MUMBAI— Parineeti Chopra is on cloud nine, as always. She has been through a small rough patch, breezily describes it as something that is a part of life and quite educative, and is gung-ho that “Kesari” will correct the deficiency of success in recent times. The film bills her as “Special Thanks Parineeti Chopra” because her role is indeed short, and yet is important to the war story of Ishar Singh, the protagonist played by Akshay Kumar.
Towards the end of our chat, Chopra admits that three new films of her will be announced in the days to come – and one announcement comes the same evening – she has replaced Shraddha Kapoor in Amole Gupte’s Saina Nehwal biopic. Two days later comes her inclusion in a pithy role in the ensemble cast “Bhuj: The Pride Of India.” We are waiting for the third one, girl.
Excerpts from an interview:
Q: Is your role real or added for drama?
A: The whole story is real, and Ishar Singh’s wife was dead when the story begins. I play that role, but the flashback inserts are so natural they will never jar. He remembers me at crucial points. I think it’s a cool love story, interwoven very beautifully. When Karan (Johar) approached me, I had heard a song he had recorded. I told him I am accepting the song first. He asked, “Will you also do the film?” Yes, I replied, I will do it on the side! (Laughs)
Q: In your career, you worked with Ranveer Singh in your first film when he was not even a big star. But your superstar co-stars are, so far, only Ajay Devgn and Akshay.
Q: You did “Golmaal Again” with Ajay and this film with Akshay. And in BOTH, you are dead before the film begins, and still romancing them! How is that?
A (Wide-eyed): Woooowww! I did not realize that, yaar! Why do they kill me, yaar? I will go home and think why this happens!
Q: Of late, you had a rough patch.
A: Yes, like everyone else, I have gone right and wrong in my film selection. Look, you never think that a film is going to flop and still do it. Something goes wrong, and that’s the game, which is what I have realized now. I have the same brain, the same criteria for choosing a film, but the fact is that in the first three years of my career, everything went right.
Then there is the fact that it is you media people’s right to watch us, analyze and see which films worked or not. But, as Akshay-sir pointed out just today morning, there was this time when he had never realized that his last six films had flopped till a journalist asked him how he felt about them. Even my sister (Priyanka Chopra) has had six flops in a row. But we just keep working! Then our fans do not put any pressure on us. They like or reject films as they see them. They want to see us because they love us. And no filmmaker thinks of anything else but the fact that we can bring something into his movie’s collections.
If an actor pays undue attention to the media, it will be very unhealthy for him and his career. I am here because of all my choices. And such lows are educative because I go home and think and try to analyze why a film went wrong.
And do you know that there have been superstars who have only had three – THREE! – superstars in their entire career? And other stars who have consistently got 10 to 15 flops?
Q: How do you look back to your career of almost eight years?
A: Like every creative process, it’s the same. I entered as a clean slate on which directors would come, write and go. I had to find my footing and learn on the way. I was not part of a film family. I watched, tried, failed, succeeded and learned. And if the dips are not there, the rest would not be fun. And people will give their opinions, but I go by what I feel. So many people told me not to take up “Golmaal Again,” but it is my biggest hit to date. In this field, we are not allowed to have self-doubts. We have to have faith in ourselves, choose from what is offered, and accept it as nature’s course that we will get films that work and films that do not. I have enjoyed my career.
Q: What next?
A: “Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar,” which was to release last year, is still not ready. It will come later this year. My next release will be “Jabariya Jodi.” I don’t plan, because when you do, God laughs. The industry also laughs.
Q: Standard question nowadays: would you do a web series?
A: I am planning, but whenever I am considering something, along comes an interesting film! And I think, arey yaar, film hi karte hain (let me do the film only)!