For someone like you who comes with this ultra glam Western personality, what made you so sure about stepping in for a Delhi Punjabi girl in Besharam?
My parents are from Delhi, my father is a Punjabi and my mother is a very headstrong woman. All these traits allowed me to play a similar character, that of Tara Sharma in the film. I was comfortable since my mother had also grown up in such environment and hence I could gain from her experience. This is the reason why I wasn't completely unexposed to the character I am playing in the film. I knew the kind of environment that Besharam would have due to its Delhi setting.
Meanwhile director Abhinav Kashyap seemed to very sure of casting you in the film despite so many other girls auditioning for it.
He had seen me in Love Breakups Zindagi and liked my work. Still, he wanted me to audition. Even though I am from Australia, I am truly desi in all means. I don't have an accent either (laughs). Guess it was immaterial for Abhinav that I had spent my growing up years in a foreign land. All he wanted was someone to perform really well in the film. He was looking at me to be playing this headstrong woman who is a go-getter. (Smiles) Guess he could see that in my real life as well. Otherwise how would I have come to Mumbai and hung on for so long without any connections whatsoever!
Exactly. For someone like you who started off in Dus Tola and are now working with Ranbir Kapoor in Besharam, this one might well be seeming like a dream journey, right?
(Pauses) Well, I don't think about it too much. I have worked hard over the years and the film is a culmination of that. Other than that I haven't had the time to sit down and reflect on the years gone by. (Laughs) Perhaps after 2nd October I will. Till then every experience has been immense learning. Thankfully people have given me a chance.
If you look at Dabangg, Sonakshi (Sinha) had a substantial role to play; she wasn't sidelined. Abhinav has a strong point of view when it comes to his cast placement and in case of Besharam, it is the heroine's character that drives home a key message. Remember that dialogue of Sonakshi in Dabangg – 'thappad se darr nahi lagta?' Now in Besharam, I tell Ranbir – 'Kisi galat kaam ko karne ke koyi sahi tareeke nahi ho sakte hain'. My character is a big part of the hero's growth in the film. On the other hand, his character too has a lot to teach my character. We have our own stories but they are interlinked.
So did you reach out to Ranbir for any tips and suggestions?
Well, I asked for advice when I wanted. In any case before we went on the sets, we did workshops and also spent some time together. Once we were on the sets, it was a relatively easy part. Now the job was to just do the scenes. Whatever issues that had to be dealt with, they were solved much before in advance. Abhinav was very hands on with all that was happening on the film. He really allowed me to take charge of my character.
Since you are dancing so well in each of the songs, this further add a lot of weight to the film, isn't it?
(Laughs) I don't know about that. See, Ranbir is a fantastic dancer. Both of us picked up our game further. He loves dancing just like me. It was really fun to shake a leg alongside him.
Meanwhile, since you are all by yourself in Mumbai, are there any issues settling down?
Not really, since my mother keeps travelling between India and Australia three to four times a year! I also do try going home as much as possible. I live alone in the city but no regrets.