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Tell us about your character?
(In Rowdy Rathore) I play a very sweet and simple girl named Paro who comes from Patna. She goes to Mumbai and falls in love with a guy who is poles apart from her. It’s a sweet love story with drama and action, and very well interwoven.
Have you seen the original film?
I have seen the Telugu one with Anuskha. She has done a brilliant job. It is a Prabhu sir film and he has turned it around in his own way.
It was two years after Dabangg before your second release. Was it a conscious decision to wait so long?
No. In fact, getting into films was not conscious. I was studying fashion design, but became an actress. It is just coincidence. I don’t have any regrets about not being seen on the big screen for one-and-half-years.
I was busy shooting all the movies I had signed, endorsements and shows. So I have been working non-stop anyway.
When you were younger you once said you would never do films? What changed your mind?
I guess it’s destiny. I was on the verge of becoming a fashion designer, but when a film like Dabangg is offered to you, you can’t say no.
Was it Salman Khan?
Yes, when I was studying fashion design Salman used to say me: “Leave all this and become an actress”. He always encouraged me to join the industry.
You chose the essential girl-next- door character.
I don’t choose which role comes to me, I choose the film. I believe in a) the character; b) the audience would like to see me in that character; and c) the overall big picture of what I want to be part of. It’s my second year in the industry and I am happy playing this role.
Don’t you feel typecast just as the “Indian girl”?
So what? I am an Indian girl. When other girls wear western outfits nobody asks them if they are typecast as the “western girl”. I like these characters and these characters are very different from each other, in fact.
How are you with wearing a bikini?
I am not open to bikinis, but I am open to western outfits. If the script is good and the entire package is good, if I like the role and the character, and if I feel I can carry off the character I would consider it. I am a normal jeans and T-shirt Mumbai kind of girl.
Even if the script demanded you wear a bikini?
It’s a complete no because I am not that kind of person. I was raised in a certain way and have some restrictions to follow and I don’t see any reason to change. The audience has accepted me fully clothed.
What about a script like Dirty Picture?
It is a great film to watch. Vidya Balan was fantastic. I respect her so much as an actress, but I don’t think I could pull it off with the restrictions I have.
Over these 18 months, how much have you polished up your acting?
I have spent the maximum time on set and learnt many things. I am blessed that I am working with people such as Salman, Arbaaz, Akshay and Prabhu sir. It’s been a good journey so far.