Your character of
Firdaus in Fitoor is unlike any other
character you have played in any of your earlier films. How did you get into
the skin of the character of Firdaus?
Every one of us, I guess, knows that Estella is from the
book Great Expectations. So, basic
traits and personality are very similar because what they (Estella &
Firdaus) get to experience in life is similar. To clearly understand this
character, I think, one just has to spend a lot of time with director Abhishek.
The best thing about Abhishek, I believe, is that he is very good. Even if you
see his previous films like Kai Po Che! and Rock On!! I think the strong point was
the strength in their characters. The movies were great, stories were great,
but he has a special knack for understanding human nature and human behaviour.
Even on the sets when we’re conversing, we’re talking about or discussing life
or discussing character Firdaus, he always had a lot of insightful things to
say, a lot of very poignant things. Every time I talk to him I am amazed to see
how a person, who seems so young, carefree and kind of easy going, has such a
depth of knowledge.
Will Fitoor get you the kind of critical
acclaim that has been perhaps missing in your career even after delivering so
many commercially successful films?
(Laughs) I have no idea. If we knew which film would give
us critical acclaim as well as commercial success, then obviously that’s
something we would make sure we achieve with every film. I don’t do a film for
acclaim or success. I just follow my instinct. I follow the feeling that I have
in my heart towards the film. Whether it’s a film like Raajneeti, Mere Brother Ki
Dulhan or Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara,
the feeling I had when I heard the script and decided to do the film was always
the same. It’s always an instinctive feeling. It’s very honest feeling. I never
made a calculative move. I had gone by what I felt I would be happy doing at
the time. The same thing was with Fitoor. I thought it’s a very romantic film.
It had a lot of elements which, I thought, the audience could relate to. I
think the basic conflict in the film is that we have been in love and at times
that in itself is difficult enough, but then you add pressure to it from
outside, whether it is family pressure, society pressure or status pressure.
Oftentimes we all read about it, we see it around us all the time. Especially
here in our country, I think, we see this a lot, a lot more than perhaps we
might see in England or America where Great Expectations is set. That’s why
when I read the book and heard it’s being made into a film I thought it would
probably be the most apt piece of literature ever made into a Hindi film
because it ends in conflict. It is exactly about that, but when we generalize
it, then it is about parental pressure and societal pressure. That is something
which is very relevant in today’s times.
After doing action
films like Dhoom: 3, Ek Tha Tiger and
Phantom, are you comfortable and open to the idea of doing an out and out
women-centric action film?
I would love to do an action film. The action film which
I saw recently was Mad Max: Fury Road.
I would like to do a character like the one Charlize Theron did. When I saw
that, I was telling Bosco (choreographer) that someone has to do something like
this because, I think, it really works. I believe if we have the right kind of
support, a woman-centric action film really works.
contemporaries like Deepika Padukone and Priyanka are doing international
projects. So, if given a chance, would you like to do a Hollywood film?
Yes, for me language is not a barrier. I have done films
in Telugu. I have done films in Malayalam. So, I would love to do a film in
English. But it should be the right film, at the right time and at the right
What is the status
of your next with Ranbir Kapoor, Jagga
Jasoos? When will the film release?
A substantial portion of the film is yet to be shot; a
good 40 to 45 per cent. We begin shooting on Feb 13. I suppose some portions
would be shot in Morocco. As per my last discussion, the film will be out
sometime in July or August.
Have you ever been
unlucky in love?
Anyone who has ever experienced love or been in love is
lucky regardless of the outcome. That’s like the one way you can look at it. I
hear so many people sometimes saying, ‘Oh I have never been in love.’
Yesterday, I was talking to someone who said, ‘I have never felt that kind of
Fitoor or obsession or infatuation for a person. So, I think anyone who
experiences love in their life is lucky.
Have you experienced
that Fitoor for somebody?
(Smiles) See now that’s something I won’t tell you. Am I
a passionate person by nature, do I believe in the intensity or depth of love?
Yes. There are some people who are very pragmatic. There are some people whose
philosophy and approach to love is very practical. I will marry a person like
this or I will marry a person who my family decides is right or society decides
is right or for whom it is an arrangement.
considered to be a sacred institution that binds two different people and two
diverse souls together. Is marriage an arrangement for you as well?
No. I believe marriage is the joining of two human
beings, their souls and their minds. And that should be the only factor
involved and there should only be each other in it. You can love your family;
your family can be your world. My mom is my world. My mom will always respect
whoever I love or choose to love. So, I think for every individual love means
different things. You talk to some people and you will find they are pragmatic
and practical about love. It is almost like love is an arrangement or love is a
settlement between two people.
marriages are ending at a bitter note these days. Do you think every love story
has or must have a happy ending?
I think every love story can have a happy ending. It’s up
to each individual. It’s up to my choices; it’s up to your choices.
So what you are
trying to say is that it’s not under the control of one person and it needs two
Yes! It’s exactly that. Unfortunately, that is the drama
of love. If love was in one person’s control, then it would start well, go on
well and end well. And there would be no movies. There wouldn’t be a Fitoor or
a DDLJ. Love is about two individuals, two minds have to agree and come
together. That has to work out. You have heard the line, ‘Yeh Ishq Nahi Aasan.’
There are many interpretations and one of them is love is like fire. You go
through it. Then there are some people who can go around it.
What about you?
How will you face the fire of love?
(Smiles) I would dive straight into the middle of it. But
then I would put on a fire suit to protect and shield myself.