"Rocket Singh will make a huge difference to my ongoing career. It's a huge step for me and I'll only be doing films now. Films are what I'm concentrating on. This Friday will tell the story", says the confident Shazahn Padamsee. The road is just laid for the newbie to walk in the Bollywood domain. Here's another good-looking bit of fluff stealing another prime role but more importantly, through a combination of the usual luck and, above all, hard work and persistence, she's carved herself into a fine actress. For some, she came out of nowhere, for some she was a sudden revelation and off into the hands of Yash Raj Films. Now that's discovery.
Two years of auditions
"I've been auditioning for almost two to two and a half years now. So everybody thinks that Bollywood was going to be very easy for me. Also the fact that I'm Alyque Padamsee's daughter and Sharon Prabhakar's daughter, and hence I'll get in, were some of the insights thrown in. But you know what, no matter who your father or mother is, it all boils down to how you prepare and perform in your auditions. How you look and how close you are to the character that the director is looking for matters. If these three things fall in place, you are bound to get your dream role."
Casting for Rocket Singh
"Shimit Amin was very clear in what type of character he wanted and I'd describe him as a very realistic filmmaker. He wanted a very natural audition and I tried to give him what he wanted, thus getting the role. But it took a while for Shimit to decide that I'll be cast in Rocket Singh. That time really kills you. It was the toughest time of my life. It's like standing on the edge of the cliff. Either you're there or you'll fall off. But not only for Rocket Singh, for all the films I've auditioned for, its been a tough journey. Sometimes you are confirmed ninety nine percent for a certain project and the night after you're just dropped for some strange reason."
"Adi Chopra is a lovely person and I respect him too much because it's a big thing for me to be working with a production house like Yash Raj Films. Everyone in my family is so proud of me. It's a big thing for us, especially from my father's side of the family. For them, I've dived straight into the pool of Bollywood. Everyone is really happy for me."
"In the world of competition, there is room for everyone and I'm coming in as a young actress. In Bollywood, the youngsters' bracket is still open. Unlike in Hollywood, where there are more than thirty five young actors. I just hope people appreciate us lot. From today's lot, the ones who are really promising are Imran Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Sonam Kapoor, Deepika Padukone. I really like the way Deepika has gone about her career. She has also done a lot of adverts, commercials, fashion, etc. I hope to be a part of this bandwagon."
Not to be seen on the posters
"Adi Chopra and Shimit Amin are the ones who decide how the film is going to be promoted. I am very happy with what we've made. I am a part of the film; I have done my job and am very confident. I have just left myself in their hands. They are the ones who know what kind of a film it is and what kind of target audience it has. Why should I be concerned whether I am on the posters or not. It's their look out. Yash Raj Films have been the oldest production house in Bollywood and they know what they're doing."
"As a person, I have a lot of respect for Ranbir. He has just turned twenty seven and it's so good to see someone so young coming up so fast. He is becoming tomorrow's superstar. When you meet him, he is so down to earth and it's so nice for me because I come from a theatre background and suddenly getting thrown in films is a different game. Ranbir was there always. He has no ego issues at all. He will be seen chatting with the spot boys, hugging people, giving hi-five's, etc. I met him for the first time just a couple of days before the film shoot started."
"I cannot reveal too much about Rocket Singh but all I can say is that it's a great film. Shimit has put his heart and soul into this film and so has Adi Chopra. Rocket Singh is going to be a great film because it is very very different. The advantage is that this film hasn't got any genre. That's the reason it'll work."
Favourite Yash Raj Film
"My favourite Yash Raj film is Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jaayenge. I've seen it too many times. I think the Indian Government should come out with a stamp of the film. It's still running and it's crazy."
"My father is very very protective about me. But at the same time he is someone who is extremely open minded too. So I've got a very nicely balanced father. I can do what I want and not be scared about him. I can talk to him about anything like two friends who are talking. I never hide anything from my parents. He has my best interest at heart. He will always call me up to find out what's happening. He helps me out in rehearsing scenes. He will call me up and come over from the town to the suburbs only to rehearse the scene with me. Not to forget, his Hindi is atrocious. He will always make me understand what the emotion is rather than understand the language."
"I call my mother my 'momager'. She is my mom and manager combined. I love her to bits because she has literally given up everything to make sure that I come on the top. She will not rest till she sees me climb the ladder of success and I guess the time has come. Of course, she does keep herself busy by doing plays. But she is a super mom and she is just a darling."