An unforgettable experience happened on December 15, 1996 when I won the Supermodel contest while still in school. I was just seventeen years old then. Winning that competition was the turning point of my life. That’s how I got into modeling and later started acting.
Any relationship should have love, and if there is no love, it is better to call off a relationship. People say that love happens only once, but I don’t believe in it because for me, if one relationship doesn’t work, you should move on and seek love in another relationship. Who knows; you might find love in the second relationship.
As a child, I was a brat, and my parents didn’t know how to control me. So they told me ghost stories, which stayed with me. I am still petrified of darkness and being alone.
As women, we tend to take the easy way out in showbiz. I have done movies where all I did was look pretty in every frame.
Films with female protagonists don’t attract many eyeballs. Most of them are perceived as feminist films. If Bollywood starts giving women major roles in entertaining movies, then the audience, too, will open up to the idea of watching commercial films in which the actresses do more than just play the role of the hero’s love interest.
For me chilling out is when I can stay at home, order food from outside and watch a film with my friends. Listening to music and watching films are my idea of perfect relaxation.
For me, modelling has been an advantage because if I hadn’t been modelling, I would never have been spotted as an actress. I didn’t have any intention of becoming an actress.
For the longest time, Indian women have been okay with being curvy. But I think the modern Indian woman needs to get toned. I don’t endorse being thin. Anorexia and bulimia are a reality in India because everybody wants to be thin.
I actually wanted to be a doctor. But doing all those horrid rat dissections made me faint. I studied science till the 12th standard and later took up commerce. I was planning to do chartered accountancy, but fate had something else in store for me.
I am a positive person. I am not cynical. If you are born in this world, no matter who you are, negative things will happen. If you aren’t positive as a person, you’ll be very unhappy. It’s extremely important to be positive, to laugh, to be happy, to accept life as it comes.
I am a simpleton at heart. In my personal life, I don’t wear makeup.
I am so enriched because so much has happened in my life. The way I can express myself is because of the life I have led. It’s only when you experience life can you emote it.
I am so pathetic with machines in real life, it’s not a joke. I’d rather walk, or even run, than take the car out myself. I like to be driven around. Yes, I like fancy cars, and fancy bikes, too. It’s my dream to learn how to ride one myself, but for now, I am content being driven around.
I am very proud of my role in ‘Singularity.’ It pushed me into the territory of period romance. It was a very emotional and challenging role.
I believe everything negative that happens in your life is for a positive reason. If your heart breaks, you know that you are a human being and it happens. But you can’t mope over it. There’s only one life. You better get on ahead and fast. Fast enough not to let your past ever catch up with you.
I can’t let the baggage of my private life get into work. Artists are more fragile than normal people. But I know that I am a role model for zillions of people, so no matter how deep you are hurting, you need to come out strong.
I do a film if it interests me, has a connect with the audience and some entertainment value. The rest doesn’t matter.
I don’t think I’ve done any profound work yet… People ask me, ‘How would you want to be remembered?’ I tell them I don’t want to be remembered! I’m not here to become a Madhubala or receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. I’m not that kind of a person. And I’m not brash about it; it’s just the way I am.
I enjoy the TV series ‘Dexter,’ where there’s a reason for every kill. Quentin Tarantino is a favourite, and a ‘Kill Bill’ action-packed movie would be up my street. I’d love to be India’s first scream queen!
I have always believed that if you need to take your clothes off to get your man, you’ve begun to lose the battle. If you pull it off right, you can do it in a very classy way… Being sexy is about suggestion; it’s about the tease. It’s not about being obvious and forcing yourself out in the open. That takes all the fun out of being a woman.
I have been called ‘Bongshell’ the day I stepped into showbiz. So, any adjective coming my way, I take it positively. Sometimes it’s also entertaining, but I don’t feel bad about it. I’m a proud woman.
I have been into bodies and fitness, so I am very critical about how a body should look in terms of flaunting it. I would never fall down and roll and do a cleavage shot – I have seen those in Bollywood films, and those are things I cannot tolerate. I wouldn’t do that. That’s not me – I’d rather look sharp and sexy and stylish just doing a walk.
