Did you take up the offer to act in Kurbaan just because you could spend time with Saif on the sets?
No. I do not need a film just to spend my time with Saif. Who wants to spend quality time together just working round the clock? I"d rather chill out with Saif without the baggage of work. Both Saif and I are professional actors and our careers are very important to us as thorough professionals.
Can you elucidate?
Like we do not carry our work home after the pack up, we also make it a point not to carry our relationship on to the sets. I would even go to the extent of stating that even if Karan and Rensil did not cast me in Kurbaan, Saif would have gladly gone ahead and acted in a film like Kurbaan. Similarly, even if Saif had not been cast in Kurbaan, I would have said yes to the offer if had been approached sans Saif to play the same role.
In what way is Kurbaan different from your other films till date?
Kurbaan is basically a saga of love and betrayal, the kind, which you hardly get to watch on the Hindi screen. It has a very socially relevant topic with global terrorism as its backdrop. I would say that Kurbaan is a gripping tale of two lovers and its USP is that it has raw emotions. I am glad that most of my fans have found the film to be a thrilling ride.
To what extent could you identify with your role in Kurbaan?
I enjoyed playing the role of Avantika. Basically Avantika is a professor in Delhi University. Avantika falls in love with Ehsaan in Delhi and gets married to him and goes to USA. What happens to their idyllic love is what the crux of the subject is, which has several layers to it. I could easily identify with the character of Avantika, because she is full of integrity and knows her mind and what exactly she wants from life. I am like Avantika in real life. Avantika would do anything for love because she believes in love a lot.
What made you take up a tragic love story like Kurbaan?
Not all love stories end up in happiness. Kurbaan is one of them because the story has been written in blood. I would also hasten to add that Kurbaan is also not that real because it is not at all a documentary. I would say that it has the right amount of emotion and rawness.
Were you drained emotionally as an actress with Kurbaan?
I should confess that it drained me emotionally when I worked in Kurbaan. However, all said and done, at the end of the day, I"d just say that I enjoy my work, whether it drains me of my energy or I chill doing the part. I would say that actors should get drained at the end of the day, because I am of the opinion that there should be something substantial for you to do as actors on the screen.
Though you were appreciated for your comedy role in Golmaal Returns, why did you opt for an intense role like in Kurbaan?
I do not agree with people who say that only comedies run these days. I turned down the offer to be a part of Golmaal 3. So what if Kurbaan is not a comedy? I feel that unless and until actors don"t take a stand and say what they want to do and set out to do something different from the usual rut, the audience would not be able to watch different kinds of films at all. Whenever Saif and I bump into our fans, they tell Saif that he ought to do many more films like Being Cyrus and Omkara and I should do films of the genre of Chameli and Kurbaan.
What do you like about Kurbaan and your role in it?
I am glad that our performances have been appreciated in Kurbaan. What I like the best about Kurbaan is that though it is a commercial film, it also has some meat in it. Some commercial films do not have life or story but we actors have done them, because there is a lot of difference between what is narrated to you and what is executed on the screen.
In what way do you think Saif has grown as an actor over the years?
Saif has come a long way from the time he had acted in films like Aashiq Aawara and Parampara. The best thing about Saif and me as actors is that people tell us they did not remember Saif when they set to watch Omkara where he appeared as Langda, they did not remember me when they watched me as Dolly in Omkara. I am glad that like his mother Sharmilaji, Saif has also succeeded in striking the right balance between different genres of films. Sharmilaji had films like Musam and Apur Sansar to her credit even when she did commercial films like Kashmir Ki Kali and Ardhana. Saif has also done films like Aashiq Awara and Parampara on one hand and Omkara and Being Cyrus on the other.
What is your approach as an actor?
Acting is in my blood. I have that passion in me. Whatever I do, I will give my 100 percent to it. I am of the belief that an actor should know to switch from one role to another effortlessly, like Aamir Khan and Saif do. I also feel that it helps you as an actor to breathe your role and maintain your continuity as well as the graph of your character if your films are shot in one single schedule.