'I don't like watching myself.'
'I find my voice very irritating.'
It may sound unbelievable, but Disha Patani, that sexy Calvin Klein model among other things, is very shy.
She may play a vivacious girl in Malang, but she's nothing like that in real life.
"I'm a shy person. I get awkward in social places," she tells Rediff.com Contributor Mohnish Singh.
You have a great screen presence. How do you feel when you see yourself on screen?
I hate myself.
I don't like watching myself on screen.
I am so shy to see myself.
I was watching the trailer and I was like, no, no, no.
That's why I did not see the film. I watched the trailer only once or twice.
I don't like watching myself.
I don't know why; I'm not used to it.
I find my voice very irritating and I'm very shy.
You have been working for four years and yet you say you don't know many people in the industry.
I am very shy.
I might not come across as shy because of social media, but I'm a shy person.
I get awkward in social places.
I like being in my house, doing my gymnastics and dance.
When it comes to social events, if I have to go, I do.
But I don't really party for enjoyment purposes.
I will try my best to be more social, but I'm an introvert.
I don't drink, so I don't know what to do in parties.
Usually, they don't have good food.
Do you look for characters where you look a certain way?
In my first film MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, it was a very simple character.
In Baaghi 2, I played a mother. Again, a very de-glam role.
This is my first film where I'm playing a modern girl.
Otherwise, I always play a small-town girl, which I am.
This is the first time I have a hairstyle instead of a simple hair knot, and Western clothes.
I think it depends on the script.
I mean, I don't necessarily look for roles where I look a certain way.
What made you choose an action-packed film like Malang? Would you be interested in playing a village belle?
I enjoy action.
I like comedy also.
Right now, I wanted to do something that I like to watch.
If I don't like to watch a certain film, I wouldn't want to do it myself.
Nobody has approached me for a rustic kind of a role, but I guess, with time, if it comes and I am in a state of mind where I would want to do it, I would do it for sure.
Why do we see you in only one film a year?
It takes time to find the right script.
I did not want to be an actress when I was younger because I was too shy to think that I could be in front of the camera.
I could never even click my pictures or be clicked because I was so damn shy.
Somehow, I landed up in Bollywood.
How did you land up in Bollywood despite being so shy?
I started working as a model when I was 18 and had a lot of responsibilities on my shoulders.
I didn't ask my family for any money; I had to take care of myself.
I was constantly auditioning or doing something, and I realised that I love it.
I think I enjoyed doing TV commercials and being in front of camera more than walking on the ramp.
I choose my roles where I would like the journey more than anything.
What was your inspiration for your character in Malang?
It's all Mohit Suri sir, not me.
He decided the look, the hair, that city vibe...
I have never seen a rave party in my life and while we were shooting it, that's when I saw that culture.
I was really mesmerised by all these people and how this works.
Mohit Suri sir has seen this life and he knew exactly what he wanted.
We would do readings, work on the lines.
He is very open to ideas. He's the easiest person to work with.
He knows girls very well; he understands them. I think nobody can shoot a girl like him.
How did you get the role?
Luckily, I didn't have to audition.
Thank God! I've auditioned so much in my life!
They approached me for the role.
I heard the story and character, and really liked it.
I was on board three months before the shooting started.
How do you get rid of your shyness when you act?
I'm not shy in front of the camera, I'm shy in front of people.
It (acting) was something I discovered when I was 18 or 19.
It's very weird that I'm very shy in front of people, but when the camera is on, I enjoy it.
I feel no one is watching me.
You do not come from a film family, so who do you go to for advice?
(I go to) myself usually. That's why I take so much time because I don't really have people telling me do this and that.
It's just my inner self, that voice comes.
My consciousness tells, 'Do it or don't do it'.
That's what I have followed since I started my career.
You gained a lot of positive feedback for your song in Bharat.
I was very happy because I love dancing and always wanted to do that one Bollywood song.
This was my first song. I was so happy I got to do it with the megastar Salman Khan and Vaibhavi Merchant, one of my favourite choreographers.
I was so lucky that the song became a hit.
Was it intimidating working with Salman Khan?
For sure. I guess we are kind of used to it now, but still, it's daunting.
I mean he is so good with his comic timing.
He changes stuff and then he will be like, 'You know, you can do this. You can do that, and you have to be very quick with all that.'
I have not really done comedy and it's very hard.
I used to think that emotional scenes are hard, but comedy is like another level of difficulty.
But he likes guiding me and saying what to do.
How have you evolved over the years?
I feel I don't know anything.
Every time I work in a film, I feel I have forgotten everything that I knew.
I feel like a newcomer every day on set, maybe because I did not have proper training.
I didn't go to a film institute or attend workshops.
I learnt through auditions.
Every director works in a different manner. The scripts are different, characters are different.
So it is very difficult for me on set every time. I usually feel things; I like to feel my lines.
I like to say how a person would actually say it rather than just acting it out.
I still feel like a newcomer.
I have so much to learn.