Her infectious energy and positivity clearly fills the room as she sits down for a chat with us at a suburban restaurant. In a candid conversation, actress Nargis Fakhri talks to us about the experience of doing a biopic, how she is still an old school romantic and what is on the cards for her in the future. Excerpts from the interview:
You play the role of Sangeeta Bijlani in Azhar. how tough is it to play a real life character who’s very much alive on screen?
Honestly, I didn’t even think about it until everyone started asking me this question. I didn’t even bother thinking about comparisons because that’s just me. I don’t read too much into things because then you get stressed out, right? Tony (D’Souza) showed us a lot of pictures and we watched a lot of movies and there’s also a lot about the person on the Internet as she’s a public figure. So you take all that and just do your best with what you have. I didn’t meet the person. But that’s fine as the focus is on the emotional journey and the director is always there to direct you. She is elegant and always saved face even in the middle of her troubles. That’s the difference. I would have been a mess and probably never leave my house, but this person (Sangeeta) was very supportive and elegant in handling it.
How much do you identify with Sangeeta’s character. what are your thoughts on dating a married man?
I don’t judge people as love is blind and it makes us do crazy things. I think it’s amazing how these two people in the public eye embraced their love and stood up for it. I personally wouldn’t do it as I wouldn’t be able to handle that type of pressure and stress. Plus, I don’t trust men anymore. But, I am sure there are different situations where things happen. As humans we love to judge, but we shouldn’t.
Who are your friends in the industry?
I would usually say no one but there are a few now. Varun I think is one; he calls and checks on me. He heard that I was sick and called to check if I was fine and that is heart-warming. Then there is Uday, who doesn’t really stay here often. And apart from these two men, there is one other girl who was an AD in Rockstar, who is still my friend.
Talking about Uday, you both have always denied being together. What sort of friendship do you share with him?
Every friendship is different because everyone’s personality is different. To me when I see him, I see him as an American guy, which is really strange. I feel we are from the same planet, the way we get along is different. It’s friendly, easy and he is very intelligent and funny. I like people like that. I have other guy friends too but since they are not famous, you are not going to hear about them. Unless you are in my house watching me talk on skype you wouldn’t know who they are. I am a very loyal person and friendship to me means something more. I don’t make new friends any more; I decided that quality is better than quantity.
You once said when it comes to dates and relationships, You are old school.
I am a romantic and I think dates are wonderful. I like quirky and fun things. Like going for a bike ride or for a pedicure together. Courtship is like simmering mutton. You cook for hours and hours to taste the soft meat. It doesn’t happen in two seconds!
You come across as a person who is very secure and normal. And that’s quite unlike a Bollywood actress.
I don’t know what a Bollywood actress is like but I keep hearing that! (Laughs) I am just a regular, friendly person but being in this business has taught me to not be so friendly.
You come from the west. What are the things you don’t like about Bollywood?
The work ethic is very different from the way it is back home. Time management is a big issue here. Also you are worked to death here. There is no free time and that puts your physical and mental health in trouble. To kill your self for earning a salary is not worth it. That’s why, I said no to everything that was offered to me. I want to be commitment free. I have had enough of being responsible. I am now taking a really long vacation!