Bollywood’s hit on-screen pair Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone are back doing what they do best: looking pretty, partying at swanky nightclubs and leading complicated love lives.
After their 2009 blockbuster ‘Love Aaj Kal’, the pair return this weekend with a seemingly similar romantic drama titled ‘Cocktail’. But Padukone, who plays the free-spirited Veronica D’Costa, claims any similarity ends with their on-screen reunion.
Her take? It’s a never-seen-before tale of two best friends and a flirt (Khan).
“I would never have taken up the film if it had any resemblance to Love Aaj Kal’s Meera. That’s precisely why I didn’t take up Diana Penty’s role. Playing Veronica out of the two friends was more challenging,” said Padukone in an interview with tabloid!.
“It was liberating to be Veronica”:
When I took on the role, I knew I had to play this role with a lot of confidence. I had to look uninhibited, yet not over-the-top. I wanted Veronica to look like an extension of myself. Believe me, she’s a loud, free-spirited character and it would have been easy to over-act. I did not want to get carried away.
“Skin-show doesn’t mean heroines have become liberated”:
There’s a belief that if a heroine shows skin then she has made progress in Bollywood. It’s not about how short the skirt is, it’s about your attitude and your perceptions. For instance, Veronica’s styling in the film reflects her Western upbringing. Many young girls who are India, but raised in the West will be able to relate to my character.
“How can ‘Daaru Desi’ become a hit?”
Barring ‘Daaru Desi’, I expected all the songs from ‘Cocktail’ to become a rage. Usually, I have a good ear for music but I did not see ‘Daaru Desi’ becoming such a rage. I hated the song from day one. In this industry, you should always expect the unexpected to happen.
“My diet of steamed fish worked”
“I had to wear a bikini and I always believed that Indian bodies are not typically suited for bikinis. In the same manner, Western bodies are not ideally suited for saris. I won’t lie but I pushed myself to look good in a bikini. I have always been athletic, but I pushed boundaries not just physically but emotionally for this role. To me, ‘Cocktail’ was all about stepping out of my comfort zone.
“It never gets boring with Saif”
Creating chemistry with Saif is never tough. We have worked in two films together and in theory we should have been bored at seeing each other. Strangely, that hasn’t happened to us. It’s like working with the same set of technicians for more than one project, the relationship just improves. We feel the same. Also, I have always felt that chemistry we share is an intangible feeling. Either you have it or you don’t.
“It’s OK to have a crush on your best friend’s boyfriend”
Acting on that crush is a whole new territory. Ideally, it’s OK to find your boyfriend’s friend attractive. But you need to have your lines clear in your head. The scenario in ‘Cocktail’ with two girls and one guy has never happened to me. But when you go into watch the film, you will find the story, the situation and the characters relatable.
“I have come a long way in Bollywood”
I feel incredibly lucky to have acted with some of the biggest actors in the industry. But I have a long way to go. Early next year, my film with Rajinikanth ‘Kochadaiyaan’ will release. For the first time, viewers will be treated to a technology called performance capturing. All of it was overwhelming. Plus, acting with Rajinikanth was incredible. He still has that burning desire in his eyes when he faces the camera. His passion for work is unmatchable.
“‘Cocktail’ is not a romantic comedy”
The trailers may give you that impression. But, it’s a love story with an urban approach and a desi (Indian) soul. To me playing Veronica has been a personal journey. It just struck me today that the end is near and the verdict will soon be out.
Cocktail releases in the UAE this Thursday