You have been an established supermodel. Who/What prompted you to make your foray into Bollywood?
Like any other kid, I was a confused mind! During childhood, I wanted to be an ice-cream seller. Then I thought of following professions like being a teacher, singer, painter, astronomer, etc., etc. I was a science student and ended up being an economics graduate! I started modelling from my school days. Somewhere inside me, there was a hidden desire to be an actor and I became one. I think, after one point of time just modelling becomes boring. It's a gradual progression. It's not a smooth voyage. It took almost 5-6 years to get a break. Well, modelling also taught me many things that an actor should know, like how to look good, to carry herself with confidence.
How was your experience working with two other newcomers Sharad Malhotra and Evelyn Sharma in From Sydney with Love (FSWL)?
All are not new-comers in this film. I share my screen space most with Sabyasachi Chakrabarty, Sharad Malhotra and Prateek Chakravorty. Sabyasachi sir is a senior actor and I have shared my screen space with him before also. Everytime I learn something new from him. Sharad has three years of TV experience. He has rehearsed scenes, dance sequences for hours with me. I salute his patience, he was very cooperative. Prateek is all-ROUNDER, human panda. He has written, directed, produced and acted in the film. He has played fat obnoxious boy in the film. He gives freedom to actor and brings best out of the actor. He has got a very good sense of humour and entertained us all day. Evelyn is very sweet girl who introduces me to Sydney. We used to chat for hours.
From Sydney with Love is your first Bollywood film. How was your overall experience? Did you find acting a tough job?
FSWL is my first commercial Bollywood release. Bengali films helped me to learn acting. Initially, acting was very tough but now, I am confident about my acting. In FSWL, the character which I portray (Megha) is just like me. We both hail from interior West Bengal, studied Economics and are from a conservative background. I had to retain all the nuances a girl from that region will have and speak Hindi in strong Bengali accent. I just played myself. I am bubbly and chirpy too. It was my first visit to Sydney as well.
You have been compared with Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut. How does it feel?
I am not anybody's replacement. I am a completely different individual who wants to do good films. I really don't understand what people mean when they say, "You will fit in 'Kangana type of roles'." When first look of "As the river flows" was out, people said I am trying to copy Deepika in Khelenge Hum Je Jaan Se (KHJJS). But why should I copy them? I was just playing an Assamese girl in saree who rides bicycle and my film was made 1.5 year prior to KHJJS. I like both Kangana and Deepika, but I don't like people who try to put a new actor down by saying he/her is just a look alike of a reputed actor.
Kangana Ranaut is a superb actress. Do you think you have the calibre to replace her in films, since you are compared with her?
Critics and public both liked my acting. My acting skill is getting recognised. I also like Kangana and I don't have any intention to replace her. We both can work together in the same industry. Initially, people compared me but now they know I can add "my touch" to the role I play.
Few days back, you had said, "What can Sunny show in the film that she hasn't already shown to the world? On the contrary, I have a lot to show, that too with my jism covered. Subtle sensuality is far more explosive than raw sexuality." What prompted you to say so against Leone?
I made comments about Sunny Leone because people were comparing my film with Jism. Our film is a Family-comedy. It has mass appeal.
Are you open to work in the South film industry?
Well, I select films on the basis of screenplay. If the story is good, I am open to work in any WOOD. Yes, also love to work in South film industry. Every year they make so many films. They are more organised, creative, larger than life and technologically sound!
You had earlier done a few Bengali movies. Are you open to do Bengali movies in future?
I started my career with Bengali films. Bengali films give you more freedom to explore with new characters. Many commercial and experimental films are being made with extra-ordinary concepts. I will do as many Bengali films I can.
What are your upcoming Bollywood projects?
My another Hindi film As the river flows is travelling in different film festivals. My five Bengali films are ready. I play Muslim village girl, supermodel, a house-wife, an NRI, a TV journalist, etc., etc. Huh! I don't repeat myself. I have been lucky so far that each and every time I played different roles. Right now, I'm going through many scripts but haven't signed any other Hindi film yet. Let's see, what future has in store for me.
What is your take on exposing on screen? Will you do smooching and intimate scenes in your films? If yes, can you avoid being typecast (like Emraan Hashmi still hasn't been able to come out of his 'serial kisser' tag)?
I don't mind exposing onscreen. I will do only when I feel director could film it properly. Most Indian directors really lacks skill when it comes to genre "erotica". I did smooching scene in my very first Bengali movie four years back. After that, I have got many screenplays where there was smooching scenes for no reason. I have turned down all those film offers. Emraan Hashmi started the trend of kissing, so he will be a serial kisser for ever, but now he is known only for his acting capability. Kissing is not a big deal, now almost every Bollywood film has a kissing scene!
What is your take on actresses/models who expose to be noticed?
That's their own career strategy to get famous. I really don't want to comment on that. They are doing whatever they think is the best for them. Few succeeded and most of them failed... I don't want to be a moral police. All the best to them.