Eesha Koppikar has been doing interviews all day in Whistling Woods and promoting Hello Darling all around Mumbai with her fellow darling Gul Panag with Celina not in the country. But she's still full of energy when we meet at the Narang House, and is as witty and self-mocking as a fan might expect from her film roles. Oddly, perhaps, she's rather more slender and pretty in flesh than on screen. At 30 plus, Eesha is still a star, if not a mega star but despite all the hit films she has been a part of, she has never seemed at ease with the rigmarole that goes with being a celebrity. Then again, Eesha is still the same the last time I bumped into her. She hasn't changed. She hasn't let her marriage change her too. Though she is a lady of the first order. She is humble, respectful and an utter professional who handles her work and personal life with ease. On meeting her personally, you notice that she is an actress who only wants to tell beautiful stories. And in between our interview, her mother in law would come in with an invite which she courteously accepts, her maid comes in to give her a bit of info on the guests who'll soon be arriving and then the actress offers me a drink I can't refuse. Then you question: Why aren't actresses like Koppikar not tapped into Indian cinema? And tomorrow if she gives a performance of a lifetime, all the production houses and directors will be running after her. Such is life in films. But that's not how Eesha is. She doesn't run behind success because she believes that one day success will follow her. This special correspondent met the elegant Eesha at her Bandra residence to chat more on life, films and her co-stars of Hello Darling. By the way, she is a darling in real life too. But you only come to know of it if you're lucky enough to enter the Narang House. Lucky me!
"Hello Darling isn't a chic flick"
Hello Darling isn't a chic flick. Normally when people think of a chic flick, they think of Charlie's Angels. But this isn't a Charlie's Angel. To show this film to the perpetrators is very necessary, the bosses of all the corporate companies (laughs).
"Urmila Martodkar was my most liked performance"
When I signed a Kya Kool Hai Hum, I didn't know it would be a super duper hit. It was just another film for me. For a long time to come, people had not seen that kind of a role. There were a lot of actresses who came up to me and said that none of them would've been able to carry off a performance like that. 'Urmila Martodkar' was my most liked performance. I hope my performance in Hello Darling is as appreciated as my previous one.
"I love comedy"
I love comedy. I don't want to say that I am the replacement but after Sridevi, I've not seen anyone who does comedy like her. Mr. India's Charlie Chaplin, Chaalbaaz, etc. People try, or they over do it or underplay, they ham. Sometimes comedy becomes jarring and it becomes difficult to maintain that line and make people laugh. It's easy to make people cry but to make them laugh isn't a laughing matter.
"I love the Haryanvi dialect"
I've not gone overboard with the Haryanvi language in Hello Darling. For two and a half hours, I don't want my audiences to think that Eesha is trying too hard to make us laugh. Oh no! I've layered my performance.
"I've got friends who've made compromises in the corporate world"
Yes, I have friends who've reached the top by making some weird compromises with their seniors. All this happens in corporate sectors. Hello Darling gives out a very serious message. Men are very smart. They exactly know whom to approach and whom not to depending on how a woman conducts herself. There is this one breed of shameless class who, no matter what, pass on a sensual innuendo or they'll say something and try and flirt where you have to put your foot down.
"Chunky and Jaaved are the best"
Chunky Pandey has proved himself as the hero with a funny bone since Tezaab days. His sense of comedy is different. Very unexpected. Jaaved Jafferi sits in front of you with a straight face and starts imitating and miming you. He is multi-talented and sometimes he forgets what he is. He is a very good dancer too. He has sung a song in Hello Darling and has performed on that number. He is jack of all.
"Gul is too funny in real life and Celina is a bit moody"
Gul Panag is too funny in real life. She has got that dark humour. You're right when you said that she is serious and that's what makes her funny sometimes. I did have some preconceived notions about Celina from what I heard and what I saw. But we all do, don't we? We are all idiots (laughs). We get judgemental. Celina broke all notions. She is very intelligent. Celina does a lot that I didn't know. She too comes from an army background like Gul and commands a lot of respect for good. She can talk about anything under the sun. But Celina is a bit moody and temperamental.
"There was no competition amongst us three"
Every film wants to outdo the other. The biggest of actors, if they have to pose today with another actor in the same frame for the same film want to outdo the other. We three actresses didn't fight for our good looks. We fight for our individual acting prowess which will always be there, whether it is Gul or Celina.
"To sign a film is very risky now-a-days"
I am telling you, every day I am in a narration. But I will not sign the film till it is signed officially, till I know which the production house it is, till I know it's all legal. I am not making a film for my home library. It has to go to the theatres. I have become very insecure about any film I do now in our unpredictable film releases since my Shabri days.