With a radiant smile lighting up her face, she spoke at length about life as an actor, being a woman in the industry and friendships in Bollywood. Excerpts from the interview.
A creative pursuit
Life of an actor is like a roller-coaster ride. You are never satisfied. I too have had my moments of frustration and unfulfilled dreams. Over the years, I have learned to remain calm, positive and be at peace. Work is very important, but I have realised that I can’t change anything by staying up all night and thinking about it. I am yet to come across the kind of work I want to do. I know that I will get great work and amazing scripts. As for now, I like the space I am in. I am comfortable in my own skin. My family has encouraged me to value myself a lot more.
The fairer sex
Men enacted the parts of women in the first Hindi film Raja Harishchandra. That was because acting was taboo for women then. Circa 2013, women are being complimented and awarded for playing roles that show exploitation of the gender. Most actors will lap up the role of a sex worker thinking that it will give them awards. As far as I am concerned, an actress doesn’t need to play the ‘exploited woman’, or be a damsel in distress to prove her acting mettle. I am comfortable playing the woman of today – confident, easy, quirky, funny, witty, ambitious and independent.
It is difficult to maintain friendship in Bollywood, simply because of our busy schedules. My co-stars and I got along very well, while filming Rang De Basanti. Every evening after the shoot, we would play games and hang out together. We promised to be friends forever. However, everything fizzled out due to our other commitments. In my opinion, friendships are when we start off from where we had left the last one. Now, I'm working with Sharman Joshi for a film and our rapport is just like the one we shared in our Rang De Basanti days. I am friends with Kangna Ranaut, Neha Dhupia, Abhay Deol and Sharman Joshi. I am a very easy-going person, I don't have any expectations from anyone. However, some of my most precious friends are my childhood friends. We are still in touch, and it’s they who keep me grounded.