A little more than a year after Chandni Chowk To China, Deepika Padukone is pairing up once again with Akshay Kumar in Housefull. This is a first for her where she would be seen with a lead hero again since she is yet to face the camera with Shahrukh Khan, Ranbir Kapoor, Saif Ali Khan and Farhan Akhtar after Om Shanti Om, Bachna Ae Haseeno, Love Aaj Kal and Karthik Calling Karthik respectively. This correspondent catches up with the young woman, who is all set to have an eventful journey ahead this year starting with Housefull, which is conveniently the most awaited film of the current reason.
Sajid has always maintained that he along with Sajid Nadiadwala, Akshay Kumar and Riteish Deshmukh have been friends for years. How did you end up making a place for yourself in this gang during the shooting of Housefull?
In fact, at no point did I feel left out or disconnected even though I know that Arjun and me were the only new ones in the group. Everyone else had actually worked together in some outing or the other. The bonding happened once we went to London. We all used to hang out, eat together and rehearse scenes with each other.
You must have sense some familiarity with Akshay at least to begin with. After all he is the only actor in your short career so far with whom you are doing a second film (after Chandni Chowk To China).
That's right. I am very fond of him. He is a great professional and a great entertainer. In fact I had signed Housefull when I was working with him in Chandni Chowk To China. I remember that it was during the film's shoot in Bangkok when Sajid Khan and Sajid Nadiadwala came to sign us.
Tell me honestly Deepika, the moment you started work with Akshay in Housefull, did you ever discuss about the under performance of Chandni Chowk To China?
Yes, we had such conversations. However, what was the content of this conversation is something that should remain only between the two of us (smiles).
Another film of yours which underperformed in the recent times was Karthik Calling Karthik. Didn't that overtly disappoint you?
See, I am glad that people appreciated my performance and also happy that critics had kind words to say. Producers too were happy with the overall outcome of the film so no, there are no regrets.
In case of a family entertainer Housefull, you must be having a far better comfort feel about the eventual outcome of the film, right?
I think Sajid (Khan) is good with this genre. I remember watching Heyy Babyy and enjoying it tremendously. What I liked about the film was that despite its comic treatment, there was a lot of emotional depth to the narrative. The film had some meaning after all. The same holds good for Housefull. From an out and out commercial family entertainer like this, you would definitely come out feeling quite good. There is drama, action, romance and above all a beautiful bond of relationships right through the course of the film. It is a film that you would come out loving and enjoying. Even though the film is a comedy, the content has a lot of soul to it.
Talking about the film being a comedy, this is also your first ever actually. A unique experience for you to try out something that you had never done before?
It was a challenging experience for sure since it is a difficult task to be doing a comedy film. You need to concentrate and focus a lot. Comedy is something where sometimes you have to make people laugh without laughing yourself. Sometimes you say the funniest and stupidest dialogues while keeping a straight face. In fact right through the film, there were number of such scenes.
Yes, there was laughter throughout and the best part was that Sajid himself has such a great sense of humour. He creates comedy as per an actor's personality. At the end of the day, comedy is all about timing. A lot of times it happens that something may seem quite funny on paper but when actors perform them, the impact may not be as desired. On the other hand, the situation could also be vice versa when due to an actor's effort, a scene may turn out to be extremely hilarious.
Talking about the commercial aspects of Housefull, rest assured one can say that it is a solid blockbuster in the offering. You too share similar sentiments about the film's acceptance amongst the audience?
Well, I wish that for every film of mine. After all when I sign a film, I do so only because I believe in it. As for Housefull, I know for sure that it is a very good film. What works and doesn't work on a particular Friday is something that no one would ever know. However, given the right kind of ingredients that Sajid has brought together in the film, I don't see any reason why it would not be considered a huge film and take a very good start at the box office.
Now that's some confidence.
(Laughs) No, I'm not confident out of arrogance but due to the very fact that the film has right content. It has a tremendous repeat value. By now everyone knows about the letter that Sajid wrote to all us actors where he stated - 'Welcome to the biggest hit of your career'. I have neatly filed it in my office. I am longing to open it after 30th April.