Date of Birth10 April 1986, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Mini BiographyAyesha Takia was born in Mumbai on April 10th 1986. Her father's name is Nishit, a Gujarati and her mother's name is Faridah, who is half Maharashtrian and half Caucasian British.
Ayesha had never let her lack of speaking Hindi fluently come in her way. A go-getter, she is no stranger to the silver screen and has faced cameras even at the tender age of 4. Her continuity was what got her noticed and the makers of 'Socha Na Tha' approached her in 2004 to play the lead role opposite Dharmendra's nephew Abhay Deol which she accepted.
She also signed up for another film 'Tarzaan The Wonder Car' which proved to be her debut in Bollywood, as the release of 'Socha Na Tha' was delayed.
With 'Tarzaan The Wonder Car' Ayesha quickly made her mark in Bollywood and not only was noticed but also received an Award - The Best Filmfare Debut.
Thereafter her films have done poorly at the Box Office, although she scored highly with teenaged audience in India and abroad, especially with her performance in 'Dil Maange More' and 'Shaadi No. 1'.
She also appeared in a 2006 Telegu movie named 'Robbery', which was later dubbed into Hindi and released as 'Super'.
And then came Dor in which she played the role without any glamor - the film that brought a lot of praise and much needed recognition for her. Here she has proved that she can enact both good and glamorous on one hand and the more ordinary next door type girl roles with ease.
Now Ayesha is one of the most gorgeous and beautiful actresses much sought after by movie makers and a force to be reckoned with, especially for other leading ladies of Bollywood.
|Farhan Azmi||(1 March 2009 - present)|
Trade MarkHer beautuful smile
TriviaShe is a Mumbaite and comes from a mixed family. Her father is Gujarati, and her mother is half British and half Maharashtrian Muslim.
She listens to loads of hip-hop, techno, trance, soft rock, rock, and also loves Ghazals, Sufi, and Hindi film music. Her favorite Pakistani artists are Ghulam Ali and Abeeda Parveen.
Loves to listen to stories of the character she is playing in upcoming films, holidays, coffee, dancing, music, reading, traveling, & her favorite thing to do is sitting at cafés over conversation with people she likes.
Is a member of PETA.She is a person who is very much attached to animals. Encourages people to stop using leather and other products which are tested on animals and to be kind to animals.
Her favorite actors from childhood are Johnny Depp, Aamir Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, and Shah Rukh Khan. Her favorite actresses are Priyanka Chopra, Rani Mukerji, and her all-time favorite is Sridevi. Ayesha finds there are many good directors, but she has always liked Sanjay Leela Bhansali.
When she is not acting she reads books, goes for long drives, and meets her friends in the industry.
Won the Filmfare Best Debut Award 2004 for Taarzan.
In 2006, she was amongst the Top Ten on the listing of India's 50 Most Desirable Women Alive, a poll conducted by Zoom, an Indian TV channel.
Her father's name is Nishit, her mother's name is Faridah, and her younger sister's name is Natasha.
Grew up in Chembur which is the suburb of Mumbai located in India.
Before entering films, she appeared in two music videos: Falguni Pathak's Meri Chunar Udd Udd Jaye, when she was fifteen. She then appeared in the video, Shake It Daddy by Dee Jay Aqeel, when she was sixteen, which brought her to the attention of the movie industry, and a few film offers followed.
Owns a BMW 7 Series Sedan and Honda City.
Her favorite film Yash Chopra film is Lamhe (1991) since it has Sridevi in it. Another favorite is Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam (1999) and Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge (1995). She said that the role of Kajol in the movie is her dream role.
Had to learn Urdu to act, but she only had to learn diction because she came from a family where she speaks more of English at home.
Shares a cat with her sister named Morrisson.
Says her role model is her mother.
Went to St. Anthony's school, but never went to college because she started to work when she turned sixteen.
Fasted the entire month of Ramadan out of love for boyfriend Farhan Azmi.
Her dad interacts with her producers because he handles her dates. She only interacts with her directors and says her mom handles her life.
Did her first ad when she was 4 and since then she wanted to be an actress.
Says if she weren't an actress she would be a would be a travel show hostess, as she loves to travel and would still be in front of the camera.
