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Nah, not because Raj Thackeray demands that of every North Indian immigrant. Priyanka Chopra is simply gearing up for her part in Vishal Bhardwaj's Kaminay. Screen caught up with a trim and tanned Priyanka as soon as she got back from the outdoor shoot of Dostana in Miami. On the sets of Fashion she lists her six releases this year and other developments
Togged in a lime green and ivory mini-dress, Priyanka Chopra sports a healthy, tanned, beach look. She walks in with a coffee mug and gives Kangana a brief smile, "Cut it, take OK," declares Madhur Bhandarkar jubilantly. After the shot, she gives us a "Let's go" signal . Acting sure comes easy to this 24-year-old! We snuggle into the corner of the room and flick on the dictaphone as the erstwhile Ms World gets chatting.
The year ahead sure looks busy for you.
Thank God for that! I am back after being in a sabbatical for a year and half. Love Story 2050 will be my first release after Salaam-e-Ishq. I have been working on Drona, Love Story 2050, Fashion, God Tussi Great Ho, Chamku and Dostana all this while and it 's been a long wait for my releases.
Apart from Harman, what was the exciting part of Love Story 2050 (LS)?
(Laughs) Well, the most exciting part about Love Story is the film itself. It is the first of its kind in India people haven't seen SFX of this kind in Indian cinema.
Not even in Krrish?
Not even in Krrish. Sure it was India's first superhero film with fantastic SFX. But LS is India's first sci-fi film. I am proud to be a part of both these films. The SFX in LS will set a high bar in India.
This is your first double role too, How have you made both the parts different?
Both the roles are different in terms of the character sketches as well as looks. The first part is of Sana, a present-day girl - she's very soft spoken, poetry loving, diary writing girl living in Australia. She's sweet and feminine, just 21. So I have kept a very soft look with light brown hair and eyes, peaches and cream complexion and a softer voice unlike mine that is of a much deeper quality.
Zayesha, on the other hand, is a pop star in the year 2050. She's boisterous, arrogant, loves herself - yet she's a girl inside, she feels lonely, as she doesn't have much of a family. Her parents died in a car crash and she only has her Nani who incidentally doesn't live with her. She lives with her little teddy bear named Boo, he's her governess cum best buddy - cuts fruits for her, takes out her clothes. Her pop album is called ME. Everything about her is herself. She's tomorrow's woman that yesterday spoke of. She's an enigma, a mystery. I wanted to make her drastically different so I gave her red hair darker skin tone, grey eyes and her clothes are of darker hues - black, blues and browns. Yet she's feminine enough for the hero to fall in love with.
Your co-star Harman is said to be a Hrithik Roshan look-alike.
Hrithik Roshan was compared to Shahrukh Khan and Shah Rukh to Dilip Kumar and Shahid Kapoor to Shah Rukh. Every actor is compared to someone who's already been there. I was also compared to others. But everyone creates hisher own space in the Hindi filmdom. I don't think there is any comparison between Hrithik and Harman in terms of screen presence and also in terms of their approach to work. Having worked with both of them, the only thing that's common between them is that they are both very good to work with.
What sets Harman apart ?
Harman has very emotional and expressive eyes, which is very important for an actor. This film does not look like his first. He's very professional - like he is always on time. He knows filmmaking very well as he has studied it. He definitely has an edge over a lot of newcomers. This being a home production, he's been a part of everything -from SFX, direction to production and that also gives him an edge .
Harman is a newcomer, so the onus of LS rests on your dainty shoulders, doesn't it?
I don't think so, because the film is bigger than either of us. Generally love stories are small, cute, frothy films that depend on the actors. Although performances do matter even in this case, the story, the script and the effects are much larger. LS is much larger than either of us. So the top billing goes to the film and not to Harman or me. Which is why I am not taking any pressure. People will go watch the film and then there will be the curiosity about the new boy. I will come somewhere in between. (Laughs)
Of your half dozen releases in this calendar year, what will come next?
After LS, it will be Chamku. I have done several films with Bobby Deol including Dostana. I am very close to him and his family. Sunny Deol, after all, was my first film hero. It's great to be back with the Deols always.
Close on the heels is God Tussi Great Ho, How's the God in the film? Do you get to share the screen with him?
You will see a lot of God in the film and he's very funny too. It's a hilarious movie and the music is very good. I don't share screen space with Mr Bachchan playing God. I am with Salman Khan and Sohail Khan.
Are you through with Goldie Behl's Drona? It seems like a period drama.
Oh no! Drona is not a period film. It is based in today's time and age. It's a timeless epic story with big and beautiful visuals. It's the first of its kind film. Kids are going to love it with the action and magic in it. The shooting is over and effects are being worked upon .
How's Fashion going? How much has it been canned so far?
We are through with 70 per cent of Fashion. My character has a great graph spanning over two years of her life. She wants to be a model, becomes one - this is the story of her rise and fall. Each part of the film is very vital because I have lots of different looks through the film. Fashion makes me nervous because I was in the fashion industry only for three months from Miss India to Miss World. Noyonika Chatterjee taught me how to walk the ramp then and I insisted that she be a part of the film as well. All the characters in the film have turned out beautifully. Madhur (Bhandarkar) has really held it together. It's not a dark film. It's very emotional .
Isn't the story almost like a biopic?
I drew a lot of references from my life. Just like the character in the film, I came from a small city with stars in my eyes. But the difference is that I could handle it while she couldn't. Lot of stories in the film are based on real life incidents too.
How does it feel to be the busybee?
Phew! I have to finish five films this year. I go home at twelve, take off the make-up, sleep, wake up at six and then get back to work. I have too much to do and have to finish it fast because I have to prepare for Vishal Bhardwaj's film.
Are you practising some ethnic strain of Hindi for the film? And why is the film called Kaminay?
Ha, ha, because the film is about Kaminay people. I have a lot of homework to do in the film. I am learning Marathi for it. It's a beautiful language with so much spunk to it. Kaminay, by the way, is an action comedy - it has nothing to do with Romeo And Juliet.
How was your Dostana schedule in Miami? Are you wearing a bikini in the film?
Miami was my best outdoors yet because I have a lot of cousins there. I enjoyed working with my director, Tarun and Karan of course is such an involved and indulgent producer. It was like a big party. To answer your question now - no, I don't wear a bikini in Dostana, I wear appropriate beach-wear though.
Last but not the least, What's Your Rashee? What you are doing in it?
It's a very interesting part for me and nothing that an Indian actor has ever done before. Only Ashutosh Gowariker can handle a subject like this. It is a romantic comedy with many hilarious layers to it. It is going to be a demanding film for me.