Q.: Please tell us about your character in the film ‘Halla Bol’?
A.: I’m playing the role of Ajay Devgan’s wife Sneha in this movie. She is always a support to Ajay. She helps him to realize his true being whenever he needs to understand whether something is true or false, right or wrong. Actually I am a mirror to him. She always says the truth to her husband. Her love is the power in her to express the hardcore truth.
Q.: You will be seen as the mother of a four year old boy and your
screen time is supposed to be short. Don’t you think that your
character will go unnoticed?
A.: There’s nothing like that. I always play roles which inspire me. At the same time, its better not to think that all your characters will always be glamorous. I always look for better characters. If I have to look at the length, I cannot always be the leading lady of all my movies. Even when I signed the movie, I knew the movie is for Ajay Devgan. I only believe in characters that are indispensable to the story.
Q.: Rajkumar Santoshi’s heroines have always been presented as
strong characters. Is that the reason why you agreed to be a part of
A.: May be. I look for characters with some substance. I believe in women with some power in them. That’s the reason why ‘Lajja’ is my favourite film.
Q.: Please tell us about your look in the film?
A.: In the film I am actually from a small town and I get married to a superstar. The director of the film, Raj ji, thought of two different looks for me. One was the look of a woman from a small town and the other one is the look of the wife of superstar. But with the progression of shooting, he threw away the idea about the second look. That happened only when he realized the fact that when a character is going through so many problems, she cannot think of outfits.
Q.: Usually Ajay Devgan is accepted with his serious look. What do you think?
A.: That’s true but he plays few great comic characters too. And that’s very natural and goes with the character of the actual Ajay Devgan we see on the sets. Working with him was a great experience.
A.: I would like to mention one incident. Once he made me look like a real big fool. One scene was okayed in the first take but Ajay Devgan and Raj ji made me do it several times. They kept on inspiring me to give the take again and again and I went on following their instructions. But when I saw that they are just laughing at me I realized that there must be something terribly wrong. And I found that they were just playing a prank on me.
Q.: How was the experience of working with Rajkumar Santoshi?
A.: That was a nice experience. He used to explain every minute thing before the shooting and at the same time he used to inspire all the crew members and actors. I enjoy talking to him as he is very intelligent. Whether it’s History, religion or current affairs he has knowledge of every field.
Q.: Is there any message in the film?
A.: Actually the film shows that there are problems in everybody’s life and there are some people who try to solve them and some who just evade them. In this film all the characters are conscious about the odds and they all come together to face that. It teaches us the positive sides of unity.
Q.: Are you aware that Priyanka Chopra was the first choice for the character you are playing?
A.: Yeah, I know. I got a call from the film makers regarding the movie. It was after they were done with two weeks of shooting I had some information about the casting of the film. I remember that I went to Raj ji’s office and after listening to the whole story I just came back. I reached my car but suddenly went back to him and said that I liked the script and agreed to do it.
Q.: Is there any memorable incident that must have taken place during the shoot?
A.: It was the time when we shot at Haji Ali. Despite being a resident of Mumbai, I never went to that place. And even though there were crowds I felt the solemnity of the place. There’s a song in that place which is a plus point in the film.
A.: I took all the negative comments regarding my outfits in a positive way. I was really very idle but now I’m concerned about that. I wear only those outfits which make me feel comfortable. I enjoy less make-up. I like to wear T-shirt with slacks and jeans. And I also love cotton salwaar suits.
Q.: You are basically known as serious actor. What’s your opinion on comedies?
A.: (Smiling) I have acted in comedies, too. It’s a different issue that my character was not comic. No director has allowed me to be a comic and I’m waiting for the day when someone will approach me with a comic character. I hope directors are getting my point.
Q.: It was John and now Shahid. How do you like when people attach your name with someone in that way?
A.: I used to get tensed with these things but now I’m used to all that. I used to get very angry initially. And sometimes I cried, too. Now I think that till I stay alone my name will be linked to one or the other guy. And it’s after all a part of celeb life. And now I don’t get worried about these issues.
-Rajnee Gupta (SAMPURN)