On the eve of the release of her latest film Chase, Udita Goswami tells this correspondent that her minus point as an actress is that she is not offered a lot of typical roles which only a Vidya Balan or a Rani Mukherjee can do, because she does not look like the coy girl next door.
Why did you agree to do Chase though Tarina Patel is playing the romantic lead opposite Anuuj Saxena and not you?
Honestly, the main reason why I grabbed the offer to play the leading lady in Jagmohan Mundhra"s film Chase is that I wanted to be a part of a project of his. I was bowled over when I saw his film Bawander, but honestly at that point of time when I watched it, I did not know that he was the director of the film.
What is your role in Chase?
I play the role of an under cover cop under the guise of a nurse called Nupur Chauhan, who has the specific job of looking after Suhail Ansari, played by Anuuj Saxena, who is in comma in Chase. Since Suhail is a suspect in the eyes of the cops, we feel that he is acting as if he is in comma just to evade the cops who are after him.
How was the experience of working with Jagmohan Mundhra?
Jagmohan Mundhra is very calm as a director, though I am very hyper, with a lot of energy when I am on the sets. Jag used to make me calm. What I liked about Jag as a director is that he has an absolutely different way of explaining the scene to his artistes. Though I have had directors who used to act out the scenes for me earlier, it was not the case at all when I worked with Jag because he is used to working with experienced actors. It was while being directed by Jag on the sets of Chase that I learnt that as an actress it is better to do your role with a brief beforehand, which will stand you in good stead.
What is your approach to acting?
I do not work to please people. I work to please myself as an actress and do films which I want to do, though I find that there are people who are worried more about my career than theirs. It is because my life is beyond films, though I see to it that I give my 100% honestly to my work. I should confess that when Pooja Bhatt cast me opposite John Abraham in my first film Paap, I knew nothing about the ABC of acting. I was like a child who was playing with a toy for the first time. I did not know how a film, and the way I acted in it, could even break or make my career in a big way. I think it is only after I started working in films which came after Paap that I really started knowing what acting is.
Where do you think you went wrong careerwise?
Though acting was not forced on me, I guess I should have been more aware. Nobody told me what I was supposed to do at that point of time. Now, though I am aware of what acting is, a lot of people think that I cannot act for nuts because I am good-looking. I think my turning point came with Aggar where my performance was appreciated even by the hardcore critics who often tear actors" performances. It was then that I realized that I actually understood what acting is.
What kind of an actress do you think you are?
The kind of an actress that I am, I need a strong briefing from my directors, even if in the process I have to be shouted at. How I put in a performance depends a lot on the directors with whom I work. I think I need to tune myself more as an actress. As an actress, you may find it difficult to believe this, but I want my director to pat my back and tell me what a good shot I have given to make me feel like a super star on the sets.
Would you agree that you lack PR skills in the media savvy industry?
Though I know that with the kind of dedication I have, I am good, I guess my PR skill is bad. I just cannot be a hypocrite and tell a director whose last film was bad, how good his film was. Honestly, till date no role that has been offered to me has been challenging and difficult as an actress for me to prepare. In fact, I think 90% of the actors do not even prepare for their parts unless and until it is a Hrithik Roshan or a Rani Mukherjee, who need to understand what he or she is doing. You would believe when Aamir says that you need to have a body language of a college student in 3 Idiots, but not when an actress sets out to play the role of a call centre girl in a film.
To what extent have you evolved as an actress over the years?
Though I have grown as an actress over the years, I get butterflies in my stomach even now and find it very difficult when I get my lines, because of pressure on the sets. I would love to do a period film like Umrao Jaan but then even the remake of Umrao Jaan with Ash had tanked.
Do you feel that your good looks serve as a handicap since people refuse to believe you can act?
It is a disadvantage if you happen to be good looking, because here in this industry, if you are not good looking, you are accepted as a good actor, not otherwise. Take for example the example of Angelina Jolie. She was outstanding but because she is good looking, she was not accepted as an actress.
Which are your forthcoming films?
I have two films on the floors. One of them is Shabnam Kapoor"s Hello India with Akshay Kumar and Preity Zinta in which I play a London based journalist, and the other one is The Man with Sunny Deol in which I play the role of a spy. It is a kick-ass role, style wise. It is ironical that the bigger an actor is, he is more grounded, whereas he has more nakhras if he is not big. Akshay used to report on the sets of Hello India five minutes before I used to report.
You do not seem to have planned your career!
I have never planned anything career wise because I have always gone with the flow. I have had no inhibitions as an actress. I have played a negative role too in Zeher. Though I have been given the tag of the sexy and hot girl in reel life, I am not at all a glamorous babe in real life. It was only in one film that I have done a smooching scene. I was not like Mallika Sherawat who goes ahead and kisses every one in a film. I have said no to several offers to cast me in multi star films because I did not want to be part of the jing bang in films where the girls have absolutely no role at all.
You are one girl who has not been linked to one and all in the film industry!
I make it a point to see to it that no one is able to even touch my finger. Mohit Suri was the only guy with whom I was involved.
Is it true that you have written a script?
I have written a script. It is slightly autobiographical and is a beautiful love story. Though I enjoyed writing it, I have been unable to complete it, because I need a screenplay writer. The problem is that everything is from the point of view of a girl.
What is your plus point and minus point as an actress?
My face is my plus as well as minus point. My plus point is that the way I look, not many look. The minus point is that a lot of typical roles which only a Vidya Balan or a Rani Mukherjee can do, I can't because I do not look like the coy girl next door.
How do you react to success and failure as an actress?
There was a time when I used to get deliriously happy when I faced success, and depressed a lot when I had to face failure, but now I have learnt to be neutral as far as success and failure is concerned.