started looking at it just as a job, I don’t take myself so seriously, I don’t take everything so seriously. I don’t think too much about what’s going to happen on a Friday. I take success with a smile, I take failure with a smile, and I always believe that ‘bure waqt mein ghabrana nahi, acche waqt mein paglana nahi.’

There’s ‘Grand Masti’, then ‘Krrish 3’. What next?
Like I said, I never plan my life, but I never say never. If something nice comes up, I’ll do it. I’m very happy with my life right now. I’m very excited to do ‘India’s Best Dramebaaz’ season 2, and post ‘Krrish 3’ I’m going to sit and wait for the right roles to come, because I think ‘Krrish 3’ will give me that incredible platform which I haven’t had in a while, to be able to be in that process of picking the right films. I’m hoping the right roles come my way.

Let’s talk about Fatherhood.
It’s the best part of my life. Every time, I’m leaving from my house, I like to spend that extra half an hour with him, I don’t want to leave, and which is why I get late. Otherwise I’ve always been on time, and I want to leave from home on time, but I’ve been late for the last few weeks, because I want to spend that more time with him, and then I want to rush back at home in the evenings because that’s when he’s readying to play. I’m loving fatherhood! Right from changing his diapers to giving him his feeds, giving him a bath! I love giving him a bath, that’s my favourite part, that’s my ritual bonding with my son. I sing all these nonsense songs I make up, with no tune but he seems to enjoy it, he looks at me and smiles, and that for me is the essence of my whole universe. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Parineeti Chopra

“I don’t know what works. The moment I give an unsuccessful film, people may not like me”

By Ankita R Kanabar

(This interview has been published in the August 31, 2013 issue of Super Cinema)

Here’s a disclaimer: Don’t ever call Parineeti Chopra ‘bubbly’. Okay? Or else, she may want to kill you. Well, jokes apart, she totally hates that word. Thank God I didn’t use that adjective for her. But, Parineeti’s positivity, her enthusiasm, and energy is contagious, and that’s probably what translates on-screen too. It amazes you how she manages to be such a live wire despite a gruelling day. She’s someone, who is uninhibited, and has no layer of pretence, and that just comes across. In just a little span, she’s managed to win hearts, make men go weak-kneed with her charm, and proved her mettle a performer. One also can’t help but notice her unconventional choice of films and characters. Looking as pretty as always, the young lady makes time for a little chat at the YRF office. So, here we have, the effervescent actress, in a tête-à-tête! 

Photo credit : Rohan Shrestha 

How has the journey on ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ been?
Amazing! I was one of the first people to be cast, because obviously Adi (Aditya Chopra) and Maneesh (director) knew me well and they thought I could suit the character of Gayatri. And then, right from workshops to readings, I have spent so much time with Jaideep (writer) and Maneesh that now when it’s close to release, I actually feel like it’s my baby. I’m very excited, and very nervous also this time.

But, are you generally nervous before a film’s release?
This is very different from what I’ve done. I’m known for only for enthusiastic roles, very bubbly characters, and I so hate that word! Till now, in the promos you’ll see I’m very happy and all, but in the film I’m very different. And I hope people accept me like that also. I was so clueless during ‘Ladies vs Ricky Bahl’ and ‘Ishaqzaade’, so I was only excited that the films are releasing because I never wanted to be an actress, and they did well also, but this industry is very volatile you know, careers are very volatile. Every Friday something new happens. Films can go any way. So, it’s very scary.

How easily do you slip into a character?
I pretty easily, switch on, switch off. My debut, I was myself in the film, so there was no switch on-switch off. ‘Ishaqzaade’ was a very aggressive role for me to do, it wasn’t close to me at all. It took a lot out of me, physically. And ‘Shuddh Desi...’ right now for me is completely different. For that I have to go on set and switch on. I was not that person at all. I was completely in the hands of Maneesh. He used to take care of how I’m behaving, how I’m talking, how I’m sitting, standing on set. So, there was no challenge like that. Fortunately, out of three films so far, Maneesh has been the director for two, and Habib sir for one. So, I believe I shouldn’t even use my brains right now, because they’ve been here for years. I just let myself to them, trust my instinct and try to be spontaneous.

How do you choose your films?
Firstly, what counts is the story, film itself, because the script is the king, and then secondly, what matters is the director. If there’s an average script, and a great director, the film will be great. But even if the script is great, and the director is average, the film will not be good. So, the director is everything. The director is like the chef, who cooks the dish. The best ingredients he uses in the best way possible. If you give it in my hands, I will screw the dish. So, definitely I choose a film based on the script and director, and then I see what my role is in the film. Even if my role is not the title role or the lead role, it doesn’t matter. It just has to be a great role in a great film.

