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'I'll be more cautious selecting films after Game'

Last updated on: April 6, 2011 13:04 IST

'I'll be more cautious selecting films after Game'

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Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai

Sarah Jane Dias, looking pretty in pink, allows a little smile as she walks into a suburban hotel in Mumbai.

Getting comfortable over a cup of cappuccino, the former Miss India, who finds herself in the company of actors like Abhishek Bachchan and Kangna Ranaut in her debut movie Game, chats with Sonil Dedhia about the journey so far.

What kind of reactions have you been getting after the release of Game?

The movie is getting mixed reactions. Some people have liked it and some haven't.

When it comes to my performance, I have got a positive response and a lot of people have messaged me and called me and said they would like to see more from me.

So are you going to be more cautious when you select your next film?

Yes. I have got a fantastic response. I will make sure I have better screen presence and would love to do a meatier role in my forthcoming films.

What's the best compliment you have received so far?

The best compliment that I have got was from (director) Abhinay Deo's father (actor) Ramesh Deo. He said I have soulful eyes and I was flattered. I have always believed that as an actress a lot of expression comes through the eyes; I am glad I got do it in my first film.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'Game is not the first movie I auditioned for'

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You have been a veejay for quite sometime now, what took you so long to get into films?

Game is not the first movie I auditioned for. I have been to a lot of auditions, but for some or the other reason things didn't work out. When I was offered Game, I went for the auditions and things just started working out. I was short-listed and called again for the auditions and everything fell into place.

Do you remember the first time you auditioned for the movie?

How can I not? (Smiles). When I got a call from the casting agent I didn't know I was going to the Excel (Entertainment, the producers) office. I was sitting at the waiting area, looking at the posters of Dil Chahta Hai, Lakshya and Don around me. Suddenly Farhan Akhtar (co-founder of the production house) just passed by me and I was just numb for sometime. I picked up my phone and called my best friend and told her about it. I kept my fingers crossed and told myself that I too could be featuring on these walls soon.

How has the transition from the small screen to the big screen been?

It's totally different and at the same time, almost the same. It's like the two sides of the same coin. Acting in films requires a lot of patience and hard work. I had to give each shot my 100 percent. Luckily for me, I had some fantastic people around to guide me.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'I shot for the most difficult scenes on the first day'

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Game is Abhinay's first film as a director. Did you think twice before signing for the film? Were you aware of his work?

Of course I was aware of him. I always had the confidence in him. He showed faith in me and gave me complete independence. He has been in the advertising industry for a long time and his work speaks for him. I would be a fool if I had said no to work with him.

Was it difficult to adapt to such a big film especially on the first day?

I shot for the most difficult scenes on the first day. Thankfully, there were no other stars on the sets. I was nervous and was not sure whether I'd be able to perform, but the good part was that it wasn't the first time I was facing the camera so that feeling of being nervous didn't last long. I would say the first day was a physically challenging shoot for me.

You have to share the platform with another heroine. Did you have any apprehensions?

Not at all. The fact that I was a part of a film produced by Excel Entertainment was a high for me. I waited for a long time to get the right film and I didn't want to miss on this opportunity.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'Abhishek talked about George Clooney to break the ice'

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How was it working with Abhishek Bachchan? Were you nervous?

I was really nervous because my first scene with Abhishek was a romantic one and I was feeling very shy. I pretended not to be star struck, but I was. I knew Abhishek socially, but never had a long conversation with him, so it was really difficult to shoot that first scene with him.

He never made me feel like a newcomer. He understood the fact that it was my first film and supported me throughout. After the first scene got over, we were sitting together and watching the monitor and suddenly Abhishek asked me whether I was nervous and I said yes. So after sometime he started talking about George Clooney with me and we completely got into the conversation. That's how he broke the ice.

You have an intimate scene in the movie with Abhishek. Were you comfortable doing it?

I was a little anxious, but I'll tell you how it went. When Abhinay briefed us about the song, he told us that he was going to choreograph the song and the scene. He told us that he wanted capture the moments of two people in love. I knew exactly what the scene was beforehand, as Abhinay gave us a detailed explanation. Yes I was anxious, but it went very smoothly.

Would you be open to doing intimate scenes in the future?

Of course. If the script demands it, I don't mind doing it. I think a woman is beautiful and if the intimate scenes or the kissing scene are done aesthetically, I don't have any problems. A lot of time it happens that certain scenes are shot to look vulgar. I will not be comfortable doing such scenes at any point. I know my boundaries and will always stick to them.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias and Abhishek Bachchan in Game

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'I have made a lot of sacrifices'

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You started your career quite early. Do you miss the life outside this industry?

