There are several epithets that precede Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu's name. ‘Bold', ‘brazen' and ‘outspoken' are some of the obvious ones. But there's another title that has been pursuing her relentlessly. Even nine months after her break-up with her longtime boyfriend John Abraham, being addressed as John's ex is a title she cannot shake. She may have forgotten about the split, but the people around her haven't, claims the Bengali actress.
"I have a bad memory and I don't remember things," she says in response to whether that tag irritates her.
"But people seem to remember things I should be remembering. They remember more, they feel more pain and they get more worked up and I have nothing to say to that — I have other things on my mind right now," says Basu, who was rushing to catch a flight to Jaipur to promote her comedy Jodi Breakers at the time of the phone interview.
Directed by Ashwini Chaudhry, the romantic movie doesn't toe the usual line of boy-meets-girl followed by a happy ending.
"For once I am doing a contemporary, wicked comedy. I am in the business of breaking up couples," says Basu of her role.
Giving her company is the Three Idiots star R. Madhavan, and as a team, they whip up formulas to break up couples in toxic relationships.
"We are one step before the divorce lawyers. Often couples stay together for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes, a partner can't just muster enough courage to be honest about how unhappy they are — they are in it because of family and peer pressure. That's where we step in."
Sounds like an unusual plot — but at the time of our chat the film had plagiarism charges slapped against it by the French producers of Heartbreakers. However, the allegations didn't stick for long and were withdrawn after they saw the film last week.
"There's no truth in those charges made. And as actors, we definitely get a bit worried because we have all put a lot of hard work in our projects. And such a charge, even questions our decision to be a part of it. We just get so attached — especially when we work on a film for over a year," said Basu at the time.
Meanwhile, Madhavan is riding high after the success of Tanu Weds Manu which was released last year.
"I just read the script and suddenly I don't know how his name came about in my head. It was my best idea and the best recommendation that I have ever put forward. And after filming, I can't think of anybody who could have played Sid better than Madhavan," she says.
The posters show Basu — in red gown slit up to her thighs, black garter belt and metal-studded heels — in a light embrace with her business partner.
"This film is very different from Players because it has situations that can happen for real in a couple's life. Many will identify with some of the situations, and for the first time I am playing a character that's a lot like me."
Basu's prolific decade-plus career is peppered with roles in which the 33-year-old star is required to be a wily seductress. But pouting and writhing in uncomfortable lingerie-like dresses does get tiresome, she says.
"This role is going to be a welcome change. Those sexy roles are not the only ones I take up. I can't help it if those are the roles that remain with a viewer. I try to do a mix of everything. I try to fight stereotypes that stick with me."