Is scared of heights and everything that has risks involved.
Favorite brands: Mango, Zara, Diesel, Fcuk, Guess and G star.
Favorite perfumes: 212 Sexy by Carolina Herrera, Armani Code by Giorgio Armani, Cherie by Christian Dior, and True Star by Tommy Hilfiger.
Her favorite places to shop are Italy, Malaysia, Singapore, London and Amsterdam.
Neither smokes nor drinks.
Her bad habit is chewing nails right to the skin.
Says she has never cooked, but can make good tea and coffee. She says she is a big chai addict.
Says her beauty secret is smiling.
Does two hours of aerobics everyday.
Does lots of yoga and meditation.
Saved from meeting with a fatal accident while shooting in Calgary, Canada for 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009). The scene required her to drive a car with Akshay Kumar sitting beside her. However, she lost control while driving. Kumar took hold of the steering wheel and controlled the car in the nick of the time (2007).
Favorite desserts: chocolates and pastries.
Favorite dishes: Chinese Hakka noodles, mutton biryani, wonton soups, vada paav, salads, pastas, pizzas, & all kinds of dairy products.
Favorite cuisines: Indian and Italian.
Loves honesty and cheerful people who are always smiling.
She is a person who always works out and does not indulge in drugs and alcohol because she believes it takes a person away from reality and life.
Has known Shahid Kapoor since the days when they shot for the 'Complan Kids' ad.
Won the award for IIFA Star Debut (2004).
Won Star's Sabsey Favourite Nayi Heroine (2005).
She has a boyfriend named Farhan Azmi and has started a boutique hotel business with him.
Won Zee Cine Critics Award - Best Actress , tied with Gul Panag for Dor (2006) (2007).
Won Bengal Film Journalists' Association Awards, Best Actress for Dor (2006) (2007).
Won Stardust Best Supporting Actress Award for Dor (2006) (2007).
Won Star Screen Award Best Actress (Critics) for Dor (2006) (2007).
She has has done various roles ranging from comedy to serious characters, but prefers romantic movies.
Insists producers sign a contract on her reservations about intimate and steamy scenes.
Personal QuotesBobby Deol worked with Abbas-Mustan [in 'Humraaz'] and they are good friends. I was in his home production, and so he told them about me. Abbas-Mustan thought 'Kabhi Socha Na Tha' will release first and were hence reluctant to cast me. But a few days later, they called me and told me I was in 'Taarzan'.
In 'Taarzan', I play a London-based girl who comes to India to study. Of course, Vatsal and I fall in love. I have been strictly told not to reveal anything more. My producer and directors will be furious if I start telling the public what they should expect in the film. I think many films do not fare well even in the initial stages, simply because the publicity gives it all away. Thank God, we have carefully guarded it. 'Taarzan' is a very clean film which can be seen with your family. You will not squirm in your seats like you did in some recent films.
Firstly, I cannot do what Meghna Naidu, Mallika Sherawat or Neha Dhupia did in 'Hawas', 'Murder', and 'Julie' respectively. Neither can I do a 'Girlfriend.' Yes, I can wear short tops and minis, but I would be uncomfortable wearing anything more revealing. And don't forget Bhagyashree and Juhi Chawla never did any bold and brazen stuff in their first ventures to get noticed. 'Taarzan' will get noticed, and then, so will Vatsal and me.
I have been doing ads since I was four years old. I must have done 60 ads by now. Ever since I was five, I had told my relatives I wanted to be an actress. My first music video was Falguni Pathak's 'Meri Chuna'r when I was 15. Then came 'Shake It Daddy', which brought me a lot of recognition.
It has always been my dream to be an actress and God has blessed me with what I have. I completely love it and enjoy it thoroughly and being in front of the camera gives me a real high. And people like my fans give me so much love which I really respect and thankful for.
As an actress I want to do all roles that would inspire or challenge me. The first film that I did was not like the usual commercial flick, so I am trying to do varied roles.
A person I would like to date would definitely be someone who I could respect and look up to. Someone with loads of manners and someone who loves my family someone who loves cinema and basically uses more of his heart then his mind and someone who loves me as a person, and the most important thing is that I have to respect him. Because you cannot love someone who you don't respect.
