Have you seen Dhoom and what did you think of the film?
I generally do not watch any film more than once, but Dhoom was a film that I saw 4 times in a span of 15 days, so it says a lot about the film. I thought itís a kind of film which is an entertainer; itís about stunts, style, good looking people, good songs etc. Its like the Fast and the Furious, itís a fun flick so I loved it totally.
Tell us a little about your character in the film.
To be a part of a film like Dhoom, firstly its great ad the timing was fantastic for me because I was getting fit so I guess Adi chose me because of the physicality of the character. Shonali is a cop, so she had to look like a cop. So that was pretty much easier because I had become very fit and I am a tall girl. She is the kind of person who hangs around with boys and so the toughness of the cop had to come thru and that I am I a little bit tough now, and the styling was done to that extent and definitely whatever stunts a cop can have, I do have that.
You have a very different look in the film. Please tell us more about it and do you relate to it.
Absolutely I relate to it, they created a cop so she could not have many frills and fancies when sheís at work though sheís a woman and an attractive woman. She wears a lot of denim, racer back vests which are basically not too coloured. They are black, white and military colour, cargoes and sometimes she throws in a jacket when she is with seniors or doing a presentation. So that was her basic look and her hair, though she was not like a typical Indian cop, the hair not tied up and being in plain clothes and I coloured my hair black for this particular role and a different kind of cut was given, a side parting with a severe sharp cut. Its not too long and not too short, its like a mid length so definitely we worked on the look even the makeup was very minimal as a cop it had to be very basic, yet very glamorous, because Dhoom is a film which talks about styling and good looking people. So itís not that we are making real film that we have no makeup on, less makeup yet glamorous.
Are you more at ease with action adventure films like Dhoom 2 as opposed to typical Hindi film naach gaana?
I think, I have reached that stage of life that I want to do everything. I have forced myself to get comfortable with Bollywood Naach Gaana because I earlier couldnít identify myself with doing that. But today, I do understand that the essence of Bollywood is naach gaana and yet with time, we are changing, we are trying to do different kinds of things. Yes, Dhoom 2 features there. I am a very adventurous person and very athletic so definitely this kind of film is more fun, itís not like a job. Bollywood naach gaana for me is a job. It is difficult for me to do but something like Dhoom, I am in sync with it because the kind of clothes that I wear in the film are very much me, the kind of styling I have, since I have been a model I am very comfortable and can adapt to any kind of styling so I donít have that question mark. I let my stylists do what they want. That was very comfortable for Anaita, she was very happy to style me because I did not have many questions.
What according to you is Dhoom 2 about and what can the audience look forward to?
It is a youthful film, itís an action comedy and I think worldwide people like action comedies. It has great stunts, great looking people, good styling, great bodies, good music, beautiful locations, first time locations like Rio and South Africa. I think Dhoom 2 is a package entertainer, you canít really go wrong with a film like that, and it definitely is not a thought provoking film. You will want to be a little healthier after looking at the people in the film, and a little more stylish and anybody whoís young, who thinks young will like Dhoom 2. You donít have to actually be young between the ages of 14 to something itís like anybody whoís young at heart will like Dhoom 2.
You are playing a Bengali in the film, does that make you feel more at ease and let you be yourself?
This is the second time I am playing a Bengali but in my last film Corporate I didnít speak any Bengali. But Dhoom 2 gives me a chance to speak in my mother tongue for the first time. Iíve never done a regional film yet, so this is the first time on camera that I will be speaking Bengali and it was really funny to dub in Bengali lines Ė it seems odd because I speak this language at home. It was fun, also the surname is Bose and my grandfather used to call himself KN Bose, but my father and uncle took Basu as a surname, so itís the same thing, Bose and Basu so its closer to home I guess.
So much of attention has gone to Ash, her look, do you feel ignored?
No, I think the attention is very adequate and right, because Ash has never experimented with her looks in this drastic a manner. She is always seen as this Indian girl wearing Indian clothes and always she excels thru that in her ĎIndian nessí. So for the first time you see her in short skirts and bikini tops and a tanned look, I would say wow! Itís a required change and itís a very positive thing, she is really looking hot, so why not. For me I have worn western clothes and I am the western girl according to the people always. The look is different for me, but not so visually different. I have not been wearing sarees in all my films; I have been the western girl, so thatís why sheís more talked about. Anyone who talks about D2 or anybody who is talked about in the film is great.
You have worked with Abhishek before, what was different about this time? And what was it like working with two of the hottest sex symbols of Bollywood.
