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Ameesha: I have stopped thinking of what will boost my career

Last updated on: June 21, 2013 15:17 IST

Image: Ameesha Patel in Glam Star sunglasses ad
Patcy N in Mumbai
"I am in a very happy state of mind," states Ameesha Patel.
And the actress has all the reason to be, since her career finally seems to be looking up.
Race 2, in which she had a bit role, was a big hit, and her latest film Shortcut Romeo releases in theatres today, June 21.
She has other things to be positive about too. Her production company Ameesha Patel Productions, in collaboration with her friend and business partner Kuunal Goomer, will be starting a movie called Desi Magic. 

She also stars with Sunny Deol in another film called Bhaiyyaji Superhitt.

Ameesha discusses her life and movies with Patcy N:
Director Susi Ganesh feels Shortcut Romeo will boost your career. Do you think so?

I have stopped thinking what will and what won't boost my career. I know my and Neil's (co-star Neil Nitin Mukesh) performances will be appreciated.

It's a very challenging role. I don't think any heroine who was offered this role would have declined it as it has great scope for performance. The role is not about being sexy or glamorous -- it is about hardcore performance.

'No one has a formula for a hit film'

Image: Hrithik Roshan and Ameesha Patel in Kaho Na Pyaar Hai
You had such a bright career with Kaho Na... Pyaar Hai, Gadar, Humraaz, Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd. You were considered their lucky charm by many directors and producers. What went wrong?
I don't know what goes wrong, what goes right. If I could pinpoint it, then I wouldn't make mistakes. It is all destiny. 

All I can say is that you learn from whatever ups and downs you go through. Ups and downs are normal to everyone's career, so I don't pay much attention to it.
Do you think you signed the wrong movies?
I wouldn't insult any of my films and directors by saying that about their work. It is very easy to talk about a film when it doesn't work at the box-office. 

I know how many people opposed me signing Gadar. Had I listened to them, I would have been at the biggest loss. 

No one has a formula for a hit film. If we had, everyone will be making hits.

'I don't think I went through a flop period'

Image: Ameesha Patel in Race 2
When you are going through a bad phase or a flop period, how do you cope with it?
I don't think I went through a flop period because Bhool Bhulaiya and Honeymoon Travels were hits. 

I took a step back and decided to start my production house, so I was low key and I didn't have a film releasing until Race 2.
This year you will have five releases -- Race 2, Shortcut Romeo, Run Bhola, Bhaiyyaji Superhitt, Desi Magic...
I don't know what is happening to Run Bhola Bhola.
Bhaiyyaji Superhitt and Desi Magic will come out early next year.

'Aditya Roy Kapoor has what Shah Rukh had when he newly came as a lover boy'

Image: Ameesha Patel with Kuunal Groomer at her birthday party
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
Who do you think is the rising star in Bollywood right now?
There are so many, there is so much talent. I really liked Aditya Roy Kapoor and Shraddha Kapoor's performance in Aashiqui 2.
I think Aditya Roy is very promising. He has surprised the audience with his intensity as a lover boy. He has what Shah Rukh had when he newly came as a lover boy.

Do rumours about you affect you?
Not really. I take them with a pinch of salt.

There is a rumour your partner in business is your boyfriend...

I am not going to comment on it, it is such an old rumour.

Does it affect you that you started your career with Hrithik Roshan but there's a big difference in where the two of you stand today?
Not at all. I only compete with myself and no one else.

'I have always challenged myself as an actor'

Image: Ameesha Patel in Shortcut Romeo
You play a negative role in Shortcut Romeo. Why did you choose to play a grey character?

The role is negative because circumstances make her like that in the film. She doesn't start off being a grey character at all, but is led into becoming one.
As an actor, you always want to do something different and I have always challenged myself as an actor.
Halfway through Kaho Na... Pyaar Hai, I was offered Gadar. People advised me not to do it because I was far too young to play a mother.
Rakesh Roshan himself told me I am launching you as a college girl and you are going ahead and playing the role of a mother in a period film, a non-glamorous role etcetera. But I thought it challenged me as an actor. I loved the script. I went ahead.
After Gadar, when I was offered Humraaz, people again told me not to play a grey character. They asked me why I wanted to wear saris and play a wife when none of my contemporaries were doing that.
So all through my career I have been told not to do some things but I have always gone against the advice and stood out in those roles, like Honeymoon Travels.
In Mangal Pandey, I took a chance playing a widow with no make-up and dressed in a white sari. Not many girls would do that because everyone wants to be glamorous and go to the gym and work out and get a skinny body. I have always challenged myself and done stuff that is out of the box.

