You are no more being seen as someone who is diplomatic or politically correct. Whatever happened to the adage of an actor being prip, proper and righteous when it comes to her being written about?
(Laughs) It was pretty plain and simple actually. I decided that I had to be with people the way I really am in real life. An individual grows over a period of time and my personality too has changed in the last eight years ever since I made my debut with Maine Dil Tujhko Diya. At the beginning of my career, I was told that during my interviews yeh mat kaho ya phir woh mat kaho. You know, things like 'I don't have a boyfriend' etc. etc. There was this set of rules that was given to me. It started sounding a little silly after a point in time.
So how did the change happen?
You know, for the first couple of years I followed what was told to me. Then I started wondering that why was I doing that. When I am such a 'moonhphat' (outspoken) in real life then why am I trying to be this coy and proper girl who could do no wrong? Also, if I had a personal life that involved a lot of travelling and other skill building then why not talk to people about that? If they want to know more about the other side of me which was different than being just an actress, they ought to get that information. I no more wanted to be scared of what I was and how I had to be with people. It happened just one fine morning when I woke up and decided for myself that I don't have to live as per things that were told to me. Or for that matter do the kind of roles that others wanted me to do.
Talking about roles, in any case it is a known fact world over that actors get mature after being in the business for 5-6 years. In that context, do you also believe that this is exactly the reason why diverse roles across different languages are coming your way?
Well, I would also attribute it to the mindset change that I myself brought in. Seriously, when I entered the film world, I was this starry eyed girl who used to think that all I had to worry about was the banner, hero and my role and things would fall in place. I did Musafir - a movie about which I am very proud of - and thought that yeh mujhe yahan-wahan le jaayegi. I was happy that chalo yahan good kapde hain, styling hai, top co-stars hain; so everything would be quite hunky-dory eventually. But asliyat mein sirf yahi baat nahi hoti hai. You also have to enjoy the experience of making a film, something that I have come to realise in the last few years.