Pakhi has been in the public eye for what seems like forever. For her, the series of soundstages, dressing rooms, and art departments - aka her 'Jhootha' world has been both a place of work, and, in many ways, a second home ever since she got married to director Abbas Tyrewala. She was handpicked for her role not by her husband but by John Abraham and the little naivete she does possess revolves mostly around her own sense of celebrity. Sure, she acknowledges paparazzi outside a restaurant, but she is completely unaware of the forthcoming perks the day she stood next to John.
Well Pakhi, the time has come to prove that you stand tall, that you're here to act, that you're to be taken seriously and to prove that you're here to stay for long in what we call 'the big bad world' of Bollywood. This special correspondent chats to the newest entrant. Call it her re-entry and she shrugs, "Jhootha Hi Sahi isn't my re-launch or a re-entry, it's just another film I'm doing after my two films, which have been forgotten long ago." Welcome back Pakhi!
"Jhootha Hi Sahi isn't my re-launch. It's just another film I'm doing"
John Abraham was the instigating factor who pushed me into the world of Bollywood yet again. I always wanted to become an actor. I came from Delhi to Mumbai and one thing led to another. I became a casting director to Abbas Tyrewala and an assistant director on Jaane Tu and then got married to him. I used to get rejected many times during auditions and ended up being a writer. That's when I wrote a story in which I wanted John Abraham to act. So I dressed up well that day and went to meet him for the narration. Post the narration, John spoke to the producer of our film Madhu Mantena and told him that it would be nice if Pakhi played Nishka. The producer declined the offer of not talking to the director for the recommendation and so John spoke to Abbas. Abbas was reluctant and didn't want to cast me in his own film.
"John wasn't biased about me. He only forced Abbas to make me audition for the role"
In a way, the film could've gone horribly wrong or in the right direction if Abbas agreed to take me in for the film opposite John. So he wanted to keep out of it. But that's when John took a stance and said, 'Just because she is married to you doesn't mean that you should not cast her.' Abbas wanted to take a new actress, a fresh face and that's when John said that it will be unfair not to cast me. John wasn't being biased and told Abbas to give it a try and audition me for the role. I did four auditions and then I was selected for the role.
"I would rehearse my lines only with John and not the ADs"
It's a great feeling to know that your co-actor has chosen you. He was on the same page as I was. John is a fantastic co-actor. He constantly tries to help you to do better. He is always there when I rehearsed my lines. I never had an assistant giving me my lines. It was always John. I acted and rehearsed my lines with him always. That's what made me a better actor. Jhootha Hi Sahi is a sync sound film and there is a moment of silence before the director says, 'action'. The tension was building up and I was getting a bit nervous. John immediately started making faces and I kept laughing. The moment Abbas said 'action', I would straight away slip into the character. Not only me, but the rest of the cast will also say the same thing.
"I saw a different Abbas on the sets this time. More strict and bossy"
I learnt for the first time while shooting for Jhootha Hi Sahi that Abbas Tyrewala is a very strict man. I have never seen this side of him. He is normally a very quiet guy, but on the sets, he is a dynamic and an order giving boss. What's good for the fact that nobody on the sets gave us instructions. It was only Abbas. He has one to one connection with all the actors and that's what gives a personal touch to a film like Jhootha Hi Sahi.
"Both John and Abbas are terrible liars and get caught easily. Bips and I are having an easy time"
I did not discuss anything about Bipasha Basu with John. I got to know him only from the day we started shooting the film. We never spoke about Abbas too. We were only talking about our professional lives on and off the sets and our characters. Both John and Abbas are terrible liars and get caught easily. So Bipasha and I are having a very easy time I guess.
"Even guys will want to marry John Abraham after watching this film. He is too good"
A lot of things rest on John Abraham for this film. He has put it in all for this film. Three minutes into the film you don't realise its John Abraham. The entire fan following John has, well, marriage proposals will soon be doubled up after Jhootha Hi Sahi. Even guys will want to marry John after watching him perform in this film. He is too good.
"Jhootha Hi Sahi is musically yours"
Musically, it's a wonderful album. But what shines through it is the fact about how honest it is to the film. 'Cry Cry' is such a simple song but it's where it comes in the film that matters and pushes the song to another level. It's our first date and they are actually talking to each other. The song is a conversation between two strangers. John's character is falling in love with mine and at the same time he is lying to her too. I can keep on singing 'Cry Cry' all day long.
"I didn't shop in London for the entire schedule. I am a bad shopper"
London has become my favourite city. I know more about London than any other city in the world. It's become my second home. But honestly, I hate shopping. I didn't swipe my credit card anywhere. I am not a shopper and I know that's sad. In Mumbai, I don't get to walk quite regularly but the only thing I did in London was walk, walk, and walk. I just walked. We were put up at the Hilton and I would walk from my hotel for a few kilometres and back. Our production office and the sets were very close to our hotel. So I would sometimes walk to the location. I tried not using the car.
"London is one of the characters in the film"
It's the first time that you'll be seeing a real London on the big screen. It's a group of nine people, some of whom have been brought up in London and a few who've built their life in London. When you see a house in London, there is nothing dramatic about their residence. They stay in simple houses and not the 'made up' ones. John owns a book stall which is in Soho area. So we have kept everything as you see it in London and nothing too extreme. London connects to you this time on celluloid. In fact, London is a character in the film. The Tower Bridge is in the movie and it plays an integral part in the film because it's a part of the film.
"I so want John and Abbas to start tweeting about Jhootha Hi Sahi"
I know that in the world of networking, our film isn't up to the mark. I barely know how to use a computer, Abbas tweets very less and John doesn't believe in it. So we aren't tweeting. I really want Jhootha Hi Sahi to go on twitter, and that's not a lie. Facebook has got Jhootha Hi Sahi, so please 'like' it or comment on it.