After Boom, when you started rebuilding your career, you got Sarkar with Ram Gopal Varma, Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya with David Dhawan and Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye with Raj Kanwar. However, most recognition came your way with Vipul Shah's Namastey London. Which of these films/people do you think have contributed most in causing a turning point in your career?
I think that every movie and filmmaker has helped me a little bit in moving ahead over the years. In this journey of mine, they have all been a great help and guided me into taking a step in the right direction to being successful.
With such good success coming your way, the throne of No. 1 doesn't seem too far away. So why do you or any other actor for that matter shy away from talking about reaching the top position?
Really, actors never get into the number game because it is of no use. See! The point is that if you say that you are there, what is left to achieve? Nothing! right? The best part is to just keep moving on and pick the best roles and filmmakers that come your way.
I am sure you would be continuing to choose the best scripts. However, being at the top has its own perks, most importantly the remuneration factor, isn't it?
See, remuneration is a very personal thing so one should keep that out of the equation. As long as people trust you for working hard and believe that you are a professional, it's great.
Today, you have close to a dozen odd successful films behind you. For someone who was written off 6 years back after the release of Boom (2003), you are a case study of someone who has indeed come a long way and seen quite a few highs and lows. Due to the volatile situation of Bollywood, do you actually get impacted by all the adulation and superstar talks?
Frankly, I take it all with a pinch of salt. One can never get too carried away in this industry because at the end of the day, it doesn't help you achieve anything at all. The best way is to look at the work you are doing and continue to make careful choices.
In Namastey London, you played Jasmeet. In De Dana Dan, you are yet again playing a pucca Punjabi named Anjali Kakkad. Having fun playing such characters?
(Laughs) But I am not really speaking in Punjabi and I haven't even put on a Punjabi lingo for De Dana Dan. Since the film is set in Singapore, I talk in regular Hindi and that's about it.
This is your fifth film with Akshay as a leading lady after Hum Ko Deewana Kar Gaye, Namastey London, Welcome and (if one discounts Blue where you were in a special appearance). The popular theory is that Akshay is lucky for you from the very beginning of your career. However, hasn't it ever occurred to you that perhaps you are lucky for him as well?
Come on, none of us have ever thought like that. I don't even think Akshay ever says that he is lucky for me. Same holds good vice versa as well. There is no logic to it, you know. Both of us take one film at a time and do it on its merits rather than just the pairing factor.
Looking at the promos and after speaking to other people associated with De Dana Dan, it appears that the movie is a really mad affair. After Kabir Khan (New York) and Raj Kumar Santoshi (Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani), working in a Priyadarshan setup must have been an entirely different world, right?
Yes, De Dana Dan is indeed a mad film. The humour out there is crazy. To add to that, there is lot of glamour in it as well, which makes it a good looking, crazy-mad entertainer. I really wanted to do a film with Priyan. I did it just for the experience and I am glad I did it.
However, after movies like New York and Ajab Prem Ki Ghazab Kahani, you seem to be taken seriously as an actor who is enjoying all the screen space as a solo leading lady. In De Dana Dan though, there are a couple of dozen odd characters around. Hypothetically speaking, would you be working in a movie like De Dana Dan tomorrow again considering the current box office pull that you enjoy?
Actually, it is ok to do one such film a year. As I said earlier, I did De Dana Dan for a unique experience since I hadn't worked in a movie like this earlier. Tomorrow if something like this comes up, I will do it for sure.
Well, in the interim we also would see you in Rajneeti. It's a case of everything fitting in just perfectly - with a completely contrasting character, following the one that you play in De Dana Dan?
Oh yes, Rajneeti has a very good role. It has a different sensibility to it and it should be a good follow up to the films of mine that have released in 2009. Rajneeti should be a good way to start 2010.