'Acting in Kaavalkkaran was like coming home'
Asin is back in Chennai to shoot her new Tamil film Kaavalkkaran directed by Siddique with Vijay as the co-star.
It is the remake of Bodyguard made by the same director in Malayalam with Dileep and Nayantara in the lead.
It is after a long gap that she is acting in a Tamil film.
She has also signed two Hindi films many months after her second film London Dreams flopped.
Asin tells Shobha Warrier about life in Mumbai and her new films. Excerpts:
How has life been in Mumbai?
Life has been good. Mumbai has been great, and the city and the industry had been welcoming.
Did stardom in the Hindi industry, awards and the success of your first film Ghajini come as a surprise to you?
I was not expecting anything. So, there was no surprise or any such feeling. I only wanted the film to do well. Of course, Kalpana (in Ghajini) is a good character. Then there's the fact that you are acting with Aamir Khan.
Everything put together, it worked and people liked the end product. People were quite welcoming and appreciative of the way I portrayed Kalpana.
'I don't get insecure'
After the stupendous success of Ghajini, London Dreams did not do well. Were you disappointed?
Not really. Each film has its own fate and you can't go through personal emotions based on the highs and lows of a film. Acting is a career and you can't expect everything to work out the way you want. One has to be mature enough to handle that.
Many actors and actresses sign a number of films after the success of their films but you chose not to sign any film other than London Dreams. Why is it so?
I have always been like that. Throughout my career, I have followed that dictum. Even after the Tamil Ghajini became a hit, I took my own sweet time to sign my next film. Many people asked me, even after the success of Ghajini, how come you are taking so much time to sign another movie?
The same reason applied in Hindi too. I want to be a part of a project where I can enjoy myself. I don't get insecure and rush to sign movies just to be in the public view and news. That is not the way I am.
'I have endorsements to keep me going'
Does that mean the projects that came to you in Hindi after Ghajini were not interesting enough?
I didn't accept the films that came to me for various reasons. I look at a combination of factors to accept a film.
So, what were you doing these days? How did you engage yourself?
I have enough and more endorsements to keep me going!
Does acting in an ad give you the same high as acting in a film?
I agree, these are two different things but the creative satisfaction is the same. It is great to take some wonderful ideas to the people. I like the creativity involved behind these ads. I enjoy doing all of them. All the ads are different and doing different kinds of ads give me a high.
What is satisfying is, these brands chose me; I didn't choose them. They choose someone only after doing a lot of market surveys. They trust you to take their brands to the people and that trust and confidence gives you a lot of pleasure.
'Language is not a criterion for me for accepting a film'
Do you really use the products you endorse?
I use the products I endorse. It is not that I use them because they approached me. I have been using most of the products before they approached me, like Tanishq or Mirinda.
You are here in Chennai for the shoot of the Tamil film Kaavalkkaran with Vijay. You surprised many by signing a Tamil film...
I don't understand why people are surprised. From the beginning of my career, I have said that language is not a criterion for me for accepting a film. I am not looking at any particular language, I am only looking at projects. Whichever project appeals to me, I will do that. So, people should be surprised if I don't take up projects in all languages.
What did you find interesting about Kaavalkkaran?
When Siddhique Ikka (director) approached me three years ago, I told him that I would do it whenever he would make the film with Vijay. At that time, I didn't have the dates. Then, he made the film in Malayalam. When he decided to make it in Tamil, he contacted me and like I had agreed before, I am doing the film now. I liked the character I am portraying. It is also a very good project to be a part of.
'I haven't recovered from the gossips about me'
Have you seen the Malayalam original Bodyguard? Did you enjoy it?
Yes, I saw the film and I liked it. The female character is great.
How was the experience of acting in a Tamil film after a long gap?
It was like coming home. Vijay is a dear friend and I have acted with him before. Acting with people whom you know is like being with the family. It is a comfortable ground.
What are your future projects?
I am doing Kaavalkkaran right now. Then, I am doing the Hindi remake of Kaakha Kaakha with John (Abraham). I would say its a remake of my own film as I did the Telugu version of Kaakha Kaakha. Nishikant Kamath is directing it.
I am quite excited about the project because when I did the Telugu film, I was just 18 and fresh out of school. Maya, the character I portrayed was much older than what I was at that time. I am 24 right now and I am at the appropriate age to portray Maya. At that time, I had to try to be a 24-year-old but now, I know how a 24-year-old feels like and I can be more natural. And I have always loved Maya and it will be fun to portray her again. We are about to start shooting soon.
Then, there is another project by Aneez Bazmi with Salman Khan.
Once you moved to Mumbai, gossips started appearing about you. Did they affect you?
They did disturb me. It is a larger platform out there. There are more newspapers and publications and everybody wants to write something. And they look for sensation. It was new to me.
Was it unexpected?
I wasn't expecting it to be at the level it was. I wasn't prepared for it. A lot was written about nothing.
How did you come out of it?