And yes, for the oft-asked question on the casting couch, well, not that I have gone through it, but I have heard a lot of people talk about it.
Coming from a background with no Godfather, I knew it was going to be slow, but I believed that even if I did one film a year, I would make sure people liked me and remembered me till my next film.
And Jaqueline is one of the happiest persons I’ve seen. She has got a great vibe about her, and the one thing I have learnt from her is: Come what may, your smile should never fade away.
I want to work with a lot of directors, especially Mani Ratnam; I have been saying this since my first film. I have met him in person but when I meet people, I can’t put them in a spot by telling them, ‘I really want to work with you, please cast me’. What I do is tell them, ‘Sir, I really like your work and I follow it’. I also want to work with directors who are just a movie old, and, of course, Raju Hirani who creates a different world of cinema altogether.
ACTRESSES WHO INSPIRE ME
There is no one particular actress. I really admire quite a few of them like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Anushka Sharma etc. I feel they are very good at what they are doing.
MY JOURNEY SO FAR
Well, just before ‘Pink’ people were like, ‘Oh! Things
are moving very slow for you and around ‘Pink’, they said, ‘Oh! Finally, after a long wait, you are getting your due’, and then between ‘Pink’ and ‘Naam Shabana’, there was barely any gap, so they came up with, ‘Oh, she’s got back-to-back Bollywood films and she’s signed ‘Judwaa 2’ already; things are moving real quick for her’. I was left wondering - was it late or was it quick?
For me though, it has been a slow and steady journey. Coming from a background with no Godfather, support or a three-film deal with any studio, I knew it was going to be slow but I believed that even if I did one film a year, I would make sure people liked me and remembered me till my next film. And that’s exactly what happened. Today, I have built an audience who look forward to seeing my work. High hopes from the audience really motivates me.
The message I want to convey with every film I do is: ‘You need to be the hero of your own story. So make a path for yourself and fight your own battle’.
And no, I didn’t break down at any point but I have had that feeling of frustration though. There were projects that I really wanted to do but I couldn’t get them because at that point, I wasn’t a marketable name. Even now, there are times when I feel that I really want to work with a director on a specific project, but that director only wants an A-lister or somebody who is established. There’s always this frustration as to how much do I have to prove to get to work with certain directors on my wish list?!
And yes, for the oft-asked question on the casting couch, well, not that I have gone through it, but I have heard a lot of people talk about it. They feel it exists.
Right now, ‘Judwaa 2’ is up for release and my Telugu film released on August 18. I also have three films locked which will be announced later. But I still have a very long way to go.
BE YOUR OWN HERO
The only message I keep giving everyone and I want to convey with every film I do is: ‘You need to be the hero of your own story. You need to stop waiting for someone to come and help you out. So make a path for yourself and fight your own battle’.