I have been the greatest fan of Aamir Khan. I wanted to marry him when I was 8! I have been watching Shah Rukh Khan's films a lot of late. And I think he is too charismatic for words!
Blatant exposure is not welcome. But if it were to be captured aesthetically, then well I shouldn't have a problem.
My sex appeal is my attitude! It's all about what's in the head.
I love movies. So, I will continue to do work that interests me. I want to do every kind of film. You are going to see me for a long-long time.
My director, Imtiaz Ali, picked up an Audi tape from Filmistan studios. He had auditioned over 1000 girls for the character of Aditi and the moment I walked into the room, he was like, 'You are my Aditi'.
The first thing I look out for are the people who are making the film because if I can't enjoy my experiences and they are a pain to be around then I won't enjoy it. Then of course I have to enjoy the role I am offered, unless I can do that I can't give my best. Banners and good directors do matter too.
I am so new and have a long way to go, but my directors are important. Whatever they visualize I try to give them exactly that. I think that's the best I can do. I have lots of weaknesses because I lack experience. One can't learn acting, but one can be experienced at acting and I think I lack that. That's all I need and I will only have that as I go long.
I've been earning something since I was a child. Recently I have bought a car - my Honda city and I am thrilled.
Well, see... I like everything about myself. I wouldn't like to change that for the world. And I am very happy with the kind of work that my face has brought me. So no complaints.
No price is too high for a career in Bollywood. I love my job!
I don't believe in astrology. I don't think one stone or number here and there can change your life. I've never visited an astrologer.
Farhan made the first move, of course. Guys should make the first move. I feel guys must strive to go after their girls if they love them.
I observed rozas with my boyfriend, Farhan. I have decided to observe all of them. Let's see how many can I manage.
In Shaadi No. 1, I am playing Bhavana who is married to Fardeen Khan. As she thinks that a husband is God's gift, she keeps on praying without understanding the needs of marital life.
I feel simply fabulous that I have a fan in Preity Zinta! I think its high praise coming from a senior co-actor like her. It's extremely encouraging.
I have turned down roles like Chameli (2003) because I do not aspire to reach on top this way. I have always opted for different kind of roles and I depend on my work and skills rather than on my skin like many other women in the industry.
Yes, I have said NO to directors like Yash Chopra. I had even refused to do Neal 'N' Nikki (2005) because I felt that I would never be comfortable in a bra and panties and run around the beach. Besides that smooching sequences in the film were too bold for me to do. I want to maintain my dignity in the industry. I don't want to compromise that for a big director or for some big money.
I have to face my family, my boyfriend and in future my kids also. I don't want to embarrass them because of my dare bare acts! So, I don't want to do anything which looks obscene on the screen. Today, if I have to face my family and boyfriend, tomorrow I have to face my kids also. How will I justify my exposure and appearances in a bra? I have some responsibility towards my family and I will never compromise for that. I was very clear in my mind from day one.
Well, my best wishes for people who want to do body exposure. They choose these types of movies according to their liking. As far as it is concerned with me I am not comfortable with these types of scenes. I have to see the film with my grandparents and parents. So for me it is not acceptable.
Whatever has happened with Main Hoon Na (2004) is all because of the date problem. I had never signed the film. Farah Khan is very sweet and I liked her. These are only rumors spread by some people and the media. I was never a part of the film. Farah and I are good friends. I don't know why people spread this type of news.
Himesh Reshammiya has given excellent music in Taarzan: The Wonder Car (2004). I am a romantic girl and I love romantic song. So 'O Sajan' is my favorite song. But the title track 'Taarzan', which is a haunting and mysterious type of track is worth listening it. So that is also my favorite song.
In Taarzan: The Wonder Car (2004) I am playing the character of a girl named Priya, who is very young, fresh and happy kind of girl. She is fashion conscious kind of girl. She lives with her father in London and studies in Oxford University. She wants to live in India and experience living in her country. So she shifted to India. She joined college where she met with Raj (Vatsal Seth) and fell in love with him. Every body asks me what inspired me to do Taarzan: The Wonder Car (2004). This is for the first time in the film history that a car is a hero. People are very much anxious to see the movie. Everybody wants to act in this type of film. The treatment, which Abbas-Mustan has given to the movie, is excellent.