I have blind trust in people. Even if that ends up hurting me, I won’t change. I will go on trusting people because that’s the only way I know to love someone.
I have done some tacky films, but then they were all my decisions, and I’m happy to have made those because they have made me who I am.
I keep my distance from politics. Lots of money has been offered to me for campaigning over the years, and I have always refused. I used to be very politically aware and very opinionated, but I don’t want to involve myself.
I know I look good. The regular adjectives that come my way – sexy, hot, dusky, bong bombshell… I love them.
I want to do a movie on sports – like a movie on a racer or a marathon runner – as I feel I’ll fit that bill perfectly.
I want to do entertaining films, where a woman gets the respect of being an actor.
I want to tell women that you need to love yourself and make yourself a priority. It’s only when you are happy yourself, can you make everyone else around you happy. I am still a dreamer and still believe in fairy tales, but there is only that much one should give another person. You need to keep something for yourself.
I was a lady gunda in school. Everyone was scared of me, and I was really short and round.
I would never put on 20 kilos and mess up my system because a role demands it. Hindi cinema doesn’t offer you roles that get you an Oscar, anyway. Tom Hanks can do it in Hollywood; not us.
I’m active even on bad days; it’s tough to pin me down. People ask me if I’m a morning or night person. I’m an all-the-time person. I like drinking coffee, but I do it with lots of milk because my energy levels are high even without caffeine. You could call me Obelix, except I don’t have a belly.
I’m really bad at taking compliments, but whenever I get them, I tell myself, ‘Way to go, girl’ and move on.
If I want to be the sexy Bipasha Basu, then I’ll do a song here or a glam role there. But I want to be part of films that are watched, films that earn money and are new age, with author-backed roles.
In India, we kind of concentrate only on weight loss. I want to teach people that it is very important to be strong and fit, rather than just thin.
It is said that anyone who does commercial cinema is not acting, and anyone who does an art film is acting. I don’t believe it. I feel whenever you are doing a film, you are acting. So you need to be applauded for that. I won’t do art house cinemas. I want to make commercial films. I want my films to make money.
It was Vikram Bhatt and ‘Raaz’ that got me interested in the medium of cinema. Before that, I was like any other youngster dabbling with various things – modelling, films – without a definite direction or focus. Now that I’m working with all of them, life has come full circle for me.
Kissing onscreen is the worst thing in the world. I’m OK with lovemaking scenes, but I hate kissing.
My philosophy towards life is to enjoy it to the fullest and have fun. I am one of those ‘laugh-out-loud’ kinds. I am quirky, yet witty.
My wedding won’t be a hush-hush affair. When I get married, everyone will get to know about it… there’ll be nothing speculative about my wedding.
Nothing can save something that is not meant to be, no matter how hard you try.
Shakira is a talented singer, and I am a huge fan of her.
When I started out as a model, I took things for granted. Because I bagged work thanks to my looks, I didn’t give my body any importance. I was a couch potato who’d eat anything. Then, in 2005, a tabloid ran a story calling me fat. I thought, ‘I’m famous. How can I be fat?’ It was a slap. I decided to get fit.
When things have gone really wrong in my life, I’ve cried like a child. I have really, really cried. I cry it out. Two-three days I cry, and then I’m like, enough, time to deal with reality and figure a way out. This is the way I have dealt with everything.
Whenever I get married, it will be a Bengali wedding. If I won’t have a Bengali wedding, my mother won’t come. She has warned me. So, I am going to have a Bengali wedding for sure.
Yes, exes can be good friends, but after a certain time. Though no break-up is a good break-up, time heals everything, including broken friendships. It also depends on the kind of people they are, their mindsets and the reasons for the break ups.
You can’t decide whom to fall in love with. It just happens.
You don’t have to do offbeat films to prove that you can act. I have done it but only to prove myself that I can fit convincingly into every kind of films. I want to do the 100 crore film where the hero does all the work, and I get to relax.
You’re born single, you die single, but why not being in a relationship is some special ‘single’ status, I don’t understand. Life is less stress being single, I have to admit.