As she talks to this correspondent about her big moment, one can also sense that there is a child-like quality in her, which only makes her further endearing and loveable. Really, she comes across as someone who can't do anything wrong. Credit it to the persona that she is wearing, may be 'jhootha hi sahi'!
Pakhi, the big moment has finally arrived. What kind of things went in your mind when you actually started working in the film?
When you are so busy and submerged in first writing and then acting, you don't actually think about the consequences. All I was concentrating on was whether I was being true to every single scene. Of course, now that the shooting is over and the film is releasing, there is a fear factor involved as well. I am anxious to know whether I have done justice to the film, whether people are going to like it.
You seem to be going through that typical nervous bout that happens to every new actor...
(Laughs) Yeah, all of it reminds me of my younger days when I used to write for exams. You believe that you have answered your questions well. You do expect 5 out of 5 but then lower your expectation to make it 4 out of 5. You know what... is the most traumatic part about filmmaking? It is the waiting period. Acting is easy but then you want the film to release and get over it. Achcha ya bura... but now you want to gauge audience reactions. People are so used to seeing glamour on screen while I am playing this fully clothed girl next door. We believe that all of it has come out really well but then audience acceptance is a different ball game altogether. Exams are over; it's time to see the results now.
But then reactions to the talkie promos have been good after all. So, why so much fear?
You know, during the promotion of the film, you travel all over and don't quite get the right perspective. Of course people say nice things but then you do tend to get skeptical about the entire affair. When people say that things are looking fantastic in the film, you want to believe them but then still tend to take it all with a pinch of salt. You feel that they are saying so because either they are friends or families or they want to be nice to you. It's only when absolute strangers come and compliment you for your film that you start getting much more confident. You want to believe that they are really being honest.
Ok, I will tell you something honestly. The look of Jhootha Hi Sahi is standing out from the crowd.
(Smiles) I am glad that you mention this. All credit goes to Abbas (Tyrewala) for this. He was the one who was so sure that he didn't want London to come across as a tourist place all over again. He wanted to show it as a city where these characters have been living for long, have been working here every day, know the joints and the stations, the works. He wanted to keep the look of the film real, believable and beautiful. He had done the same in Jaane Tu… Ya Jaane Naa as well where Mumbai was seen as never before.
In the film, John too is looking like never before. Seems like quite some effort went into making that possible as well.
It was essential to make John (Abraham) look like Sid, the character that he plays in the film. Right from his walk to the overall body language to the mannerisms and the clothes that he wears had to be designed pretty meticulously. Since neither his nor my character belonged to the elite, we couldn't be shown wearing designer clothes. On the contrary, Sid's girlfriend (played by Mansi Scott) wears fashionable and designer clothes which were really expensive since she belonged to that income zone.
Talking about your pairing with John, right through the making of the film there were these news bytes floating around how he was a little apprehensive working with you since you were director's wife.
Tell me something new (laughs). I keep hearing this week after week and really, I have no clue where did this one came from. It is all the more puzzling since it was John's idea to cast me in the film. Though Abbas was clear about this from the very beginning, that he didn't want to rope me in as an actor. John was convinced, especially so after I was through reading the script to him. Again, Abbas wasn't initially open to the idea (laughs). This is where John managed to talk him into this. He asked Abbas to be fair to his film and the characters rather than bringing his personal equation with me. Thank goodness for that; it was due to John that I am now being seen opposite him in the film.