He has just got madder with every single day. Heís a mad boy. Definitely the energy in Dhoom 2, for me, will be a memorable experience because of the friendship I share with Abhishek and Uday. Hrithik and Ash I got to know there. The kind of friendship that I have with Abhishek and Uday is too cute. I would look forward to coming to Dhoom 2 sets too much fun. Sexy, I donít look at these boys as sexy, but yes, they are definitely hugely in demand. Hrithik I would really like to talk about, he has been extremely popular, huge in all the films that heís done and you canít take his success away from him, but as for me I think Hrithik excels in D2. For one, heís not so perfect he has a little unkempt look not all the time wearing buttoned up clothes. It works on him, heís a good-looking boy with a great body. So that loosening up that has happened with Dhoom 2 is what I find sexy in Hrithik. Otherwise I find Hrithik too perfect and I like a little imperfection in my man. For me Abhishek is really cool, because heís not so perfect, does not dance perfectly, walk perfectly, does not have the perfect body but heís extremely charming and suave for me. I think Hrithik has definitely got the coolness in D2. Dhoom 2 is going to provide him with that Ďeasy sexy tagí. Till now he was sexy in the conventional way, the youthful, laid back sexy look is coming into Hrithik now.
This is the first time that you have worked with Hrithik and Ash. What was it like?
They are fantastic people. Hrithik when you look at him he seems a very serious person but he is a comedian, a joker on the sets. Heís also a lot of fun, lot of energy, not as hysterical as Abhishek but a still a lot of fun. Ash, the image that she projects, one would think you canít reach out to her, and she is the kind of person you wouldnít be able to talk to, but its not like that, she gives out a different image like somebody who is unapproachable, but sheís very approachable, she would sit in the group like all of us used to sit together, not only the actors the entire unit, so we were always a team, we would go out together, work out together, sight see together, so it was a group thing and sheís an easy person, not unapproachable at all. That myth has gone after working with her.
What do you think of the Dhoom 2 music as compared to Dhoom? You have lent your voice for the first time for the song ĎMy name is Alií, what was it like?
Dhoom original soundtrack was fantastic definitely it was a rage which picked up. Our music is very good but I always feel that the audience has to identify with the picturisation. I think track ĎDhoom Againí is fantastic, the kind of music that has been put, the original song has been adapted very nicely in a completely different manner. Also my favourite song on the track is ĎTouch MeĒ Ė too cute. I like to define people as sexy cute. It shouldnít be just sexy or cute, then it would be boring, sexy cute is fun. This song is sexy cute and I love it. I have only said words for the song ĎMy Name is Alií its not singing, a long way to go for that. Too husky a voice.
What was the best moment for you while shooting the film?
The whole Rio experience. I think the place was so lovely and for me I am a person who can easily fit into Rio not because of the way I look. In Dhoom I had this long hair and its not just my physicality itís my whole nature is very laid back as the people in Rio. So, I would make friends on the road and look like a local and make local friends. Everyone used to have bodyguards, I used to go without the bodyguard, I donít like people cramping my space and checking on what I am doing in my time off, away from the world. So I used to go sometimes without the bodyguard and have fun. I used to look around, go for walks on the beach, used to have my own private moments in Rio and those were really good and the one thing I would like to say about Rio which is a cute thing is that from the age of 10 to 80 people work out everyday. In my gym there used to be 20 old women, old means old with wrinkled skin but yet they were so fit. They used to have these dance exercise classes in our hotel and I used to have such a good time with them. They were all my buddies in the gym, it was really cute. The people are not body conscious, everyone is not fit but people are wearing tiny bits of clothing but nobody is looking at them.
Do you think D2 can outdo the success of Dhoom?
I donít like to ever judge a film before its release. You canít. And I can only hope because itís my film, it definitely has a lot of visual delight. D2 is going to be a lot of fun to watch I just hope people like it. You canít outdo your own branding.
What was it like shooting in South Africa do you have a message for the people there?
Fantastic people, they are the most friendly and sweetest people I have ever met. Itís not only my Dhoom experience itís also my past experience. Iíve shot in South Africa many times and they are really genuinely nice people. It is a beautiful country, itís got various landscapes and itís very well endowed with all kinds of things, so I enjoy my trips to South Africa and this time is going to be memorable for ever because I did my bikini shot in Durban. I cannot ever forget that! Shooting in a bikini is not easy. It not about being conscious itís about the fitness level you have to reach. And 3 days of eating oranges, working out thrice a day, going paranoid, Ďam I fatí. I did not want to look very oomphy I wanted to look athletic, I do not know what the final result is, as to how I look, but for me I wanted to be a Cameron Diaz, I did not want to be a Pamela Andersen. Girls whenever have shot in a bikini are basically rolling on the beach or some such thing, but I think I will give due credit to my director and the team who have shot me in the bikini, I think its athletic and very youthful, and looks like I am comfortable wearing it, not Ďoh wow!í Its not a cheesy shot, I can just proudly claim that. So South Africa I can never forget. Itís difficult working out so many times a day and not eating when everyoneís gorging on food.