You went all out to play a cabaret dancer in Gunday. Tell us something about that.
The movie is based in Kolkata in 1970 when cabaret was very popular then. Many Anglo-Indian girls from Europe performed in the city back then. We did not want to make it an Indian cabaret because Helen Ma’am has done a great job in the past and I don’t think we could have matched up to it. So, we tried to do it the European way.
Could you relate to your character in this film?
I usually don’t relate to any of my characters, but surprisingly, I related tremendously to Nandita of Gunday because she is a very proud girl and has a keen sense of what’s right and wrong. She is a cabaret dancer, she is graceful, poised, well-spoken, beautiful... but at the same time, she is very tough and can put the boys in their place.
Apparently, director Ali Abbas had approached his Mere Brother Ki Dulhan heroine, Katrina Kaif, for your role
I know Katrina and Ali are very good friends but I have no idea whether he approached her. Aditya (Chopra, the producer) had called me and Ali came and narrated the script. There are so many films which I was supposed to do but other heroines have ended up doing — a film eventually belongs to the person whose name is in the credits.
Which one of the film’s heroes — Ranveer Singh or Arjun Kapoor — do you share better chemistry with?
Both Ranveer and Arjun are great actors but I can make chemistry happen with a pole (laughs). You reach a point where you create chemistry.
You are pretty fearless in the roles you take on, in Barfi!, for instance.
I am definitely a rebel... but only if there is a cause. I have always been someone who bends or breaks rules because I like to push things a little bit to see how far I can. I have authority issues which is why I am so excited about my film about Mary Kom because to me that’s not just Mary’s story, it is the story of every girl who is told ‘These are your limits’. Mary would turn around and say, ‘No, I can do more than what you believe. I’d do the same.
How is the preparation for playing Mary Kom coming along?
(Grimaces) Ghaas-pus khilate hain mujhe — who eats this food? It’s killing me — my whole day revolves around going to the gym. I have new-found respect for the boys because they do this all the time, every day! The film on Mary Kom is a tough one physically because I have to create a new body and I am also learning an entirely new sport when I am not sporty in any way.
When is your next single out?
We have shot the video, now it’s on the editing table. We should be ready by the end of March. It’s my first solo single. It’s a cover of the 1991 single I Cant Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt. It’s my spin on one of my all-time favourite songs. I have made it into a dance track with EDM (Electronic Dance Music).
When do you see yourself getting married?
I am a very private person. Unless I have a ring on my finger and I know this is the person I want to live with for the rest of my life, I don’t think it’s anyone’s business to know what I am doing.
Bollywood News Service