Sexy, confident and vibrant! That's Jacqueline Fernandez, who makes heads turn when she enters the room filled with 20 odd journalists waiting to interact with her. Sipping on to the juice, Jacqueline settles for a quick chat and talks about her last blockbuster 'Kick', her connection with Salman Khan, upcoming film 'Roy' and more. Excerpts:
Do you think the success of 'Kick' has cemented your position in the industry?
Definitely, that is for everyone to see. After I signed 'Kick', there was a change in my career and in my perception also. Since the time the film released (July 2014) there hasn't been a single day when I am not working which is for me like the greatest thing (Smiles). 'Kick' re-launched my career. I became very confident with my performance after 'Kick'.
After Katrina Kaif, the only actress Salman Khan has aggressively promoted is you. What is the special connect that you share with him?
Salman has been very lucky for me. He is very inspiring. He genuinely supports me and he has believed in me and my work. He has given me a lot of confidence by signing me for 'Kick'. I didn't understand why I was cast for 'Kick' and found myself to be an unconventional choice but he told me that I had worked hard and I deserved it. He has encouraged me and for all these things and I owe Salman a lot.
Do you consult him before signing a new film?
I do talk to him and I also talk to Nadiad (Sajid Nadiadwala). (Thinks) I talk to Sujoy (Ghosh) and also Sonam Kapoor (Laughs).
You have all the people whose initial start with 'S'â€¦
Actually, I never thought about it. I guess the 'S' factor is lucky for me (Smiles).
Deepika Padukone recently spoke about her battle with depression and anxiety. Have you ever been through it?
It is something that a lot of actors face but they never confess about it. I am really glad that Deepika spoke about it because I don't think people should be ashamed of the emotions they go through. I have always been someone who has advocated honesty and I really respect her for being vocal and honest. As actors we have been so programmed to not to give into it and just move on. I guess every human being goes through it. I know if someone in my position would say that I am depressed or having anxiety then people would say that look at the homeless people and beggars who have bigger worries. I have gone through flops in my life, there have been months when I have been sitting home as I haven't signed a movie or also when I came to India not knowing anyone.
How did you deal with it?
Like I said, you have to be honest about anything that you do in life. When my films weren't working I told myself that there was something that I was doing wrong. Back then my Hindi wasn't great and was not a great performer either so these were things that I had to work on.
Tell us about your experience of working with Ranbir Kapoor and Arjun Rampal in 'Roy'.
I don't know if Ranbir is a shy or reserved person as I had never met him before we started shooting for 'Roy'. On the sets he would give his shot and in between the shoots he would always be busy on his phone. And then, one day, I was pepped into his phone and I saw him playing Candy Crush (laughs). I had assumed that he was busy working. Over the course of shooting we started becoming comfortable and he is very respectful and nice. He is very professional and comes on time, gives his shot and goes back home. It was a pleasant experience working with him.
What about Arjun Rampal?
Arjun on the other hand is full of energy. Once he is on the sets, there are so many things happening around him and you too get sucked into it. He likes to do rehearsals and so immediately the ice is broken with him. Arjun helped me a lot with my performance. Both Arjun and Ranbir have been in the industry for such a long time and it was a pleasure to work with them. I still feel like a newcomer who has so many things to learn.
This is the first time you are playing a double role in the film. Was it difficult to juggle between the two characters?
Both the characters are completely different. Ayesha (the name of one character) is a director and is a girl who anyone would be able to relate to as she is passionate about her career and wants to make a name out of her career. My second character Tia is the other character who is an extremely witchy glamorous lady who is a loner and loves to collect art. There is a mystery around Tia's character. I saw them as two different characters from two different movies as my co-stars were different, my styling is different and the entire scenario is different. I took it just the way we shoot several movies in a year and move from one character to another.
You are also doing an international film 'Definition of Fear'. Could you tell us a little more about it?
It's releasing this year on Halloween. I play a psychology student who is doing her thesis on fear. The movie is a psychological thriller and it has to do with a lot of mind games. It was an amazing experience of spending 40 days in Canada and working with an international crew. There has been lots of learning that I take away from the film. I am glad that I am doing different cinema as this is the way I want to take my career forward.