Sonil Dedhia in Mumbai
The sweet-looking Genelia D'Souza makes a pretty pair with John Abraham in their next film Force. Directed by two time National Award winner Nishikanth Kamath, the film has plenty of romance interspersed with heavy-duty action.
In a candid conversation with Sonil Dedhia, Genelia spoke about shedding her bubbly image, why we don't see her often in Hindi films, and of course, her link-up with Riteish Deshmukh.
With Force just two days away from release, how do you feel?
I am excited. I am hoping that the movie is seen by a lot of people. I believe that the film has all the elements of a commercial film and yet at the same time, it has all the elements of being real.
This will help us cater to a bigger audience.
The film is a remake of the Tamil film, Kaakha Kaakha. Have you seen the original version?
Yes, I saw it six years ago. I fell in love with it when I saw it for the first time. I always wanted to be part of a role like this and I am thrilled that finally I am getting to do it.
'I'm doing Bollywood's first ever zombie film with Abhay Deol'
Photographs: Courtesy Clea Public Relations
In the original film, Jyothika plays a teacher. You play the role of a social activist. Any particular reason for this change?
I look too young to carry off that kind of a mature look and hence, I play a social activist. A teacher would have put me in a slightly older bracket.
My character, Maya, is not a college girl but she's still young and is extremely strong and empowered. She stands up for what she believes is right and probably that's what attracts John's character, Yashwardhan, to her in the film.
Will we see a change from the characters that you have played earlier?
Yes, surely. It was a conscious decision to come out in a completely different avatar in this film. I took a lot of interest in making sure I looked like Maya and acted like Maya.
It is completely different from anything I have played before. It does have my cuteness and bubbly nature which is incorporated in the character. You will also not see the trademark fringe that I usually have in all my films. (Smiles).
'The love story is as important as the action in Force'
Did director Nishikanth Kamath brief you about your character?
Yes, he discussed with me where Maya comes from, her background, and how she would react to different events in her life. It helped to understand the character's personality
I spoke to John Abraham earlier and he mentioned that the USP of the film is the romance between the two protagonists, but the movie seems to be promoted as an action-oriented film.
I am happy with the promotions. It is promoted fairly as a romantic film. In the film, John's body is so amazing that it comes across as a great article to write on. The love story is as important as the action in the film.
This is your first film with John. How was your equation with him?
John and I get along really well and we make an interesting pair physically as well. We complement each other in a strange and unique way. He is extremely disciplined and focused on set. I have known and worked with him before so we got along really well.
'I'm trying to balance all the film industries'
Actresses in action-oriented films do not have a big role. Does that bother you?
It is fine with me. At the end of the day, whoever does the best in the film takes the cake away. It doesn't affect me or make me feel insecure.
You made a comeback with Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na but since then you have done just three films in Bollywood.
It is just that I am involved with five industries (Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). I do films across all these industries so it takes a lot of time. I would agree that my career in Hindi films is slow but from next year you will surely see a lot more of me as I have three releases.
Do you prefer working in the south than in Bollywood?
No, it's not like that. I am fortunate to have got the opportunity to work in so many different languages. As I said earlier, I am trying to balance all the industries and I don't know if it is a good or bad decision, but I would love to work where I feel happy and content. I enjoy filmmaking regardless of which language the film is made in.
'I never felt insecure about Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na
But don't you think you have not been able to cash in on the success of Jaane Tu...?
I think it was Imran Khan's launch vehicle. To a large extent it was very important for him to be presented in the right way as he was the new kid on the block. I waited for my turn and I have got a lot of appreciation and accolades. I never felt insecure about it.
We also haven't seen you doing a film with big banners like Yash Raj.
I haven't been offered a Yash Raj film. Apart from that, I am doing a film with Tips and Force is a Fox Studio production.
You have been constantly linked-up with your co-stars. Does it bother you?
It doesn't really bother me. It's a part and parcel of the industry and I am not really surprised, I'm rather amused, with all the fake rumours. You can't allow yourself to dwell on these things, and to be very frank, I would not like to discuss my private life in public.
'Katrina Kaif is the glam diva in Bollywood'
How would you define glamour and who do you think is the glam diva in Bollywood?
I think it has a lot to do with sensuality. I think Katrina Kaif is the glam diva in Bollywood.
I am doing the first ever zombie film in Bollywood opposite Abhay Deol, and it is directed by Navdeep Singh who earlier had directed Manorama Six Feet Under. It is something that has never been tried, so I am really excited about it.