A bikini shot as my intro scene wouldn’t have worked: Parineeti Chopra – Parineeti Chopra on trying out the commercial space for the first time and why she took so many years to jump on the bandwagon…
Parineeti Chopra looks at ease when we meet her. It’s only her eye infection that’s troubling her. Otherwise, she’s relaxed. “Keep the door open and let me feel the breeze,” she says as we ask her one question after another. In her six-year-long career, this will be Pari’s first big budget masala entertainer — something that she’s shied away from for quite some time. But now that she’s jumped on to this bandwagon, she admits she wants to do more such films. Over to her…
Meri Pyaari Bindu didn’t work but was appreciated. Does it hurt you that not many people went to watch your film?
Honestly, Rohit (Shetty) sir has taught me that a film is a real hit if it goes crazy on satellite. Actually, those are the people watching it on repeat. It’s like an Andaz Apna Apna. It was a flop film, but I love it and I don’t even need to ask you — I know you love the film, too. The whole world loves it. There are many films which have worked only on satellite. I think Bindu might become that film because every human being who meets me says the same thing that they loved the film but they don’t know why it didn’t make money. If I really analyse it, honestly, I feel it was just the timing. Baahubali 2 had just released, IPL was going on and we only had that one week along with the fact that it was a shared release with two other films. So, it didn’t get the desired audience. But I am still very satisfied because you won’t believe, people talk to me about Bindu when they meet me at airports. That, for me, is a big success.
Has your way of evaluating success and failures changed?
My perception towards success and failure has changed. Maybe because you mature more in your personal life, which in turn, reflects in your professional life, too. I took a break and it gave me so much perspective about my personal life, professional life, health, money, and absolutely everything. It’s helped me deal with my career so much better.
You are doing Golmaal Again in the sixth year of your career. What took you so long to try this space?
It was not a planned thing. The kind of persona that I am, it was really important for me to become the best actor that I could. In the first four films. I was not a glam doll, I didn’t have anything that the usual heroines need. And at that time, the industry, too, was going through a phase of change. So if you look at it, I did the most perfect films at that point of time. Whether it was Ishaqzaade, Shuddh Desi Romance, Ladies Vs Ricky Bahl, Hasee Toh Phasee… And I made a mark for myself. Then, I allowed myself to play out more genres. When I did, things didn’t work and I took some time off. Now, I’m trying out this space with Golmaal Again, so I’m quite content with how things have happened. Because if I tried doing a bikini shot as an intro scene, I don’t think it would have worked.
It’s not like Golmaal Again came to me two years ago and I made a sweeping statement saying, ‘now, is not the right time’. It wasn’t like that. When I changed my image and became 2.0, different directors looked at me differently. Producers thought of investing money in me in different ways. And that’s why these films have come my way. Even Dibakar’s (Banerjee) film (Sandeep Aur Pinky Faraar) or Namastey Canada wouldn’t have never been a part of me, if I was the same person like I was three years ago.
Did filmmakers not approach you for masala entertainers assuming you’re averse to them?
Of course, that was the perception, 100 per cent. They would have definitely thought like that. Somehow, because I have never been a part of the industry, I didn’t know how everything works here. I haven’t grown up watching these films, so, this was an alien world to me and I didn’t think of these things. I was very busy making myself that award-winning actor. And it’s true that the people I met thought I only want to do certain kind of films. But Golmaal Again will change that hopefully. Even Namastey Canada is the next step in that.
People’s perceptions will invariably change because when you do a commercial film, it does not get bigger than Rohit Shetty.
Akshay Kumar said that comedy is the toughest genre because it’s easier to make people cry than laugh. Agree?
Yes, I agree and I completely feel the same. It’s a cliche but it’s true. Comedy is serious business, it really is. It’s so hard to make people laugh. That’s why I get attracted to personalities who have a good sense of humour. Because I feel that there are grey cells up there. My really close friends are hilarious! I connect with people who are funny because I find them to be intelligent. It is the most difficult genre because you are making people laugh from Patna to Orissa to Srinagar to Kanyakumari, which is basically everybody. Which is why I salute Rohit Shetty who has aced and set a benchmark in this genre.
Doing a Rohit Shetty film will also mean you reach out to the remotest corner of India…
That definitely played on my mind, too. Why else would I do a commercial film? If I was to do a calculation, as an actor, I would do at least one commercial film in a year. But it is also emotional. I am an actor and I would like to be known by the people in Nasik and Rajkot as well. They, too, are my audience, so, of course, when you are doing a Golmaal, there’s a vast connect with my audience.
So you intend to do more commercial bonanzas now?
I want to balance it out. I would love to do many more commercial films because those are the films I have not done, which is why I am doing Namastey Canada after this. But I would never say no to a Dibakar as well.
Recently, Kangana said that post Sridevi, there is no other actress with great comic timing. Comment.
It’s possible that the impact that Sridevi had in the comedy genre, nobody has ever been able to replicate that. Maybe, all of us have done that one odd film. Alia’s done one, I’ve done two-three, but nobody owns the comedy genre.
Is it because not many comedy roles are written for women?
That’s again a catch 22 situation. My dad and I are not sitting and writing the stories. So I have to wait for a comedy role, backed by the screenplay and story, to be offered to me. That will still be one film, and not five, so that I can’t own the genre like Govinda, Sridevi or Hema Malini did. For that, I need to do at least five to 10 films. Now, I don’t know if writers will write those films. They won’t because producers and distributors won’t back them. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious circle. I’m putting it out in the universe that I want somebody to write a great comedy role in a comedy film and I want to do it.
When someone approaches you for a film, do you sign it on the basis of intuition or instinct?
I will say (pauses), it’s instinct first. It’s what I feel at the end of the narration. It’s pretty much that. I don’t think a lot of planning and calculations work in this industry. I think it’s only instinct that works.