Do you still feel like a newcomer, or have you settled in?
It’s like coming back after a vacation, you don’t really settle in, also because, I took a long break post ‘Ishaqzaade’, and I didn’t sign anything at that time. Now I feel like, I know this is what I want to do in life, so it makes me very happy, but you can never get too used to it, because it’s not in your hand. See if it was in my hand, I would make every film of mine a big success, and just leave it to that. As an actor, you’re constantly on the edge, thinking if the audience will like you with each new film.

 But have you adapted to the various changes?
Adapting is not a problem. But what are the things that I’m asked to adapt to? These are things like dressing better, getting used to your personal life being public; you constantly have to worry about how you’re looking, your weight and all of that. These are the things that were never a part of my life, but I knew I was getting into them. As of now though, I’m still not a star, so this hasn’t really started to happen to me yet, but after a few years when I’m successful, they may happen. So, yes, there are many things to adapt to, and those will be life-changing, but I’m trying my best, slowly and steadily. I’m literally taking each day as it comes, and I can’t be bothered to think about the future because it’s not in my hands.

So, you don’t think you’re a star still?
People love me, and that’s amazing but I think stardom is something that comes after years. I call Salman Khan and Shah Rukh Khan a star, so we’re nowhere close to them.

You’re on your third film, do you see any change in you? As an actor, and as a person.
Not as a person for sure. I think I’m too thick to let things change me as a person. But as an actor, you become more aware of technicalities, the set, right from focus marks to lighting to being aware of the camera, you’re definitely, technologically more sound and knowledgeable, and if that affects your performance, then that’s great. For me, it helps me, it really helps me to know all these things, and then I give a particular shot in a particular way. I think you learn with time, and that really makes you grow as an actor, for sure.

What’s the best part of your job?
For me, it’s that one moment when action is called and you have to be someone else. You may have heard this from a lot of actors that they love being someone else, but that’s the truth. Just for those five seconds or five minutes, you have to be someone, who is not you. That feeling is unimaginable. When you’re making someone believe that you’re some other person, and make them emote with you, when you’re crying, they’re crying, when you’re laughing, they’re laughing. That feeling is not something you can compare to anything.

Would you also sing someday, professionally, considering you do like singing? 
I would love to! I hope I get a great offer like my sister Priyanka. The way she’s doing it, it’s so amazing, so if I get a chance like that, I would never let it go.

People think you’re different, in terms of how you look, and your choices of roles. Do you think that’s what works for you?
I hope so, because my mantra is, I want to be myself all the time, I don’t want to follow someone. I think when any actor comes into the industry, he/she is told a set of rules – that you must lose weight, this is how you’re supposed to look, this how you’re supposed to sit and talk, these are the people you should be meeting; there are these set rules. I was told those rules too, but I was also told to be myself. So, you have to choose one thing you know. And I chose to be myself. A lot of people also told me, ‘Oh you should be thinner. You should be doing these kind of films.’ But I’m taking decisions and I do things that totally come to my heart at that time, so, I don’t know if that’s what is working for me. I don’t know what works. The moment I give an unsuccessful film, people may not like me, so I’m anyway going to be myself. I’m never going to change myself as a person. I won’ allow it for myself. But if that’s what people like, they’re always going to get that. I want to use the cliché that I’m an open book. I really am. What’s really inside is outside. It’s there for everyone to see. Everybody knows me very well.

You come across as someone who’s very vibrant, full-of-life. Are you the same even while you’re going through a not-so-good phase?
I actually am very bad at dealing with it. I’m very emotional, very sensitive, and I cry a lot, I get very stressed, I lose my appetite, and losing my appetite is like a big sacrifice. I don’t want to give you a boring or a very beautifully sounding answer like, ‘Oh I’m very tough and I come out of it.’ No! I’m terrible. I’m terrible at dealing with stress; I’m terrible with dealing with failure. I get depressed at times like these, and I don’t even like speaking to people that time. I just want that phase to pass quickly.

While you're working on back-to-back films, how do you de-stress? 
I de-stress by sleeping. The moment I get time, I sleep, or I hear a lot of music. Music is like my life. And if I get more than 2-3 days, then I travel a lot, I go on holidays by myself.

There is an interesting line-up of films from you... 
Now, there’s ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’ which will release on September 6, then my next release will be ‘Hasee Toh Phasee’ with Siddharth Malhotra, then I start Habib Faisal’s film with Aditya Roy Kapoor, which starts now, after ‘Shuddh Desi...’ releases, and then I have ‘Kill Dill’ with Ranveer Singh, Ali Zafar and Govinda, that’s Shaad Ali’s film, and I’m very excited for that one.

Lastly, while on reel, you’re up to some ‘Shudd Desi Romance’, what’s on that front for real?

Romance is non-existent in my life and I don’t know why. I’m completely single, and I’m looking for a boy, but don’t seem to be coming across someone right. I’m romantic but I’m not like the cliché romantic. If someone comes to me with flowers, I’ll really hit him (Laughs). I just want someone who’s all cool. If he would just sit at home with me, eat food, watch TV, that’ll be all cool with me!