Interview By: DANNON MARTIS
Jacqueline Fernandez has delivered super hits at the box office and is back to take it by storm with her latest release ‘A Gentleman’. Excited at being back for film promotions, the energetic actress talks to us about her equation with the director duo of Raj and DK, why she would love to do an offbeat film and her similarity with her on screen character Kavya.
How similar are you to your onscreen character in ‘A Gentleman’?
Very similar actually. You know even when I was getting the narration I was like this girl sounds a lot like me. Maybe our job is different, like Kavya works in an office and has a normal 9-5 job which may be the only difference. She is a normal NRI girl and yeah she pretty much wants adventure in her life as she works in a tech company and her job is very straight -forward. She is really longing to do some fun stuff and that is why she loves to play Xbox, she loves fast cars and that’s the reason she is pushing Gaurav to do cool things and gets very upset when he wants to stay at home and cook or inviting her parents to dinner, to come to see his new house and that is something which even I don’t understand and is also not my sensibility which is why she enjoys Rishi’s company more.
How much of the action are you doing in the film?
There is a lot of action in the film and I am doing a little bit of it but not much. My character is put in a situation where she eventually has to do action. Action is something, which is actually out of her world.
You have done a lot of action films from ‘Kick’ to ‘Dishoom’ to ‘A Gentleman’ now, but we have not seen you do a lot of action. So when will that happen?
Yes that is really upsetting (laughs) because I have been a part of big action films. Unfortunately till now I have not been given that opportunity but hopefully soon it will happen.
Is your Hollywood film going to release in India?
It actually is and probably it will release around November in India. That should be something very interesting.
You have also done a movie back home, so what about that?
Yes that movie will release in September in Sri Lanka, We shot the movie in English and I could say it is quite an arty film and we hope to take it to a few film festivals and maybe it will come here.
Pole dancing as a genre has not been explored much in Bollywood and you pretty much aced it in your film. So how was the rehearsal like for you?
It was so weird and random because we were shooting in Miami for this song “Chandralekha”. I knew what the premise was and it was a party song, so I thought the same old party song and same old dancing. I thought what different could we do in this number, choreography wise and suddenly I told Raj and DK that what is the one thing that is really kind off all over the place like on the beach, gym and the clubs in Miami and it was pole dancing. Everyone in Miami is really cool with pole dancing and I said maybe we could incorporate this in the song. They were like okay, we can decide about it once you start training for the song. When my training started, I told them guys let’s not do pole dancing, as it is really very difficult. (Laughs). They told me the trainer had already been flown in so I thought lets continue and it was amazing. Not only did I learn this amazing dance form but it has also become a part of my fitness regime now and it has helped me improve my upper body strength, it is fun to do and we got to include it in the song so it’s great.
You have worked with director duo, Abbas-Mustan and now Raj and DK. So how different were they?
You know they both are really quite but Raj and DK talk a little bit more. That is also because you know you have a lot more to talk to them about and you know when I worked with Abbas Mustan, I was really new and as such I dint have a lot of conversation and Abbas Mustan are very soft spoken. So are Raj and DK, they don’t really shout and they don’t get angry and they are very like chilled out and laid back. I think they are like quirkier in their sensibilities while Abbas Mustan are very specific in the genre like they do thriller-suspense and action while Raj and DK do action-comedy very well, comedy especially I would say. Both of them you know they work like one individual. They say action or cut together (laughs). They both are very amazing and informative. They are actually like one person.
In what way to do you relate to your character? Are you also very outgoing/adventurous?
I am adventurous and very outgoing. I think this is something, which was instilled in me since in a young age where I was outgoing. Every time after school I used to go out with my brothers whereas my parents used to think that we are at home doing our homework but we weren’t. We were out roaming the streets, playing football, exploring the area. I have always been a risk taker and have been very spontaneous. That’s how even Kavya is, there is no situation that scares her and she is always looking for an adrenaline rush.
What made you choose this film?
