Nargis Fakhri who made her acting debut in India with Rockstar in 2011 is now three-films old with Main Tera Hero all set for release tomorrow. Although she is suffering from a bad cold and is low on energy she fills us in on why she still considers New York her home, why making friends in Bollywood is not easy for her and why she has no problem dating an actor.
So, you don’t like doing these interviews?
Yeah, because I keep repeating myself and it’s so boring I feel like I’m getting brain damaged.
They keep asking you about your work, role etc, etc
Okay, so let’s not ask you these questions!
So what are the things you would like people to ask you that they’ve not been asked before?
Why does the chicken cross the road? I don’t know, I don’t even know. I don’t want to be asked anything. I actually want to ask everyone else about themselves.
Are you married?
No. I’m single.
You have a baby’s mamma anywhere? Any kids floating around? Do you have pets?
What kinds of pets?
I have a dog.
No I was just joking. I don’t. Oh man, I got really excited. My entire life, I wanted to have a pet but didn’t manage. I should’ve had pets in Main Tera Hero (MTH).
You had Rockstar in 2011, Madras Cafe in 2013 and now MTH in 2014. Is this some kind of strategy to do just one film a year?
No, I don’t have a plan. Whatever happens happens. There’s never a plan. (Laughs)
At a time when you should be in the news for your work in Main Tera Hero, you seem to be making news only for walking out of Shaukeen.
Yeah. That’s sad. It’s really unfortunate I couldn’t be a part of the film. I guess that news took over instead of Main Tera Hero but that’s just the way things are.
That’s because your Hollywood career is more important to you than what you are doing in Bollywood. Isn’t it?
My life and my happiness is most important to me than any job or anything in the world. For me, life is about experiencing many new things and working with good people, working on good projects, and in general, just having any kind of job. Like I could be a frigging toilet bowl cleaner. As long as I’m happy, it should be fine. So, it’s about life experiences. You guys publish whatever you guys publish. Or I don’t know whatever you publish. Seriously, it’s true. Like half the time I give interviews and then it’sâ€¦ I may have said one line that was off the subject and that becomes the entire interview. So I’ve learnt to deal with it. It’s fine. Main Tera Hero, that’s what we’re here for, right?
But you’re not very happy doing this entire promotional exercise of interviews, right?
No, no, I’m not unhappy. Oh Lord, you should… I’m usually always very happy and funny and positive. It’s only when I’m tired that I get a little low energy. Right now, I’m tired. I’m feeling unwell, yes. It’s unfortunate. I am unwell. I just hope my germs don’t jump into your mouth. It’s true, you always have to make the positive into the negative.
Okay, so do you get to do in MTH what a Bollywood actress typically does in Hindi movies?
I think so. I got to smile, look sexy and glamourous. I did dance moves and you knowâ€¦ all this and that. Whatever, I did it. I was doing it. I was wearing just a light dress and they had wind blowing in mah hair. I was all like… Oh God, tight clothes, like a sexy girl.
All the things that a Bollywood actress needs to do before starting her Hollywood career…
I would think that actually, no. Hollywood and Bollywood are very different. Bollywood is very glamourous and it’s all about looking the hottest, the prettiest, you know all the fake hair, fake eye lashes, fake contacts, fake this, fake that, high heels, skirt. Hollywood has more realistic vision for girls. There’s a big difference. I think you definitely cannot prep in Bollywood for Hollywood. They are two totally different worlds. The experiences would be very different.
What is the one experience about Main Tera Hero that really stayed with you?
Getting harnessed and falling over. The scene where Arunoday Singh and I fell over a balcony. So, there’s a clip on the internet of the scene. So, I’m strapped to a harness only on one leg. Thank God, I don’t have male parts! But still at the same time, all parts were hurting. And it was so painful and I was screaming and then they dropped us in the water so hard. I got slapped in the face by water! So, I’ll never forget that. And then, next thing getting yelled at!
Next time, would you want to write it in your contract — no hardcore action scenes for you?
No, I won’t do that. I’m not going to say I enjoyed it but what happens is that you put so much blood, sweat, tears into your body of work because you’re hoping that when it’s finally done, it’s going to look awesome. So, I think it’s going to be worth it, yeah. I think the whole reason why people go through all the drama is because when you finally see the story being told, and you see how awesome it looks, and with my brain power I forget many things, so you’ve forgotten the pain and you’ve seen the awesomeness, you’re like ‘Yeah, I’ll do it again’.
Shahid Kapoor has said that he is scared of dating an actress. Are you scared of dating actors?
No, I’m not scared of dating anyone. I’m scared of dating psychos. So, then basically in that sense, he’s saying every actress is a psycho. Well, I’m not a psycho. I’m very mentally stable and I work very hard at being stable. Yes, this line of work can make you go a little loopy. I can understand how it can be. I mean, if you’re doing five films a year, where is your normal life? I think some people lose that groundedness or their sense of reality. And India spoils the shit out of you! They treat you like a princess!
Bollywood stars are treated like royalty, aren’t they?
Oh my God, yeah! But why? I mean, it’s nice, I’m not going to lie but you get spoiled. In the beginning I fund that weird because I don’t come from a place where that’s normal. In the beginning it was weird with my maid. My maid is older and my mom always taught me that you can’t be letting older people clean up after you. You got to clean your own stuff. So, she’d be cleaning and I’d help her because I feel it is my duty as a younger woman, even though I’m paying her. I felt it was the duty of me as a younger woman to help her.
All your life you’ve lived in America. How difficult was it to adapt to living in Mumbai?
Last year, I went home only once. So, it’s quite sad because I love New York. I mean, my friends and family are there. I think now Bombay or Mumbai is my office. I gotta work. I enjoy my work. But it’s my office in reality. And I don’t get a lotta time off and when I do get time off, I want to visit my family and my friends. I go to Thailand often because I have so many friends there. When I go to America, it’s to see my mom, it’s family time. I’ve learnt to make boxes of everything. So, now because Mumbai is my office, I don’t really have friends in my office. I would say Main Tera Hero is the first film that I probably had like a real blast working with the people that I worked with. And actually, even tried to have a real friendship with some of the people on set but I realised that even me wanting those friendships, it’s not gonna happen. Because everyone’s going on another film, they’ve moved on, they have their own friends and that they have toâ€¦ So I’m a new person. Everyone has their friends. When they are off from work, they have to spend time with their real friends and family because that’s the bond they share. Since I’m just this new acquaintance, it’s too difficult for me to become a real friend because of time constraints from both the sides.
Do you still feel like an outsider in Bollywood?
Yes, outsider. Who has now learned to understand how it works and is accepting it and is trying to make friends. Like trying but it’s not… I think my best friend is my manager. No, but it’s true. And ask any actress. Ask Varun, ask Ileana – they spend maximum time with their managers.
Given a choice what would your pick — more films like Madras Cafe or masala flicks like Main Tera Hero?
I don’t discriminate. I’m a Libra, we like everything. We’re diplomatic. We don’t know what we want. We just want everything. I enjoyed Main Tera Hero so much. I can’t even explain the joy because it was so light-hearted. But the heavier films like a Rockstar and Madras Cafe, it’s a bit dreary on the soul. Madras Cafe was truth and I felt like crying in bed researching what happened, how people were massacred, what was going on, why it was going on. I’m very emotional. For me, it really hurts my heart to see that humanity be this way. And a film like Rockstar is devastating because it’s just a sad story. So I like the Main Tera Hero style. I would like to do more masala films. I love the dancing even though I’m not good at it. I still love it so much. I feature in two songs with Ileana and Varun. That’s it. That’s all I get.