Even in a guest appearance in Race 2, I had to play a dumb blonde. It was a difficult character to play. I could have fallen on my face if I had overdone it.
In Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic, Aditya Chopra challenged me and asked, 'Can you be sexy?' I hadn't had a sexy image till then, but I said yes and took up the challenge.

'I thought the film in totality was a brilliant film'

Image: Ameesha Patel in Glam Star sunglasses ad
What about the role in Shortcut Romeo?

When this negative role was offered to me, I took it not because of the role, but because I thought the film in totality was a brilliant film.
I had faith in my director. He is a very well established director in Tamil Nadu -- he was Mani Ratnam's assistant since Roja days and comes from that school.
He had made this film already in Tamil (Thiruttu Payale) in 2006 with newcomers. It was a super hit. He has altered it to fit Bollywood. He has matured as a director. 
I liked the subject. I thought it would be interesting. This rich and sophisticated girl is totally caught off guard by a blackmailer, a tapori, Suraj, played by Neil, who comes from a small town in Goa to Mumbai looking to make it big.

'People are looking for shortcuts in life, to make it big'

Image: Ameesha Patel in Glam Star sunglasses ad
What about the intriguing title?
Nowadays, people are looking for shortcuts in life, to make it big -- the best example is the recent IPL scam. People in every walk of life are taking shortcuts to make it to the top. 

Today, we have internet love, dating on the internet, people are getting married over the internet... things that did not exist before. Everything is becoming a shortcut.
Neil's character is representative of that generation who take a shortcut in life. Not just once, but forever.
He finds this complete package in Monica played by me, a rich and sophisticated girl in the league of the Ambanis, Tatas and Birlas. Suraj knows her secret and uses it against her. He knows if it is revealed to the world, it will completely destroy her, her married life, her husband's reputation, their social standing.
It starts off as a one-time blackmail but he keeps on doing it again and again because he has got a bakra like me and he can be rich all his life just blackmailing me.
That's when Monica becomes a complete bitch to answer him. It is like a chess game between them, each trying to frustrate the other. Neil's love interest, played by Puja Gupta, is caught in the crossfire. For him, it is a choice between love, power and money and that's when the plot becomes interesting.
It is well shot technically and has great music. It is a complete entertainer it has great action, amazing music by Himesh Reshammiya, there are lovely dance sequences, and good humour. It is a complete Bollywood entertainer with a message that shortcuts in life may not always work.

'I would be tired and exhausted and finished physically and mentally'

Image: Ameesha Patel in Glam Star sunglasses ad
You said it was exhausting playing the role. Why?
The kind of scenes that were there, the devious look, intense drama, the tears, the pain it is very difficult and exhausting for any actor. By the end of the day, I would be tired and exhausted and finished physically and mentally because I would be so into the character. 

You were the seniormost actor on the sets. Were you treated as such?
By Pooja, yes, to a certain extent because she is just two films old. But Neil and I are friends; there is no question of hierarchy. We were always laughing and joking. 

Susi Ganesh is new to the language even though he is a hit director in the south. Was it difficult working with him?
I thought it would be a problem that he is not comfortable in Hindi and the dialogues are in Hindi, but surprisingly, he was really good. He managed to get what he wanted from us. This is one of Neil's best performances. 

'Desi Magic is a rom-com'

Image: Ameesha Patel at the launch of Desi Magic
What is Desi Magic about? You have a double role in the film?
Desi Magic, produced by my company, is a rom-com. It's a very exciting film. It goes on the floors next month.
I have a double role, but the girls are not related to each other. One girl is a hardcore Punjaban and the other is a very Paris Hilton character, who lives abroad.

It's a musical. It's Kaho Na... Pyar Hai meets Jab We Met, meets Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge and Cocktail. It's in that genre. It is youthful, fun, in keeping with Indian sentiments.
What other films are you producing?

We have Mr David Dhawan on board. We will be making a film with him. But that will happen much later. At the moment, there's just Desi Magic.