She won several best debut awards for her first release Tarzan — The Wonder Car. Ayesha Takia went on to prove her talent with a sensitive and mature performance in Dor.

The young, bubbly actress was in Dubai to walk the ramp for Vikram Phadnis at the Chivas in Fashion tour and took time out from fittings and shopping to talk to tabloid!
Excerpts from the interview:

You have also walked the ramp for Vikram at another show. Do you enjoy it?

It is fun, especially because it is for Vikram, who is a dear friend and a fabulous designer. He has done the costumes for most of my films and understands my body type and my likes and dislikes. I do worry that I might fall on the ramp, but I will just go out there and be myself.

What is your personal style preference?

Like most girls, I love fashion and enjoy dressing up, even if I am going out for a drive. I like jeans, boots and high- heeled shoes and love bright colours like red, pink and gold.

How difficult was your role in Dor ?

It was challenging, but as soon as I heard the script, I knew this was what I needed to demonstrate my potential and be taken more seriously in the film industry. And it has worked. I am now offered more substantial roles.

What does it mean to you to have won so many Critics' Awards for that role?

A Critics' Award is more valuable than any other award and I consider myself lucky to have got these so early in my career. It has got me respect as an actress.

Does this put pressure on you to perform better and be more selective in your roles?

When directors show confidence in my ability to do more challenging roles, I do feel that I must pull it off to prove that Dor was no fluke. But, I don't feel pressure because I know that Dor is only 10 per cent of what I can do if given the opportunity.

So how do you pick your films?

I am quite a confused person and take many days to make up my mind and keep changing it from ‘Yes' to ‘No' to ‘Yes' again. For me the most important thing is to be comfortable with the people I am working with and on the same mental wavelength. Then I look at the role and how important my character is to the film.

Do you have any regrets about refusing Aashayein with Nagesh Kukunoor?

No. I knew I wouldn't be comfortable doing a kissing scene. Nagesh asked me to come up with a good alternative to that scene and I could not. It is my loss because it is an awesome role and whoever does it will go places.

How do you handle failure?

I have had many more failures than successes, so I am quite used to it. It is part of the job, especially being an actor you are always being judged either for your performance, your hair or your weight. Now, when anything good happens it feels even better because I have got used to things not working out. It helps that my life is not only about movies and I have a supportive family and friends to come back to.

What is the best advice you have been given as an actor?

Imtiaz Ali, the director of my first film, Socha Na Tha, always told me to be emotionally in connect with the scene I am doing. And Nagesh said "whatever you are doing, be the character".

Quick queries

Her favourite pastime: Watching horror movies.
Dream role: Something as challenging as Dor.
Fitness advice to people her age: Don't waste you youth being unhealthy and out of shape. Eat healthy and work out regularly but don't be obsessed with your weight or appearance.
Her favourite film costume: The red and gold wedding outfit Vikram designed for Salam-E-Ishq and the purple outfit I wore in the movie's title song.
What she likes about Dubai: Shopping at Mall of the Emirates for clothes, bags and shoes.
On her dream man: Someone who has his head on his shoulders and does not show off. Someone with a sense of humour, who respects and understands me, someone I can have a conversation with. I respect a person who believes in working hard, is a self-made man and takes life seriously. (Qualities she seems to have found in boyfriend Farhan Azmi).
Her forthcoming films: Wanted produced by Boney Kapoor and directed by Prabhu Deva. Salman Khan is my hero and after a long time he is doing action. It is a romance, comedy, action, masala remake of South Indian film Pokhiri.
Then, Nagesh Kukunoor's Eight by Ten with Akshay Kumar, where I play a lawyer's assistant.