ĎItís okay if you donít fit in a box; Make your own box and own ití


What was it about Sujoy that you took a risk with him, specially since his past films óHome Delivery and Aladin ó were disastrous?

You can't judge someone by two bad films. Balki signed me for Paa when I was being thrashed left, right and centre. I've always found Sujoy to be extremely sharp, observant, well-read and intelligent. I remember telling him that somehow I don't see all these things come together into his scripts. When he came up with Kahaani, I felt that he had got it. Sujoy and I fought like cats and dogs during the shooting but our common passion for Kahaani kept us together.

You've made some brave choices in your career, be it Ishqiya, Paa, No One Killed Jessica, The Dirty Picture or Kahaani. How have you honed your instinct for selecting roles that matter?

I'd credit my family for giving me the confidence to make these choices. I've always known that whatever I do, my family will always love me unconditionally. This has given me the freedom to make brave decisions.

Things were really bad for you at one point, especially during your Kismat Konnection and Heyy Babyy days. How did you bring about the metamorphosis?

I'm a firm believer of Malcolm Gladwell's Blink theory. I've always believed in doing what I feel is right but during my initial days, I ended up signing films which seemed right to me, but didn't necessarily feel right. I did those films but my heart wasn't in them and it showed. The most important lesson that I've learnt is that conviction ke bina acting nahin hoti (Without conviction, you can't act). Look at the way Amitabh Bachchan, Sridevi and Anil Kapoor make it work. They have been in the most bizarre of situations in films, but they make it work because of their conviction. I marvel at Sridevi. She comes back after 15 years in English Vinglish and her conviction is intact. But in hindsight, I credit those films because ultimately they led me to listen to my inner voice. I was panned so much that there came a time when I said that I'd only act if my heart tells me to, otherwise I'll sit at home.

... contd.

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