I was very happy about my debut film, as I am Abbas-Mustan's fan. I had seen Baazigar (1993) several times, which is directed by Abbas-Mustan. I never thought that one day they would be my launching director. It's a great thing to work with them. I am very happy to work with them.
I don't think I will get married anytime soon, but yes I do think about these things; according to me marriage is not about age. One should marry when one is ready for it and I don't think I am ready for marriage right now.
I relate to all the three characters that I have played so far in some way or the other. Though, I definitely do not identify completely with any of them, but yes, you may say that there was something of me in every character. Aditi (Socha Na Tha (2005)) didn't get a fair deal in life and with God's grace life has been fair to me, Shagun (Dil Maange More!!! (2004)) did not believe in relationships, but I have complete faith in relationships. I think it is faith that keeps relationships and life going.
Working with Shahid Kapoor was great fun -- he is very talented and it's always nice to work with talented people as it keeps you on your toes. I am very competitive and if someone is better, it motivates me. It was a cool experience and I have no complaints. Vatsal Seth is a very sweet boy. Taarzan was his first release as well and he was very excited and enthusiastic about it - we are different individuals, but still share a great working relationship. I don't get along well with Abhay Deol.
Director Anant Mahadevan approached me for the role in Dil Maange More!!! (2004) and he also mentioned that they were looking for my phone number for over a month and could not trace it. Thankfully for me they did find my number and came to me for the narration (smiles). Initially, I was a bit skeptical, as there were three girls in the film, but I really liked it after I heard the script. I am not insecure at all and was very happy working with my costars Soha Ali Khan and Tulip Joshi in the film. I don't have a problem with anyone. I love the name of my character Shagun. I play an arrogant fashion designer who keeps quarrelling with everyone. She stays with her mom and doesn't trust the male species as her father had left her mother for another woman many years ago. At the same time she is a softhearted girl and wants to be loved.
Socha Na Tha (2005) will be liked for its simplicity. This film is very close to my heart as it was supposed to be my debut film. The director Imtiaz Ali is a close friend and also very good at his work - I am looking forward to it. I must add that I have high expectations from this film -- I expect people to appreciate the film for its simplicity. I feel people are tired of item numbers and they will like watching a fresh love story with a simple story and a strong emotional tenor. I signed the film when I was only 16 but the film got delayed. I am playing a 24-year old girl character who is wild, yet she cannot portray what she is. The circumstances in her life don't allow her to live her life the way she wants to.
I don't think there is anything the fresh crop sorely lack. I think we are doing pretty well, but yes I do believe that we have a lot to learn. There is nothing really that I miss in the current Bollywood films. Besides, I think I am too new to answer that.
I think it's great to be full of life. Having youth on your side is another plus point that works for us. Besides, you should know your job well. Nobody is here to father poor talent.
The industry says there is not enough female talent to go around. I don't think it's just female talent, there is a dearth of fresh talent in every field, but I don't necessarily agree with the fact that we don't have good female talent. Priyanka Chopra is someone that I look up to. She is from the new lot and looks like she is here to do a damn good job! Amrita Rao is a sweetheart. And I am trying hard too!
I don't believe in live-in relationships and they are definitely not for me. However, I am not against it, if it works out for someone then it's great. Similarly, if marriage works out for someone it is great and if anyone is not comfortable with marriage then it is his choice not to opt for it. I think it is a very personal decision, which should be made as the individual's temperament.
I am not insecure at all and was very happy working with my costars Soha Ali Khan and Tulip Joshi in Dil Maange More!!! (2004). I don't have a problem with anyone. To start with, I didn't have too many scenes with Soha and Tulip. And we were very cordial with each other. No problems whatsoever! There were lots of times when two of us girls would finish our scenes and Shahid Kapoor would still be shooting his portion with the third. I would wave out to Shahid and tease him that he had to still shoot while we were away enjoying!
Its great working with newcomers! Since I am starting out too, there is so much that we share in common by way of growing up. Besides, there is a raw excitement and enthusiasm that is difficult to find in a seasoned actor.