More than anything when this film came to me I was most excited because it was Raj and DK and I thought they seem really fun. I loved ‘Go Goa Gone’ and found it as something, which was funny, different and youthful. Also ‘Shor In the City’ it had a really nice element of drama. So I thought they were someone who could do both. For me working with the directors is something, which is really important as you learn a lot and they can extract a lot from you. I feel I am at a point where I want as much as extraction to happen as possible. (Laughs) That is why I felt that they would make me do something, which is very real and would not have me hamming. It was a bit funny though when we first started shooting I was playing the character very loud like I am used too. (Laughs) Raj and DK were like no Jackie just talk to him. I was like that’s hard and I liked that they mellowed me down a lot and they made me as real and relatable as possible.
How is your equation with Sidharth now compared to when you did ‘Brothers’ and the man you choose in real life how will he be?
I was like Sid just forget that ever happened. (Laughs) I like Rishi that he was this risk taker and unpredictable mysterious character. In my heart there is a side of me that if anything I would like to settle down with Gaurav and I think it happens to men as well as there is excitement about someone who is very crazy and outgoing but at the same time you want to settle down with someone who is homely and you can build a home with. What I like about Gaurav is that he can cook and I am like I want that. (Laughs) There are aspects of Rishi, which are fun, but you know balance is important; you can’t have extremes of both sides.
Are you someone who religiously follows Hindi films or you made it a point to watch ‘Go Goa Gone’ and ‘Shor In The City’ because you were offered ‘A Gentleman’ by Raj and DK?
No I actually watched ‘Go Goa Gone’ and ‘Shor In The City’ just like that. I am actually very attracted to offbeat Hindi films, I loved ‘Filmistan’ and ‘Parched’, I tend to have an eye for them and I really enjoy them. It was like that for ‘Shor In The City’. With ‘Go Goa Gone’ I knew it was a weird film, a film with zombies and I was like I am definitely watching this film. I really wanted to work with Raj and DK and I am glad I got the chance.
We have never seen you in an offbeat film though?
I never get offered offbeat films though and I would love to do an offbeat film. I think for me a lot from the start of my career I have been working on a lot of commercial films and that’s amazing. But I think for my personal space I would definitely like to do something offbeat and it has to be small, low budget where it does not have the pressure of so much money riding on you because then I would be really ready to explore and experiment and I feel that I would really require something like that first before I can take on something which is larger or maybe a higher budget film which is also offbeat.
You just finished working on ‘Judwaa 2’. What was that experience like for you?
It was amazing and I didn’t realize and it didn’t hit me regarding the magnitude of this film. I am not from that time in the nineties and I was not well versed with the Hindi films of that time and I never understood the rage that was ‘Judwaa’. All my friends were like oh my god ‘Judwaa’ and its so freaking cool and it’s a cult and we have grown up on it. The minute we starting shooting the film, I realized that this is a very big film and this is going to be a crazy rollercoaster. Recreating the movie from the nineties and the energy they had in the original, I felt a lot of pressure while shooting the songs in film. On the day when Salman was on set I saw how emotional David Sir was and how nostalgic it was for both of them and I was like oh my god there is a lot of pressure here. (Laughs)
You have Sidharth here in a double role and Varun also in a double role in ‘Judwaa 2’, so how different are they?
They are both so different and ‘A Gentleman’ is more in the action space and Varun is in the comedy space. Their roles demand so much and there is so much difference in their roles. I feel Sid has been able to pull of this Gaurav character that is this very safe, calm and boring character as well as he was able to pull off Rishi you know who is rough and tough. I also can’t wait for you guys to see what Varun has done in ‘Judwaa 2’ playing Raja and Prem.
You have become very comfortable in Hindi as compared to earlier?
I think last year I made a very conscious effort to speak back to people in Hindi who were speaking to me in Hindi. Also I did three back-to-back films along with ‘Jhalak’and I made sure I wasn’t speaking any English and it really did help. I was always studying Hindi and I never left that but I dint have the confidence to speak. After last year it became a lot easier as I made a conscious effort to speak in Hindi and now there is a confidence in saying that even if I make a mistake its fine.
How excited are you teaming up with Salman in Remo’s film?
Very excited to work with Salman and Remo and waiting for them to lock in the content to see what we will be doing together and it is a great team to work with.