With three Rs 100-crore grossers in your kitty (Dabangg, Rowdy Rathore and Son of Sardaar), you are considered Bollywood's lucky mascot.
Yesterday, this title was with somebody else; today, it is with me; and tomorrow it will again be with someone else. I am making sure I do not get attached to the ‘lucky mascot’ tag. When a filmmaker approaches me with a script, I don’t think about a 100 crores. I have been blessed to work with good people; I am not the lucky charm.
With Dabangg 2, you will have four releases this year; and several more are slated for the next. Do you fear a burnout?
Kal kya hoga mujhe nahin pata, but as of now, I am very happy doing my work. It also depends on whether you are satisfied with the films you are doing. Akshay Kumar does five movies a year. It's each to his own.
How would you charter your growth in the industry?
With every film and from every new person I work with, I learn a lot of things. Because I have never gone to an acting school, I pick up the technicalities of filmmaking and acting by watching others and conversing with them. My cameraman teaches me about angles and lighting; and from co-actors such as Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar and Ajay Devgn, I learn professionalism.
Has Salman ever commented on how you have become a star now?
He has been doing that since I was 15. Even if he criticises, it is for a positive result. I lost weight and became an actress because pf jo, and now I am successful. He is very happy about it. I take whatever he says in the right spirit.
Salman has a strong personality both off and onscreen. How do you manage to make your presence felt around him?
I am very comfortable around him because I have known him for years. He does not intimidate me and that helps translate into a comfortable chemistry onscreen. Salman is a lot of fun on the sets as he's very chilled out. He improvises a lot, and comes up with really interesting stuff. It's nice to see someone who can think so quickly on his feet.
Dabangg 2 is Arbaaz Khan’s first film as a director. What did he bring to the table?
He is fantastic. In fact, I told him that Dabangg 2 doesn’t look like it’s his first directorial venture; he should have started directing long ago. He’s so well versed with Dabangg. Even as the producer of the first film, he used to give us a lot of inputs whenever he visited
From the promos of Dabangg 2, it seems you have put on some weight.
The look of the film is such. I am pregnant in the film, and saris make you look a bit mature and heavy. I am very comfortable in my skin. And I don’t really want to talk about it much; the more I talk the more people write.
A still from Dabangg 2 has stirred the rumour that the film is your boldest film ever.
No, it isn’t. I will never do anything out of my comfort zone. There isn't anything bold about Dabangg 2; it’s a complete family film.
Most of the characters you have essayed have had you playing a desi girl. Will we see you donning a western avatar in the future?
I have an Indo-Western look in my forthcoming film Bullet Raja (alongside Saif Ali Khan). It has been a coincidence that till date my looks have been Indian, but I am not complaining. In the future, if I get an urban role that suits my character and personality, I will do it.
Does your filmi background come with advantages?
People obviously compare when you are the daughter of an actor like Shatrughan Sinha. But it has not been that bad. I have sort of come into my own. The advantages do not apply to me since I did not dream of becoming an actor as a child. Had I told my parents at 15 that I wanted to be an actor, they would have worked towards it.
Your Twitter handle is Shotgun Junior. So when do you open fire?
Only when required, never unnecessarily or when I am not provoked. There are negative comments in the newspapers every day, but I’m not bothered. I get provoked very rarely—when unfair or incorrect things are said or written about my family, or there’s something against my values and principles.