Hey, am I the new 'it' girl? That's flattering. All the people I have met have been positive to my work. That is very encouraging and makes me proud. Besides, I did not achieve this tag overnight. I have been working at it from the age of 16. And however cliché; it may sound, Bollywood has been kind to me.
If you look back at life, there are many things that you do like to change. But that's not the way things work, right? How you make best of what is given is more my style. So I do like to believe that Taarzan: The Wonder Car (2004) was a great career start. And it has given me the position that I currently enjoy. And I thank Abbas-Mustan for having believed in me.
Socha Na Tha (2005) was the first time that I faced the camera, the first time I shot for a film. So it's close to me in a million ways. And this Friday, I can't wait for the audience reactions. Socha Na Tha (2005) is beautiful, fresh and real. It promises a light-hearted experience. My character, Aditi is a wild kid. She has a mind of her own and makes no bones about speaking it. But there is a certain reason that doesn't let her be herself. She is forced to behave, act and be another person that is not her. This little twist in her character is what makes Aditi special. Abhay Deol was good to work with. Imtiaz Ali has been a good experience too. His theatre background came of great use as we used to go through extreme detailing. He was a taskmaster and that helped me perform better.
I would say 'nahi nahi kabhi nahi..' to anything that I am uncomfortable with. It could be a line, a costume or a person. If it doesn't agree with me, then there is nothing that will get me to do it.
We've got to accept that the industry is male dominated. We are learning to deal with it best. If you have the mettle, I think good work will find its way to you.
Sujoy Ghosh has made a movie that is much ahead of its times. It is hip, cool, young and immensely likeable. His style of direction is so different and you can't even slot the movie into a musical or an emotional drama or a comedy or anything else. It would bring a smile on your face, make you cry, make you laugh - just about everything!
For Home Delivery: Aapko... Ghar Tak (2005) the look is again that of a simple and sweet girl who is quite innocent. 'Home Delivery' is a film where I actually get to play someone who is very much like me. You watch the movie and you would surely fall in love with it. It is very sweet, touching and would invariably bring a smile on your face. Though everyone says this for his/her movie, believe me when I say that the movie is amazingly 'different' from the kind of movies you see every week. It's not a copy of any movie or a DVD rip-off. It has an altogether new storyline that Sujoy Ghosh has projected so very beautifully on screen. My favorite scene is the flashback scene between Vivek Oberoi and me! It has been pretty well shot and touches your heart.
Sujoy Ghosh and Imtiaz Ali have extremely different style of direction! They have an interesting way of presenting a story on screen. I am sure if Sujoy directs Socha Na Tha (2005) and Imtiaz directs Home Delivery: Aapko... Ghar Tak (2005), they would do them in altogether different ways. They are so distinct from each other.
Well, see I like everything about me. I wouldn't like to change that for the world. And I am very happy with the kind of work that my face has brought me. So no complaints.
Yes I do believe in mushy love stories! I can be quite a dreamy eyed girl. I think I look good with most guys!
This movie Shaadi Se Pehle (2006) has a message for youngsters. It's about relationships. Every relationship has it ups and downs. It's about misunderstandings that shouldn't happen but it's always there in every relationship.
It's been a lovely experience for me. I play the character called Rani. She is a fun loving girl. She has short hair and uses glasses. It's a completely different look for me. There was lot for me of to do in the film. There are songs, comedy, confusion and cuteness in the movie. I enjoyed my role so it's been a pleasure to be part of Shaadi Se Pehle (2006).
I just do things that I enjoy doing. Ultimately it's my life and I have to enjoy every moment! Parties are not really my scene. I don't do the things that people do at parties. I like spending time with my close friends and loved ones.
It's been a good journey, though a little long! Only three of my films have released so far. I've met lots of nice people. I am looking forward to everything.
We are kids in front of stars from the yesteryear's. There is so much respect for them. I get so intimidated that I can't even dream of romancing them. Like someone recently asked me if I find Dilip Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan sexy! I think that is a very mean word to use for someone who we respect. Their talent and their age intimidate me so I can't even think of being romantically involved with them.
I wouldn't choose to romance an actor from the yesteryear's because right now, I'm so much in love that I can't think about anybody. It won't matter who he is. Even if Johnny Depp, who I love, came down right now, I wouldn't bother or even give him a side look!
