An SMS can truly reveal an individual's personality. Well, for most of the times. This is how I felt when I first started interacting with Prachi Desai. I missed it during her initial brush with Bollywood with Rock On and Life Partner but this was not going to be the case with Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. We exchanged a few texts and the content that followed revealed a couple of characteristic traits. Firstly, the language ensured that she would be a sweet and simple person to talk to. Secondly, a free use of words meant that it is also going to be a long and lively conversation.
Never mind the to-and-fro that happened, the wait was truly worth it as Prachi ended up being someone you would love to hang out with and have an engaging conversation over a coffee. Here is excerpts from the interview:-
You played a young, sweet and simple married girl in Rock On and followed it up with Life Partner where you were again a young married girl next door. Now you are a middle class girl next door in Once Upon A Time In Mumbai. Don't you get worried with the thoughts of getting typecast in such roles?
Initially it was more of a problem when it came to getting typecast especially since I was just getting out of television medium. In fact I consciously took on roles which were not very mature. I am 21 right now and was just 19 when I did Rock On. I didn't want to do any mature roles at this age. If I do that now, I would have done that; there wouldn't have been anything left to do tomorrow when I grow up.
But don't you want to experiment?
Of course all actors want to experiment so that audience do not get bored. However, each and every actor has to look at a specific genre, especially in the early years. This is what I did for my first couple of films but yes, now is the time to bring about that change. Through OUATIM, I can hopefully see a change in image because audience will get to know that I can be a lot different.
The obvious response that I am expecting from you is that the film turned out to be a fulfilling experience. So should I ask - 'How was the experience of working in OUATIM?'
(Laughs) Well, how much fulfilling it actually was is something that would be known once the film releases. Let these next few days pass and we will know what the film and my role is all about. However, personally as an actor, this film has been extremely satisfying. Still, one can't be sure of audience reception because in Bollywood, due to the kind of career and job option that you have, the journey ahead is always so much uncertain. It is something today and altogether different tomorrow. You may have your own reasoning and still changes could be so drastic. You can just plan but it could all be of no use. Aaj kuch hai aur kal kuch aur.
Even with so much all around uncertainty, you must have been sure about one thing at the least and i.e. a passionate sequence with Serial Kisser Emraan Hashmi, isn't it? Since you are known to be averse to display of skin and moments of lip lock, did you actually get it written in your contract that there won't be any kissing scenes involved?
You are trying to make it out as a big scandal where there wasn't any actually (smiles). In fact I always laughed this out because right from the very beginning, Milan (Luthria) was very clear about my role and the film. He knew that with this film, he would be changing the typical way of making gangster films. I too was extremely sure of what I had to do in the film and carried no doubts about it. So yes, to answer your question, I didn't have to explicitly ask him or put down that whether I had to do any kissing scenes or not. I wasn't worried because I knew that wouldn't be the case.
While Milan may have been flexible enough to allow you to do things your own way or don the kind of outfit where you felt comfortable, not all filmmakers can be expected to be accommodating in a similar manner. In fact some may even term this as interference.
See, I am a director's actor and would never want to interfere with his vision. This is why I have never requested anything to be changed in the script of any of my films. However, there are some matters where you have be yourself because they deal with the way you are presented on screen. Some actors don't mind that because they are new and feel that that it's okay to consent to everything. But sorry, I am not that kind of a person. Milan understands this fact and due to his truthful nature, he was extremely clear about what he wanted. In fact for the Bobby sequence, he gave us a month to prepare so that Emraan could get his six abs and I could be leaner.
Did you know about the Bobby sequence though where you had to get into Dimple Kapadia's outfit?
I knew about the Bobby sequence but I didn't have to ask anyone about the explicit details. I didn't have to worry about the length of the dress or how I would look on screen because I knew that Milan would bring the best out of me. I knew that he won't misuse the sequence for the sake of it. Otherwise I would have been caught in an earlier situation that I had faced for one of my films where all of a sudden, I was told right on the sets that the next day I had to wear a particular outfit.