Saqib and you have done a video song together last year, so I am assuming it wasn’t too difficult to break the ice...
Taapsee: While we were going to Goa to shoot for our music video, he was sitting at the window seat and mine was the aisle seat. So, I asked him if we could exchange seats and he readily agreed. When he ordered food, he called for a non-veg meal and when they offered the meal, I asked for a non-veg meal too. And the crew said that the non-veg meal was over. So Saquib, like a true gentleman, thus offered me his food and sacrificed his seat and his non-veg meal both for me! So that’s how we bonded and ever since then that’s how the equation between us has been... friendly and let me tell you, he is very chivalrous!
Saqib, your character in the film - Sumit falls in love with Koroli, who is her English counsellor -- Has that ever happened to you in real life Saqib? Have you ever had a crush on your teacher?
Of course... (Taapsee interrupts) I think he was in love with all his teachers... (Saqib giggles and continues) There was Charu and I was madly in love with her in the 9th grade and then there was a French madam who was my crush in the 10th grade. If a guy says that he never had a crush on his teacher, let me tell you he is the biggest liar in the world!
Taapsee, you have undergone a total transformation for your role in Dil Junglee...
Koroli and I (Taapsee) are both from Delhi but main thodi North Dilli hoon aur Koroli Nair thodi South Dilli hai...But obviously I know how girls in South Delhi are, very well kept and posh, she wasn’t a snob or a brat but she lived in her own bubble... living in her own fairytale. She writes her own fairytale and tells it to the world. Its just that the age of the girl is similar to mine and i was 21-22 at some point in life but then things change for her eventually. The get-up really helped... with the fringe and makeup and glasses.
How is this love story different from other Bollywood love stories?
Taapsee: Honestly, we won’t sell our film saying that it is very hatke and different. We all have this sweet butterfly thing inside our hearts since it is Valentine’s month...toh when you come to the theatres, woh butterfly bohot khushi se phadphadayegi. This is more of an entertainment... It is a very relatable story. You will love the songs of the film. Just for pure entertainment, come with your Valentine or your friends, come watch the film!
Saqib: When you are 18, you have a particular definition of love. When you are 28 years old, you definition and understanding of love changes... These two characters in the film are mad about each other but don’t know if they are made for each other. We have tried to keep the melodrama out of the film. It is a very interesting coming-of-age story.
Saqib, tell us about your role in Race 3?
The film is coming out on Eid. We have shot for 30-35 days and the next schedule is of another 30-35 days. My character in the film is more of a ‘Race’ character... where every character is positive and negative both. It would be unfair to divulge anything more at this point.
How does it feel to be around stalwarts like Salman Khan, Bobby Deol, Anil Kapoor?
Of course, you are initially intimidated by their aura and persona but having said that, Bobby and I have known each other since quite some time, so there was no breaking the ice. I have never seen anybody so passionate like Anil sir about acting. As long as Salman Khan is concerned, he is one of the nicest guys... If he has decided he wants to eat, he will ask everyone and make sure that everyone eats with him.
Taapsee, you had commented on Swara Bhaskar’s open letter to SLB saying you don’t agree with her opinion...
If she has the strength to write the open letter, I am sure she knows that it will have a lot of backlash. I think she is a smart girl and I am sure she is prepared for it. I am sure she is handling it in her own way...
Taapsee, you recently said that you wouldn’t want to work with Jacqueline anytime soon...
This is a pure case of kuch acha bhi bolo na, certain media people need to dig in and make it negative. I was asked if i am jealous of someone so I said there is nobody i am jealous of. So that certain journalist still told me ‘Nahin Aapko Jawab Dena Padega’. So, I said, “Let’s call it envy.” I really admire her body type. She is extremely fit and she works a lot on her body. Her workout regime is really good. So if I am envious of someone’s body, it is Jacqueline Fernandez. Then I was asked who else (actress) would I want to work with in the future. So I said, obviously it is only her that I have worked with so far, so I would obviously want to work with other actresses. So, that thing just got blown out of proportion...and I was quoted out of context. They just wanted some controversy that day and they got it! I have been vocal about this before also... if there is someone who is the fittest in Bollywood, it has got to be Jacqueline and I really admire her for having that strength to maintain that hot body.
Dil Junglee, directed by Aleya Sen is scheduled to hit theatres on February 16.
Image Source: Twitter/ Taapsee Pannu/ Jacqueline Fernandez