You have played two loud-mouthed characters back to back – in Gangs of Wasseypur and Fukrey. Aren’t you scared of being typecast?
No. Fortunately, I am in a really good space. Directors understand I am just playing a character. I have played a shy character also but, my fiery characters have become really popular. However, I will not allow myself to be limited. I want to play an under-confident character in my life. And I am doing Ishqeria, in which my character is very shy.
Are you satisfied with Fukrey’s response?
I had imagined the film would make Rs 25 crore overall, but it has grossed already grossed Rs 14 crore within a week. People have watched Fukrey the second time; they didn’t expect the film to be so funny. It is already a hit, now whatever we get is a bonus. It is a modest film. A big production house like Excel took a chance with new talent and the movie proved that content is king.
Did you pick up any of your character Bholi Punjaban’s traits?
Bholi Punjaban is only in love with money. I don’t relate to that character at all. She is almost cruel. The only thing I want to attain from her is power. All too often, I just go along with what people say and then I regret it. I actually left Fukrey in the initial days because people misguide you at times. Luckily, I read the script and realised that producers Ritesh Sidhwani and Farhan Akhtar would make a classy film.
What were your reservations about playing Bholi Punjaban?
I was anxious because grey-shaded women characters are portrayed in a negative way on screen. Fortunately, Bholi was different. Pulkit Samrat called me the hottest villain. And when I attended Ritesh Sidhwani’s party at his place after a special screening of Fukrey, I met Shah Rukh Khan. He hugged me (giggles) and told me that I was a sexy actor. After blushing for five minutes, I said, ‘Sir, I am very star-struck, can I have a picture with you?’
Were you worried that you would be sidelined by the four guys in the film?
I read some reviews that said, ‘Bholi Punjaban is the hero of the film’. It is the only female role that stands out. The film moves ahead when she enters, without her the film is not possible.
Was it embarrassing to mouth foul language in the film?
There was nothing to be embarrassed about in the film. There wasn’t much of foul language. After Gangs of Wasseypur, this wasn’t so bad.
What else do you have coming up this year?
Tamanchey is an action-romance. I have done stunts in the film and broken my leg because of which I was confined to a wheel-chair for two months. There’s also Ishqeria (with Neil Nitin Mukesh) and a love story, RamLeela.
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is known to present his actresses well. Are you hopeful about his Ram Leela?
Though the story is about Ram (Ranveer Singh) and Leela (Deepika Padukone), I have a cute character to play. I wouldn’t be doing it if it wasn’t important. Bholi was fearful, this will be lovable. Sanjay takes care of his heroines; he respects women. I am really lucky to work with him. I didn’t even hear the script, I did it for him.
How did you bag Mira Nair’s short film, God Room?
She saw a trial of Gangs Of Wasseypur and she had liked my performance in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye. I am the biggest fan of Mira Nair. There was a lot of competition from established actresses as well, but she picked me. She told me she just wanted someone with nice legs. She actually asked me to lift my skirt a little bit to see my thighs.