I am very attached to my family. That's all I have! I don't have too many friends from the industry. I don't think getting married gets you away from your family. If anything, it gets you closer. Because you reach a different level.
An actor of Naseeruddin Shah's caliber is so respected. Not only in India, but also all over the world. I felt really happy when he said that he had seen Socha Na Tha (2005) and liked my work. When he asked me if I wanted to be a part of his film, I said 'Obviously!' My shooting is over. It was a great experience. He is a task master. He wants everything to be perfect. When an actor of his caliber is directing you, he gives valuable pointers in many aspects. If you listen carefully, it really helps you a lot.
Name does not make any difference as far as a film is concerned. I think people love good entertaining films. Audience nowadays has become so intelligent that you can't fool them. If you make a good entertaining film only then you score a hit otherwise flop. Everyone has been asking me, why is the word shaadi there in all my film titles! All I can say is that, I haven't named any of my films! I really believe in the concept of weddings. It's so beautiful when two people meet and decide to spend the rest of their lives together. I look forward to getting married, someday.
Ashley Rebello is a real sweetheart. He's a very nice person. It's very important for me to work with people who give me happiness. He brings happiness whenever he is around. I must tell you that he has a very sweet mother! Whenever we go to his house for trials, his mother is very hospitable. He gives attention to detail and knows me very well. He knows that I don't wear low blouses or very revealing clothes. Even if the character is very modern, at the most I will show my abs or my legs! I don't go beyond a limit. He knows my style and so I am very comfortable, working with him.
Socha Na Tha (2005) will always be my first film and close to my heart. Taarzan: The Wonder Car (2004) was an entertaining film but Socha Na Tha (2005) had a lot of space for acting. I was approached for Imtiaz Ali's second film Jab We Met (2007). Initially, 'Bobby Deol' and I were supposed to do the film, but the dates did not work out between us. But, I look forward to working with Imtiaz.
After Dor (2006), viewers showed the confidence that I could play serious roles too and so I was offered roles in films like 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009) and Wanted (2009) and many other big movies. My next release is De Taali (2008). 'The character is totally in contrast to what I am in actual life. I play Ammu who is a complete tomboy. She is a complete brat and grows up with Aftab Shivdasani and Reitesh Deshmukh. She does what normally guys do.
There is a lot going on. Thankfully, my life does not revolve around films! If it did, I would have gone mad by now! I believe that films will end after a few years and I will have to continue with other things. Family is too important to me. I have a few friends, who are not from the industry. They keep me sane. We talk about normal things. I am not an actress for them. I'm still a girl named Ayesha at home and with my friends. I don't want to be a typical heroine with them! That's not me as a human being. I go for long drives and dinner with my friends.
Vaibhavi Merchant is a very talented choreographer. I worked with her on Dil Maange More!!! (2004) for the first time. When you watch her, you tell yourself that if you can do it just like her, it'll be perfect! She has great inputs and the energy levels in each shot are amazing. As a woman, I find it more comfortable to work with female choreographers, cinematographers and directors! She concentrates on a lot of things. Dance is not just about steps. She stresses on the attitude and acting. I believe that if you have the right attitude while dancing, you can even afford to be technically wrong. Her sister who is too sweet, is also always on the set.
I am at peace with myself, professionally due to all the accolades I got due to Dor (2006) and all the great projects that I bagged due to that film. Personally, of course, I don't have anything more to ask for after having such a caring and supportive boyfriend. I think that the gamble of doing a deglamourized role has paid off! People have appreciated my work and even hailed me as the next probable marquee-queen my portrayal of a young widow, a role that is very close to my heart. It was not stressful to play a serious role, but it kind of matured me somewhere as a woman; though of course it's not as if I have totally shed off my girlish innocence, it did bring a radical shift in my perspective.
I would like to do romantic films most and my second preference would be serious roles. Though I am not comfortable with stunts, I would definitely like to do an action film like Tomb Raider
Yes, I do sign a contract with every producer and mother has nothing to do with it. I have lived life according to my own principles and ideologies and I adhere to it. I was raised in a normal Gujarati style with all the restrictions and reservations.
