Tell us how were you selected for a role of 14-year-old girl in JAGGA JASOOS?
I didn’t audition I actually met Anurag Basu when he was making a series on Tagore’s short stories. A friend of mine asked me to meet Anurag. So when I met him, he told me that he is working on his next JAGGA JASOOS and asked ‘will you work in that?’ I said why not? In the next meeting, I actually cut my hair to look like a teenager girl from North East. I chopped off my fringes and gave auditions. And Basu’s auditions are very different from anything I have auditioned so far. There are no briefs or scripts but he just keeps giving you the direction and you improvise and he is behind the camera. Everything is very naïve as there is just one person and just a camera so it’s a different thing that you have to explore and it’s very interesting actually.
After that I forgot about the film for next two months and was obviously sure that I didn’t get the part like many other things that you audition for but sometimes don’t get. Then, after two months I was in Kolkata. One afternoon when I was fast asleep I got like 18 missed calls from Anurag Basu. When I called him back, he asked me to join his team the very next day for shooting. I was so happy that I am gonna work with Ranbir so it was really fun. After reaching the sets I got to know that they had actually cast a 14-year-old someone else before but that didn’t work and thankfully I actually fit into her clothes (laughs). The clothes were amazing like sweaters and school uniforms.
How was your look finalized for this role of a 14-year-old girl’s role?
In order to look like a 14-year-old we needed to do something with the hair. And hair is a huge part of everyone’s look I mean your whole personality changes with your hair-cut so then I started telling Basu we have to go for a haircut but he said there’s no need of that. But I said no and literally took one hour to convince him. I had a specific look in my head so I only came up with the look and I was pretty sure about it. But thankfully Ranbir took my side and then Basu finally got convinced. Ranbir’s hairstylist Ajay understood what I wanted so we thought thoroughly about it because once we had got the haircut and then if that didn’t work then we would have been in trouble. Thankfully we got the hair cut done with two pig-tails and fringes. After watching the look Basu was very happy and that’s how I got the look of a 14-year-old in the film.
And about your character in the film?
When I had started shooting for this film I was told something else, like there was a different love angle and I was supposed to be the narrator but none of that is there now. The length of my role in the film has become less but I am just happy to be associated with a film like this. Also Basu doesn’t work with scripts we keep shooting and then later work on that.
"To me Ranbir is like Sean Penn or Johnny Depp"
So there was never a bound script?
No no there still isn’t.
Govinda was miffed with makers of JAGGA JASOOS as his part was chopped off. Comment
Well when I joined the team of JAGGA in 2014 even then he wasn’t there as he was already out. Basu’s way of working is different and I really believe that he is a mad genius. He really understands cinema and I think he is very rare talent and he has his own quirk. And also he is so sweet and lovely. I love him like he could cut my entire part out of the film and I would still love him. I just want to hug him and kiss him. He is such a cutie and I would love to have a grandfather like him.
Musical is a genre that Bollywood has not explored much so do you think that may or may not work in the film’s favor?
I believe that the film is really very entertaining and fun and in our country there is a drought of films that children can go and watch. This film is for any age group. It’s one of those feel-good and magical films. Also we never make films in the format of actual musical but with this film I think that will change.
How was your experience working with Ranbir and Katrina in this film?
I was amazing. Ranbir is my favourite actor in the country. He is too fantastic and I think they don’t make a film that deserves him. I really feel that somewhere in the international film like he actually can be like a Sean Penn or Johnny Depp. He is so fantastic as an actor and I am not just saying this just like I truly feel that he is. And I am very critical when it comes to performance as I have studied it. So I know what a terrific performer he is. He is very genuine and no hang ups kind of co-star he is really lovely. I MET Katrina on the sets of this film but later we went on to work together in BAAR BAAR DEKHO. She is very fun and what I like about her is her straight face humour which is very British I love that as you don’t know if she is joking or pulling your leg. I really enjoyed working on this film and I am not happy that the film got over as I would love to go back to its set as Basu would always be like up to some mischief or the other. I really miss all of them.