You have established yourself as a star in two years. How have things changed for you? Courtesy: Mid-Day
I came in as an underdog. I was rejected during the promotions of 'Band Baaja Baraat'. Adi Sir (Aditya Chopra) explained to me that people have to watch the film to love me. I am aware of so-called stardom but I don’t take it seriously. In fact, fame seems to have caught up with me overnight; I didn’t know what to do when I didn’t have a character to hide behind. Recently I got critical acclaim for 'Lootera' followed by the success of 'Gunday' and 'Ram Leela'. This validation helped build my self-confidence and I realised I just need to be myself.
There was a lot of buzz around the contract you signed with Excel Productions. Tell us more about it.
One day I got a call from the makers, who told me they wanted to come and hear this script. I was the first member of the cast to say yes to the project. I did that because I believe in this film. “I told Zoya that I believe in her, that we’re going to create magic together. This film has to be made.” The film is about a dysfunctional family that I am a part of. So I have to be there throughout. Thanks to this film, titled 'Dil Dhadakne Do', I get to work with my screen idol, Anil Kapoor, and Anushka Sharma whom I share wonderful chemistry with. PC and I have already worked together, and it’s great to work with someone like Farhan Akhtar.
Do you look upto any of the stars from the industry?
I don’t want to be like any one. Every individual is unique and you need to preserve your uniqueness. What is original about me is that I am a bhelpuri of everyone. I don’t want to follow any trajectory. It’s too taxing to put up pretence.
Is there a fear of success ever going to your head?
It’s a constant battle, coping with success. I am very patient with the media and my fans, but sometimes they get too aggressive. My capacity is higher than that of my peers. But if somebody crosses the line with me, I am not going to take it.
A lot is being said about the on-screen and off-screen chemistry you share with Deepika Padukone.
She’s somebody I am really close to. She’s a professional. I have tremendous amount of respect and admiration for her. Her graph has evolved by such leaps and bounds. It is a free country; I can’t stop people from jumping to conclusions. We grew close on a personal level during the filming of 'Ram Leela' and I look forward to working with her in 'Bajirao Mastani'.
So you’re single right now?
I am very much single. God has been kind to me; I am able to do what I love for a living, so the only way I can show my gratefulness is by devoting myself completely. Romancing an individual is not as exciting as romancing my work right now.
Tell us about your equation with Arjun Kapoor.
He is like a brother to me. I am in touch with him on a daily basis. 'Gunday' wasn’t an easy film to shoot and when you go through something like that, you are bound to get close. I am thrilled about his latest film’s success.
What about the other Kapoor? Are you on good terms with Ranbir?
We meet at parties we are both invited to. Once in a while we’ll make a plan to hang out. I am very fond of him. I respect and admire him for what he’s achieved in a short span of time. I loved his performance in 'Rockstar' and 'Barfi!' He has set a benchmark for young male actors.
Your recent statement that you always carry a condom in your wallet was met with mixed reactions. How do you react to such things?
I don’t react to it. What is the point of reacting to something so stupid? It’ll make you stupid.
After the success of the 'Do The Rex' video, do you see yourself coming up with a rap album anytime soon?
Never. The director of the ad, Karan Kapadia, is also my best friend. He insisted I rap because he thinks I am a good rapper. My lyrics and rapping skills are below average. I am a wannabe rapper. I wish I was a good but I am not.
Your quirky dressing style has always been talked about.
Recently, somebody told me I dress up like a joker and wear obnoxious suits. Honestly, I dress up because it makes me feel good. There is no right and wrong. I get bored so when my stylist brings me ten plain suits and a floral one, I am instantly attracted to the floral one.
You have established yourself as a star in two years. How have things changed for you?