For many, being vivacious could be an effort but not for Jacqueline Fernandez. She is a livewire and it doesn’t matter even if she’s under the weather. Sipping on a concocted kaadha-like beverage, the chirpy actress talks about her upcoming movie ‘Dishoom’, her first encounter with co-star John Abraham and why she is averse to getting close to people professionally.You’re flanked by two heroes in most of your movies – be it ‘Roy’, ‘Bangistan’ and now ‘Dishoom’. Is it flattering?
It’s fun to work with men. They don’t bully you. On the contrary, they guide you and become one of your buddies. When I heard that I’m going to be cast alongside John and Varun (Dhawan), I was really excited as they’re not only good actors but also have a great physique. I thought it would be a great combination.
As ‘Dishoom’ is a buddy-cop film, it’s obvious that John and Varun will take centre stage. Do you think male actors often walk away with meatier roles?
Actresses are usually either the love interest or the glam quotient in a movie, but I play a strong character in Dishoom who is at par with the guys, thanks to director Rohit Dhawan and his out-of-the-box thinking.
How crucial is your role in the film? Are you the interruption in their bromance?
I don’t think anything can come between those two boys. I play an integral part in the movie, who helps them in finding what they are looking for. They’re on an intense chase trying to find a missing person in a span of 36 hours, and that’s where my character steps in. I play a girl who knows her way around so they can’t do without her. It was exciting for me as I got to be one of the guys in ‘Dishoom’.
Have you ever had a physical fight with someone?
I’ve never raised my hand on anyone in my whole life. I feel it’s barbaric. Many people argue that there are certain times where it might be a necessity, say for self-defence. However, I’m lucky that I’ve never encountered any such situation.
After ‘Housefull 2’ and ‘Race 2’, how was it working with John again?
John and I were paired opposite each other for the first time in ‘Housefull 2’. Interestingly, he was one of the first people I met when I came to Mumbai. My mom and I had gone for a manicure at a nail spa, when I first saw him. I don’t remember why he was there, maybe he was getting his nails done or something (laughs). Post that, we kept bumping into each other at the gym and he would say, “You know we should definitely work together. One day, they’ll cast us opposite each other.” When we worked on two movies together, I was convinced that people like to see us as an onscreen couple. He’s like this gentle giant.
You are mostly seen in commercial films in glam roles. Would you also like to do off-beat cinema?
It would be interesting to do that kind of cinema. If given a chance, I would love to take it up as I feel I’m ready for it. At this point in my career, I would love to challenge myself into doing something that is off the beaten path. I hope that a director who can probably see it in me casts me for such a film.
You’ve been in the industry for almost seven years now. What are the biggest lessons that you have learnt?
I like maintaining a certain distance from those who I work with because it’s important to maintain a professional relationship, else it could end up being unhealthy. I don’t like being over-friendly as people could take me for granted. Being professional makes it easier for me to say no, be honest and not feel bad about it. However, that doesn’t mean that you stay aloof.I can’t stand fake people. I can feel it when someone feigns it. I always seek one quality in my friends — that they should be genuine. Sonam is a great person. She is real, even to the extent of being unapologetic about who she is. She sticks to what she believes in and this shows her strong character.
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