Yes. I have made a lot of sacrifices. It's not an easy job at all. When I started my career, I had a lot of people who were very close to me, but gradually they decreased. But I am glad people who know me and understand me have been with me. I have definitely missed what a normal kid at the age of 24 would do, because that's when I won the Miss India World title.

You have a shop in Bandra called Butterfly, which sells cup cakes. Tell us about it.

I am a really good cook, but I don't make the cupcakes. I am very passionate about cooking. The shop came because of my friend Shaana Gwyane. We have known each other for a very long time. Once we were just having a conversation and she mentioned opening a cupcake shop. I always wanted to open a bakery of my own, so our ideologies matched. That's how we began. I am associated with the branding and marketing.

You started your film career with a Tamil film (Theeradha Vilaiyattu Pillai), instead of a Hindi one. Was it a conscious decision?

Nothing was planned. They are two different industries and I don't think it was a bad option to start in films. Actually my first film was Brides Wanted, which was a crossover. It never got released in India and I didn't think working in a Tamil film would affect my career in Bollywood. A lot of actresses have started their career in south and made it big in Bollywood.

Will you continue accepting south Indian film offers?

Yes, why not. If something really interesting comes up, why would I say no to it?


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'I have it in me to make it big'

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Many models have become actresses and their performances have been found wanting. How will you overcome this?

I think I have done enough. The fact that I have been given a model tag proves a lot because I have never done any modeling, but I don't know why people call me a model. I believe I am a good performer and I think I can translate that on screen. I have always received positive responses for my stint as a VJ and my advertisements. I would like people to give me the space and allow me the freedom to learn.

How do you go about a scene?

I am not a method actor and don't follow any rules in acting. I have not learnt acting. My acting is completely from my observations. I read a lot and try and learn from it. I am not from a film background and have no formula of choosing movies. I go by my instincts. My first criterion is will I, as a common man, watch this film and enjoy it? The second is whether I'll be able to perform the character and do justice to it. Ideally, I would like to sit with a person like Naseeruddin Shah or Anupam Kher and have their insights on acting.

What is your mantra to survive Bollywood?

Right now I just want to absorb and learn whatever I can from my co-actors, directors and the people from the industry. I believe in God and I guess I have it in me to make it big.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'Dancing around the trees? Bring it on, baby!'

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Do female actors have a shorter shelf life?

Yes. There is a trend where actresses at the peak of the career for some or the other reason, vanish. I don't know if I'll be able to comment any further, as I am still new to the industry, but I'll see to it that I don't fall prey to it.

Will you go under the knife at any point of time in your career?

I don't think so. I am very happy the way I am and I am a lot into naturotherapy.

Are you ready to run around the trees?

Yes, bring it on, baby (Laughs). I am not going to get this opportunity ever again and am going to make the most of it.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'I have Googled my name so many times, but I haven't found any rumours about me!'

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How clued in are you to industry gossip and rumours?

Do you have any rumours about me (Laughs)? I have Googled my name so many times, but I haven't found any rumours about me. I am sure pretty soon I am going to be a part of it.

Do you think two actresses can be best friends?

No, not if they are at the same level. I can be a friend with actresses who have are established, but if someone is making her debut or is in the same league as mine, rivalry is bound to happen.

What is that one wrong notion that you want to make common people realise about the industry?

There are a lot of people who think that it's easy being in the glamour world. People think that all actors need to do is put on some make-up and act in front of the camera. It's very difficult. There are times when I have felt down and out and didn't know what to do. The industry is such that it will not wait for anyone. You have to fight for yourself. It is rightly said that the show must go on.


Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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'Ranveer Singh is one of the sexiest bachelors in the industry today'

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As a VJ you have done a lot of interviews with celebrities. How does it feel to be on the other side?

No one has ever asked me that (Smiles). It feels awesome and I really can't express that feeling. I always dreamed of making it big and sitting on the other side and here I am giving an interview. It's an amazing feeling.

Which actors are you dying to work with?

I would like to work with Ranveer Singh. He is one of the sexiest bachelors in the industry today. Ranbir Kapoor is incredibly charming. Imran Khan is a typical chocolate boy hero. Aamir Khan is super talented. Shah Rukh Khan, because I have met him and in spite of being such a big star, he is so down to earth.

What kind of roles would you like to do in your future films?

I am still new and I would like to experiment and work with different directors and do different roles. I just want to do quality work and want my work to do the talking for me.

What next?

I am speaking to a few directors. There are few projects that have excited me and one of them is a rom-com, but nothing is finalised.

Image: Sarah Jane Dias

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