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Sunday, July 03, 2022

Woman on top

It’s indeed a film that sits at the edge of your typical commercial song-and-dance extravaganza and cinema that demands depth.

June 19, 2009 1:13:19 am

Does New York mark your entry into ‘meaningful’ cinema?
It’s indeed a film that sits at the edge of your typical commercial song-and-dance extravaganza and cinema that demands depth. I am glad that I got a chance to explore other facets of myself. I am now ready to take the required risk to try out various roles which may not necessarily be glamorous. And New York will be followed by Prakash Jha’s Rajneeti and Rajkumar Santoshi’s next. Forget about how these movies do,I know I’ll get to learn so much from these noted filmmakers in the process of making these movies that it’s worth it.

So does New York also mark your exit from the kind of mindless masala films you’ve been doing?
No way. I don’t see why I should not do something fun like Singh is Kinng again. If I’m doing Rajneeti,I’m also doing Priyadarshan’s De Dhana Dhan. One day,Akshay Kumar called and said Priyan is doing so-and-so movie and whether I’d like to do it. I just heard the story in one line and agreed.

How is your character Maya different from what you’ve done in the past?
Maya is the closest character to what I really am. Maya allowed me to do away with the heavy make-up and the glamorous dance routines to play a young regular girl. In fact,playing Maya was very liberating and all my initial skepticism vanished as soon as I embodied Maya.

Why were you skeptical about New York?
We were to shoot New York soon after Singh is Kinng released. And that release was completely overwhelming. It saw a grand opening and the next day I found myself doing a film that was so unlike what I’ve done. It made me wonder why I took up the film—I was looking for reassurances from Akshay,Salman Khan,everybody. But the director,Kabir Khan,was great. He noticed that I came with a mental block but gave me space to ease up.

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After that,it was a ball shooting the film.

How do you view your four years in the industry?
I don’t quite get the time to sit and review the time I’ve been here. But whenever I do introspect,it overwhelms me. I did radio interviews for international media yesterday and I was so touched by the love and appreciation they have for me. I must admit,I don’t get to see that much here as I wake up everyday to some controversy; the media can get very pushy. But then media is a double-edged sword—it has also shown tremendous interest in me and my work.

Had you expected this media frenzy when you first came here?
Nothing prepares you for this. I didn’t expected anyone to write rave reviews about me as a newcomer. I did my first movie when I was merely 18. But people don’t understand that at 18,19 or even 21 and 22,one tends to make mistakes. I did too,but Bollywood is unforgiving. But little by little,people have accepted me. It started with Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya,then Namaste London,then came Welcome,Race and Singh is Kinng. New York should hopefully be the turning point.

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