Ram Leela received good response. Are you happy now?

I am not elated or happy, but just relieved. The stakes of this movie were very high, because of the stature of the director and also as I was working with one of the top actresses. It’s a very crucial stage of my career and I wondered how people would react to the movie, its emotions, chemistry and my acting... but after the theatrical had released I understood that there is anticipation about the movie. I was nervous, so once the film released and did well, it was a big sigh of relief for me.

We notice that you have changed the way you behave recently. You are much mellower...

I think there is a difference of 10-15 per cent. I am still honest and open but am learning to be a little tactful. It’s not about ruffling feathers or being calculative, but I don’t want to deal with the nuisance anymore. I don’t want that nuisance taking my mental bandwidth. It upsets me a lot that someone is hurt because of me. So I am still the person I am, but I am careful about not overdoing things.

Are you satisfied with the pace at which your career is moving?

Being complacent is dangerous. Ram-Leela is certainly a giant leap in my career, but we have only one life and I want to do as many movies as I can in my career. I want to spend every day of my life on a film set. It’s nice that my releases are one after another, as opposed to the gap I had in my earlier movies. So I am happy.

Are you off your strict diet that you were put on during Ram Leela?

Oh yes, I am eating whatever I want, like today I think I have had a lot of cheese and corn tartlets which is a staple in my house and yes cupcakes… I am just binging on everything. Shaad (Ali) wants me to look like a lean boy nextdoor in his movie so I don’t have to necessarily be in the gym all the time.

Now that the moustache is off, are you missing it?

Oh I am feeling ‘nanga’ (naked) without them but I think I will get used to it. I got so emotionally attached to the moustache...I had gotten used to fidgeting with it.

Your personal life was talked about more than your work. Did that upset you?

Yes, it did and at times people do misjudge me. They jump over the gun and fabricate stuff, which has absolutely no basis to it. I cannot go in a shell or change the person I am but am learning to draw a line for sure.

You have always been in awe of Govinda. Are you nervous about working with him in your upcoming movie?

Are you kidding?I  am so nervous and I am so much in awe of him that first I need to get over it. I think I will be tongue-tied in front of him. I have danced to his songs during my school days. Once at this serious Teacher’s Day function, I danced on ‘Meri Pant Bhi Sexy Aur Shirt Bhi Sexy’ and everyone was scandalised. I used to dress like him in yellow shirts and orange pants and people would make fun of me. I am his fan and he is like my guru. I idolise him.

Courtesy: Mid-day

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