Phir Hera Pheri, Corporate and now Omkara. Three big releases in 2006. Bipasha couldn’t have asked for more. She is very happy and her appearance reflects this aptly. She walks into the room holding her head high in pride and showcasing a smile on her face. She is dressed in a brown and green polka doted dress and her new hairstyle now has streaks of red to it.Bipasha Basu talks to businessofcinema.com’s Rohini Bhandari about the success of Corporate, her forthcoming film Omkara and her six year long journey in the film industry.
How are you feeling post Corporate?
I must say Corporate has been the most amazing experience for me. Till date I receive 50-60 SMSes a day applauding me for my performance. The affection and encouragement I have received from fans, the media and even people walking down the road, is something I have not received for so long.Today I am really high up, for once I am flying a little and I am enjoying it so much. Yes there are people who have ripped our film apart, but everyone has their own opinion, so it doesn’t matter.
Billo Chaman Bahar. Who is she?
(Laughs) When Vishal first told me the name of the character I started to laugh. It sounds like a pan masala. Bianca in Othello is played by Billo Chaman Bahar in Omkara. She is an entertainer in the village who works with an orchestra which is named after her, Billo Chaman Bahar and Orchestra. Billo is totally influenced by Hindi film culture. She is basically a loud woman who performs in front of 200 men, which is so unlike me. There is a love track that happens between her and Kesu Firangi, which is played by Viveik Oberoi.It is a short and flamboyant character. But the character is instrumental in the film.
Have you read Othello?
I had read Othello when I was a child. I certainly did not remove the book and read it again, after signing the film.
Since you say the role is unlike the real you, did you have to do work hard and do your homework?
I never do homework. But if a director asks me to do homework I will do it. There were workshops held for all the characters of the film. But since my role is very small, it was difficult for me to attend the workshop. So Vishal recorded the dialogues for me, which I used to hear over and over again on my I-pod to get them right.
How was Billo’s look decided?
The look, the dialect everything was Vishal’s. I have just taken out the flavours that Vishal wanted. Rocky helped me on the look. She is not a total village girl. Since she influenced by Hindi films so it shows in her, she wears loud hair clips and loud clothes.
How did you manage to dance with so many men around you in the song Beedi Jalaike?
(Laughs) There were 200 of them. Actually those men are very sweet. But they were made to look dirty with all the make up and moustache. They were not allowed to have a bath for so many days. Saif and Viviek were also there to take care of me. Vishal wanted a very realistic look. So Ganesh played the song before the shoot and just asked the characters to come and dance one by one and the way they started dancing was so funny. I still can’t over those dance steps.
Do you enjoy dancing in front of the camera?
No. Dancing is the toughest part of acting. Before the shoot I get so nervous and I keep thinking how am I going to do this step? Am I going to frown when is sing this line? It takes the day lights out of me. I am not a singer or dancer. But I must say the fear has come off after No Entry. In fact I was not going to do No Entry because of the dances. But dancing is a part of Bollywood and no actor can run away from it. So finally I have succumb to it and I think I am doing a fair job now.
Whose role do you like the most in Omkara?
I love Saif’s role. If I was a boy I would have loved to his role- Langda Tyagi. It’s just fantastic and phenomenal the way he looks.
How has your journey been in this industry so far?
I think it was hard work along with luck that favoured me. If luck wouldn’t have supported me I would have packed my bag and gone back. I have been a master of my own life. I have guided it may be correctly, may be incorrectly but I have enjoyed these ups and downs, bad and good, terrible and really brilliant phases. Previously I had no knowledge of film industry and today I have become a little intelligent. When you belong to a film family, there may be pressure to prove but everyone around is an uncle or an aunty. But for an outsider like me who gets very few chances, I think I have been really lucky.
Are you at ease with the way your career has shaped up?
Today, the industry has accepted me and they keep coming to me with remarkable subjects and I can’t ask for anything more than that. There is no hunger that I need to compete with others. I am comfortable with the work I am doing. I want to do less work and be content. I think I have made the name and the money to pull myself off. In the past I did 8 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ 9 films a year, but now I don’t want to do that. Now I need to do things that I really want to do. I’d rather relax, look after my self and go for holidays.
Do you consider this as your peak?
No. I don’t know what the peak is. I don’t know.
What are your forthcoming films?
I have Dhoom 2 which will release in November. I have an Abbas-Mustan film with Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan which hasn’t been titled yet. I have another film with Abbas-Mustan and Ramesh Taurani which stars Saif, Fardeen, Anil Kapoor and Mallika Sherawat and Katrina.
Don’t you feel lost in the multi starrers?
No. Why would I do a multi starrer if I felt lost? I feel its better, I feel confident. You are remembered even for your small role and your job is done. I believe it’s the totality of the film that works, you alone can’t pull everything. If you just see your role, your songs, then the film doesn’t work. I like watching multi-starrer films. I get bored with a single hero-heroine film. And as long as the character is good I don’t mind doing the film. I just need a good director, a good producer, a good character and good co-stars for sure.