I am not being diplomatic, I enjoyed working with all of my co-stars. Also, I am a very professional type of person. I finish my work and go home. I have no favorites, I enjoyed working with all of them.
I don't have any preferences and I cannot afford it. It is just that the offers came from them. And it is always an exciting experience as new directors are always enthusiastic and hard working and give everything for the project as they know that their life depends on the project.
I openly speak about my relationship with Farhan Azmi. I have no qualms about talking about my relationship. What is the need of hiding relationship? I think people in the industry hide their relationship because they are unsure about their relation. I have been seeing Farhan Azmi for around three years now. In the beginning I didn't tell anyone about Farhan Azmi because we were not sure about the future, but now we know we'll get married some day. So I don't mind talking about it. Farhan is a self made man. He began from scratch and is successful man today. He values his culture and traditions. His father is a politician and he is a restaurateur. I am proud of him for being what he is.
How do I find time for my non-filmy boyfriend? I meet him when I am free from shooting. We often go out for dinners. We go to a sea facing place and spend time together. As I am food lover and he too loves food and like to experiment new cuisines, so it is fun to go to a new eatery each time.
There's still time for marriage, as ultimately I want to get married, be a house wife and look after my family. I want to travel a lot and may be starting a restaurant on my own.
I prefer to forget the mishap called Shaadi Se Pehle (2006). It had threatened to stir up my professional life, not so long ago. I'm an impulsive person. I'm not the kind to make calculated moves, thinking that arey, if I pick this film, it will catapult me to the Oscars next year! I do those films that appeal to me in the first reading. That the reason for the appeal may be totally wacky is another story altogether.
Having said whatever I have, I must admit that I do not regret any project I have done till date. Films are bound to succeed or fail; if Shaadi Se Pehle (2006) flopped, I was amply compensated with Dor (2006), which initially people were pretty skeptical about how I'd handle since it was a totally deglamourized and a rural role, completely contrasting to everything I'd done till then.
I have a handful of forthcoming projects. No Smoking (2007) with John Abraham is a light-hearted movie, there are Sunday (2008/I) and De Taali (2008) with Ritesh Deshmukh and Aftab Shivdasani. I had a ball shooting for these films because these two guys are laugh-rioters. They are the biggest pranksters I have ever come across, so shooting with them was like going for a college camp!
In Sunday (2008/I), I play a dubbing artiste for animation films, due to which I have had to learn the voice-modulation techniques, which has been great fun. Then, in Aladin (2009), which is a partially animated film, I play Jasmine. And then, in No Smoking (2007), I'm playing the first double-role of my life as John Abraham's wife and his secretary!
I am not making a conscious effort to shift towards light-hearted films. Going by the praise I have received for Dor (2006), I'd be game to play such kinds of roles for my entire career but a Dor (2006) doesn't get made every day. Also, I love to experiment; be it with my roles, my looks or my voice; hence, this variety in my repertoire.
On looking toned down: I am on a weight-reduction spree after all the brickbats I have been getting since the beginning of my career for my puppy-fat. On day I just thought, chalo, let's actually get down to doing something about it.
On how actresses always find de-glam roles to be more challenging: I find it quite stupid that some feel that if you don't wear make-up, you act better than someone who does. You don't become a better actress by not putting on make-up. If you play a girl from a gaon (village) you should not be wearing makeup, and if you play a girl from a city and are being wowed by guys, you ought to be wearing make-up. It's as simple as that.
One has to spend almost six months together on the sets so I have to like the people I work with and be comfortable around them. Of course the role is an important criteria too.
I am totally a director's actor. Some directors like Nagesh Kukunoor and Imtiaz Ali want you to play a character realistically, as you feel it, while others like Prabhu Deva want it exactly as they have visualized it. I do exactly what the director wants.
Luckily, after Dor (2006) I get offered more interesting roles. But I am doing many different kinds of roles. Boney Kapoor's Wanted (2009) is an out and out action, comedy, masala movie, where I am working opposite Salman Khan. It is a remake of Pokiri (2006) and Prabhu Deva's first Hindi film as director. In Nagesh Kukunoor's 8 x 10 Tasveer (2009) I play a lawyer's assistant opposite Akshay Kumar.
