Jacqueline Fernandez! The name itself is enough to set your pulses soaring high. Having worked with the likes of Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan and Akshay Kumar in the past, the Sri Lankan beauty knows how to set the screens ablaze with her charming persona.
She has a rib-tickling comedy 'Housefull 3' releasing this week and I catch up with the 'Chittiyan Kalaiyan' girl for a quick chat at a suburban restro-bar. After greeting us with a smile, she picks up her phone and ting! we are all a part of her Snap-chat story. A couple of minutes later we begin our session and it's time for Jacqueline to bare her heart.
Excerpts from the conversation-
Q. So what made you choose 'Housefull 3'?
A. For me 'Housefull' has been a very special franchise. This was for the first time I was a part of a franchise from the beginning. Even though I was just the item girl in 'Housefull' I went on to become one of the actresses in 'Housefull 2' and then 'Housefull 3' was offered to me and I was like 'wow, that's actually cool'! I have a little bit of a sentimental value with it. Right now doing 'Housefull 3' is just like doing a family franchise. It's a kind of comedy that you can kind of get away with doing anything because people just know that the characters are very outlandish, situations are extremely absurd. But we somehow get away with it. I wanted to explore that space of comedy.
Q. How was it re-teaming with Akshay Kumar again?
A. It was amazing. He is someone you can work with over a 100 times and still learn. He will be still able to crack new jokes everyday. He is very funny to work with. Just to watch him what he goes through in making people laugh is really so commendable.
Q. You know you are the only actress to be a part of all three films in a franchise...
A. Yaa..a lot of people asked me why I am a part of a multi-starrer when I should be concentrating on doing solo leads. But Housefull is my first blockbuster film. It was the biggest thing that ever happened to me and I will never forget that. Now that I am again a part of it, it's still a big deal for me.
Q. So are you more comfortable doing multi-starrers?
A. I don't think like that. I have been comfortable and happy doing so many multi-starrers. At the end it is what you do with your character in the film. You can stand out, have fun and learn. It's the same thing as being in a solo film. People will still watch it and comment. You are still giving a performance. Of course you need to be able to balance both of them.
Q. We hear that you bonded quite well with your female co-stars Nargis Fakhri and Lisa Haydon off the sets. So did that help when you guys were filming?
A. Ya of course. I have known Lisa from my early days when I came to India for the first time. We had both auditioned for Delhi Fashion week together and we were sharing the same room. So we have come a long way since then. It's just amazing to have someone to talk to who knows me from that time. Nargis had done an item song in 'Kick' and I know her from then. There is a lot that I can relate to both of them. It was like we were helping each other out through this film. It's amazing when you can actually find girls who are so confident and secure.
Q. During 'Kick' you had mentioned that the industry at that time wasn't kind to you. But after the film released things have changed..
A. In the beginning it wasn't that they weren't friendly. It was just that I didn't fit in. I was also extremely uncomfortable. It was a weird thing. People were like who is this girl! So it was more about me. I was the one who was uncomfortable and I didn't really know anyone here. I also didn't have that confidence. Things changed after 'Murder 2'. Then 'Housefull' happened, then 'Race 2'. But people started taking me seriously after 'Kick'. I was like now I know I have a foot in the industry. I started being more comfortable. People were also like 'look she is here to work'. It happens only when you have proved yourself.
Q. Would you like to do another comedy film?
A. Definitely. And if Akshay is there then it's is a 100% yes! (laughs). Comedy is a genre that's so much fun to do. Especially if the actress has comedy to do and she is not just the brunt of it.
Q. How good is your comic timing?
A. It's really weird but I have always been goofy and someone who likes to make faces and do silly stuff. Doing comedy is so fulfilling because you are actually making people laugh.
Q. You are quite active on social media unlike some other celebs...
A. Social media is very important because it's our way to be able to reach out to our fans. It's so weird but things were so different for me before I joined social media. People had such a strong perception of me because they could only see me through a couple of odd films and a few appearances and they had no idea about who I actually was. The coolest thing about social media is that you can actually built your identity. It's not just about the characters that you play but it's like 'oh she is a lot more relatable'. I love the fact that my fans get to know who I am. It's a fantastic medium for celebrities.
