Just a few days prior to the release, we bring to you’ Bindu’ from “Meri Pyari Bindu’
You have had many releases in your career till now but how excited are you about your next film, MPB?
It feels like it’s my first release (laughs). It’s been a while since I experience the feeling you get when a film releases. But I am very excited. I am very happy with Meri Pyaari Bindu. I look forward to seeing how people react [to the film]. Even in my so-called off time, people didn’t forget me thankfully. They still have expectations and want me to do well in a film. If people don’t have expectations of an actor, don’t miss him or her, or don’t want to see them on screen, then it goes exactly against what we work for, and it’s very scary.
What made you end this break and take up this particular film?
It was the script. I read it and felt that it was a ‘very cool’ film. Also, I wanted to achieve a certain level of fitness before I started reading scripts. I took a break for only one year, and then I started shooting MPB. But by the time it is ready for release, another year has passed. I worked on my home, my personal life and my health during the break. But this was the one script that I felt connected to, as it is a sweet and feel-good film. Then, I decided to do Golmaal Again for a different reason — it’s a big venture and also for the commercial aspect of it. So I tried to choose different kinds of films, and now, they have all come together, so I am happy.
When you took the break, weren’t you scared about it?
If people had forgotten me, written me off or didn’t miss me, I would be like, ‘Oh my God, I didn’t have any impact on their lives’. But that didn’t happen. I never felt like I was on a break. I was so busy even during that one year, shooting for ads and going for events, etc. Actually, that year went by very quickly.
So, there was no fear at all?
Of course, I felt like, ‘I hope I am doing the right thing, or I hope I am not missing out on my time or any film’. That’s human, but somehow, I was very clear about what I was working towards and I knew that it was a means to an end. And that’s what has happened. So, thankfully, it all worked out.
Where do you see yourself in the industry as far as your contemporaries such as Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor are concerned?
I think I am part of this gang of girls, who are working in films at the same time but in different kinds of films. Everybody has a flop or two or a hit or a flop, but we are all in this together. The most beautiful thing is that we are all positive towards each other. We are constantly in touch and are constantly talking about and encouraging each other’s work. So, it really doesn’t feel like, ‘What is my standing?’ Nobody will believe this, but that feeling is genuinely not there between any of us. We stand up for each other. We are very friendly, and we also inspire each other.
Do you think you have lagged behind a bit because your films such as Daawat-E-Ishq (2014) and Kill Dill didn’t do well, and then you also took a break?
Yes, but that’s what flop films do. They take any actor in the world a step back. However, with a hit, you move forward. It’s like a game of chess, wherein you move forward with every hit movie and with a flop you come back. So, since my last two films were flops, I am one step back. But the moment I deliver a hit film, I will be back to where I was. There are very few people who receive a dream start the way I had. I had four back-to-back hits and bagged all awards. But flop films will naturally affect an actor’s career. You have to understand and know that’s its fine. I don’t sit and say, ‘Arre ab main kya karun? (What do I do now?)’. I am not that kind of person.
Do you feel bad about it?
You feel sad because you felt that the films would do well. But that’s the risk you take; it’s there with every film. There’s always a 50-50 chance [of it working]. I am an actor, and in the papers with all the limelight, but it comes with a huge risk. It is not as glamorous as it looks. It’s a gamble. It’s like that all over the world, be it in Hollywood, Bollywood or Tollywood.
You have also sung for the first time in Meri Pyaari Bindu?
I can’t believe the rage that my song (‘Maana ke hum yaar nahi’) has become. Very often, the big party tracks become huge hits, whereas few romantic ones become big enough for people to hear it on loop. As for the song, people tell me, ‘Hum loop pe sun rahe hai (We are hearing it on loop)’. Whether you take a picture, feature in a song or an entire film, you hope and dream that it becomes a big hit and people appreciate you. And that’s exactly what’s happening with the song, so I am ecstatic.
So, in a way, your dream has come true?
Totally. I never thought that I would be a professional singer and would take it up as a career. But now that I have become an actor, it’s great that I have got a platform to be able to sing professionally and especially for myself. Doing it for your film and for your character is the perfect way to do it.
You will be seen in a movie after a gap of over two years. Do you feel pressurised in any way?
The pressure is about people enjoying the film and the performances. The box office exploits will be a bonus. I don’t mean to say that if it makes Rs four crore, I am fine. I want it to make money too. However, I want love and respect first, because the film is very strong. The money part comes later. I want people to come out of the theatres and say, ‘We have watched a good film’.
Does it affect you or are you used to it?
It’s a little funny because a month or two back, my best friend, Sanjana and I had gone to Dubai and when I came back, they linked me with her. There was an article about me and Sanjana saying, ‘Are they more than friends?’ Now, a month or so later, this (a new rumour) has come out. I am used to such rumours. It’s fine. I will, as always, never talk about my personal life. I will let it be.
This time, there’s a new name (rumours are she is dating an assistant director, Charit Desai).
Yes, there have been many names (laughs) such as Sanjana, Maneesh Sharma and more. So, everyone is there in my life. It’s okay; I will only talk about my work and that’s how it will remain.
So, you are single?
I am single. I am not dating Sanjana or anyone else.
We hear that you have forever been single…
You guys are only hearing about it while I have been experiencing it. Whether there’s someone in my personal life or not, I have decided that I won’t ever talk about it because they write absolute s***t, and they talk about people who aren’t used to being in the news. Earlier, it used to be Uday (Chopra; actor), then Maneesh and now Sanjana. So, I have been linked with boys as well as girls now. And they are all non-actors. It’s not fair. I have decided that just because I am friends with people, their lives shouldn’t be affected. So, I will not say anything. People don’t understand that it affects our personal lives and also our friendships with people. But I don’t want to get angry. It’s okay, you guys do your job and I will do mine (laughs).
Have you settled down in your new home in Bandra (W)? You also have a home in Andheri?
It’s lovely and a great set-up. I am busy with MPB currently, and a lot of the work happens in the studio (owned by Aditya Chopra). My Andheri home is very close to the studio. So, I am at work and back within 10 minutes. But, my new home is fantastic. I have a fantastic view of the sea. I get time to relax there and I also have friends visiting all the time. I also get good sleep there (smiles).
You said earlier that your previous house was small, especially when your family would come over?
It’s true. There was no space, as I used to live in a much smaller house and my family comprised of four more people — two brothers, my mother and father. But now, that I have bought a bigger house, when everyone comes over, it’s comfortable.