No, I don't have any action sequences in Wanted (2009). I am just the damsel in distress screaming in the background.
I don't think I can look older even if I try, but thanks to the costumes and make-up I end up looking the part.
The best compliment I have ever got was when an elderly lady came up to me in a restaurant to say that she rarely watches Hindi films but loved my performance in Dor (2006).
I get quite crazy and entertaining fan mail. Many men ask me to marry them and Farhan often jokes that some of these guys are better than him and I should call them rather than seeing him.
The important lessons I have learned as an actor is that you must be totally honest in front of the camera.
I'm still firm on my no kissing and no item number policy. I know I will not be comfortable and will do a bad job, so why do it?
I'm not upset that Bablu Pachisia was promoting Kareena Kapoor more in the publicity campaign. That's hogwash. I am on very good terms with Kareena. Shahid Kapoor and I stay in the same building and I often meet Kareena in the lift. I have no problem with Kareena's song being publicised. Anything that helps the film is great. Even Subhash Ghai did a similar thing when he promoted 'Mallika Sherawat' more than me in Shaadi Se Pehle (2006). That film did not shape out as I had been told. I don't want to talk about Shaadi Se Pehle (2006). It's over and done with.
When asked if she missed Farhan a lot during the 40-day schedule in Cape Town: Don't even ask. This was the first time I was away from him for such a long time and I missed him terribly. He couldn't come to Cape Town for a few days because he was very busy. He is opening many new restaurants. After shooting for the day would be through, I would be on the phone with him the whole time! Please don't ask me how much my mobile bill ran into during that period.
I think Kya Love Story Hai (2007) will do well. I was very keen to do this film. After my debut film Socha Na Tha (2005), I hadn't done a love story. I prefer doing love stories.
Thankfully I haven't had any bad experiences with stardom, because I never venture out alone. My mother is always with me and I am always surrounded by my family and staff.
I debuted with the typical heroine role that was glamor-centric. Now I want to press for performance centric roles where my acting capabilities will be put to test. Socha Na Tha (2005) does that for me.
On what got her to sign Dil Maange More!!! (2004): I liked the script. There were a bagful of characters, which makes the narrative interesting. It's a romantic comedy and I had a blast working in it. I play Shagun. She is very casual and isn't too particular about the way she presents herself. Shagun is a Khadus character who has constant fights with Shahid. She is a fashion designer by profession. My favorite song in the movie is Chun Liya. It's picturized on Shahid and me.
On how she managed the song-n-dance bit: Well, I am not half as good as Shahid Kapoor, but I like to dance, because I enjoy it.
On Shahid Kapoor: He is a very talented actor. All I knew was to come onto the sets and mouth my lines. He got me aware of the technicalities. Camera facing, angles, profiles all of this is Shahid's tuition.
On not doing Ghajini (2008)'s remake with Aamir Khan: It was my choice to opt out and I don't want to talk about it anymore. Some things are destined not to happen.
On the personal front I feel happy that I'm blessed with my long-time boyfriend Farhan who lets me be myself. We plan to marry in five years' time and I will definitely let the whole world know when we tie the knot.
I'd seen Rohit Shetty's Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006) and loved it. And when he told me that Ajay Devgan was my co-star I said 'Wow'! He had played my father-in-law in Taarzan: The Wonder Car (2004), and being his ardent fan I had wondered if I would ever be romantically paired opposite him. Equally interesting was my character, Seher. A dubbing artiste for cartoon characters, she sleeps one Saturday night and gets up on Monday morning unable to remember what happened in-between. Though I was intrigued by the thought of a day going missing in a person's life, I believe this happens with some people. I gave the nod immediately, but playing Seher was not as easy as it seemed, and I recount the training I had to undergo before she faced the camera. I had to watch dozens of cartoon films to register not only the peculiar, squeaky noises that they make, but their weird expressions as well. Vikas Kadam, a speech trainer, who had helped Tusshar Kapoor play a mute in Golmaal: Fun Unlimited (2006), was there to guide me, and there was also Rakesh a senior dubbing technician. I realized as Seher I had to lose all inhibitions and distort my face to get my voice and expressions correct! It was so embarrassing at times. On the sets I refused to see my face on the monitor every time a shot was okayed!