It’s changed my life in a lot of ways. The fact that I got to debut with Sharukh and Farah, they gave me such a huge launch. Apart from that I am completely great full to the industry and the audience for accepting me and the fact that I have got such fabulous roles and opportunities to be a part of such good films.
Chandni Chowk to China was your first action movie. Was it tough to film?
Yes, it was tough, but I am glad that I went through the extensive training – physically and mentally it was important. So I was well prepared.
What training did you undertake prior to filming?
I trained for six months. My trainers came down from Hong Kong and trained me in all the cable work and wire work and all the sword fights and all those things.
The trailer of Chandni Chowk to China seems very promising. What made you choose this venture?
This project was offered to me before "Om Shanti Om" released. And the fact that I was always very keen to do an action film and the fact that is sounded like a very big and exciting project , the fact that Nikhil Advani was directing it and it was opposite Akshay Kumar and the fact that I have a double role, so what more could I have asked for?
I would have considered myself very lucky to have got to do the opportunity of a double role again. It just gives me that much more confidence that my directors and the audience believe that I can carry off different kinds of looks in different kinds of roles. And obviously as an actor it is a lot more challenging doing two roles in the same film. It’s definitely not easy and is quite challenging.
You look phenomenal yielding all the sticks, the magical umbrellas ... How difficult was it to pull off all the stunts?
It was quite difficult because I had to train for about six months; I used to train for about eight hours a day. But I think it's all paid off, it was something that I had to do because of the kind of action that was required in the film. And my trainers came down from Honk Kong to train me for the action sequences in the film. I think it has really all paid off very well. The action sequences were all ready before we even started shooting for the film. Once we started shooting everything was all in place and I didn't waste any time learning.
Do you always identify with the roles that you take up on screen? And more importantly, will we see you in a non-glamorous avatar any time soon?
Sure, as an actor I would definitely like to do different kinds of roles and different kinds of cinema.
For me the most interesting part would be shooting at the "Great Wall Of China." I had always thought that I would end up there as a tourist, but it was a greater experience actually shooting there, and I think with the first film to have ever been shot at the Great Wall of China.
How was it working with Akshay Kumar? (We hear that you were in awe and a bit intimidated while performing stunts alongside him). How do you rate his stunt quotient?
I wouldn’t say intimidated because then that would be taking away credit from him. He’s some one who has made me feel extremely comfortable, whether it was on the sets, whether it was scene or whether it was an action stunt. He’s made me feel absolutely comfortable and also I give my director credit for that and I would also give myself a little bit of credit for that because I had trained really hard for it. No, I wasn’t intimidated. I am just some one who really admires the way he’s groomed himself over the years and the way he has evolved as an actor and the kind of cinema that he’s doing, I think he’s some one who we can all really learn a lot from.
You are considered to be one of the most beautiful/promising faces to hit Bollywood in a long time? Do all the sky-high expectations bog you down?
No, it doesn’t. I am here to enjoy my work. I think enjoying my work is extremely important and that’s the reason I am here.
What are your hopes for 2009?
I hope that my films that release do really well.