Q. But unlike you a lot of celebs believe that it's not good to be so active on social media. So what's your opinion on that?
A. You have to balance it like I know that I do a mental sometimes. (laughs) I put out everything out there. But it's just that it's all so exciting. It's not for anything else but it's about the fact that you can share things. Yaa I have actually been told by a lot of people to calm down a little bit and not share so much. I think that if you ain't making it too much about yourself then it's still tolerable. A lot of times it is said that celebrities must have that sense of mystery around them but I think it's about being yourself.
Q. For 'Brothers' you went deglam. So if you had to go to any kind of extremes for a role like say put on or lose a lot of weight or go bald, would you go for it?
A. I would like to. It's definitely there now for many actresses like say Vidya in 'The Dirty Picture'. It's definitely demanded from a lot of actresses and I would love to get to that point where I get to do some thing like that. And I would go to that extreme. I am waiting for that opportunity. I hope that it comes soon.
Q. Every film is a learning experience. So what do you take back from 'Hosuefull 3'?
A. I learnt a lot about comedy this time. I actually think that working with Nargis and Lisa, it was kind of great female energy on the sets. I take back that memories of the team. The film is definitely one of those that leave a good taste in your mouth.
Q. Do we see you doing some action stuff in your upcoming films 'Dishoom' and 'A Flying Jatt'?
A. Well, unfortunately not in 'A Flying Jatt'. I really wished I was doing action scenes like Tiger (Shroff). There I am more like the Jane from 'Superman' and the love interest of the super hero. But in 'Dishoom' I play a rebellious girl who you don't want to mess with and who is most unlaw-abiding person you will ever meet. It was cool because I got to be a part of all the action of what John and Varun were a part of.. the chase sequences that we did in Morocco. I love the fact that I was also like one of the guys.
Q. You share a very good bond with Sonam Kapoor. She was recently trolled for her red carpet outfit at Cannes. What do you have to say to that?
A. I just wish that they (trollers) try to walk the red carpet once at Cannes. Like seriously? They should once try something like that and then pass a judgement and all of that. Honestly speaking, I went only once to Cannes on a invite for a charity dinner and let me tell you it is so stressful to be on that red carpet, have hundreds of international press around you and on top of that you are going to represent India, you are representing fashion and a brand. There is so much pressure to get it right. People really need to give credit instead of just sitting at the desk and making fun of it. But then at the end of the day everyone is entitled to their own opinion. Sonam (Kapoor) also knows that. I don't think it affects her at all because she is still where she is and she will still go further in life. I think she is someone who is very hard-working and doing her country proud.
Q. You said that she is a very honest person and your family away from home. How much of her opinion on things matter to you?
A. Oh they are very important because I know they are genuine. So if she will be like 'Listen that dress is terrible, what were you wearing' and I will be like 'Ya you are right'. I know her opinions really matter because there is no other intention but to be genuine and truthful. Even when she watches my films and stuff she will be like 'No I think you should do this' and then sometimes I even bounce off ideas about films to her, we discuss scripts and directors. The industry is very small so a lot of times most of us actresses know what films are going around or are being made. She gives a very honest opinion about things. Her advice is very valuable. At times whatever she has said has been true. Even work-wise she has worked with some of the best directors so I think I should be taking her advice.
Q. So what's happening on the personal front? Are you seeing someone?
A. I know it's very boring to say but my social life is completely zero. There is no social life for even my family and friends. I am asked a lot of times that don't I miss being in a relationship but the fact is my work is so consuming, I am a workaholic for that matter. I don't have space for anyone in my life except Miu Miu (her cat). Eventually I know I will hit to take a step back and enjoy my life a little more or get a boyfriend or something. (laughs) But I think it has to happen organically. Maybe because I am having such a good run, my plates are full I don't want to mess or lose out on opportunities.