Bipasha means "deep dark desire" and that is definitely what Bipasha wants to achieve. She is the hot favourite of all, be it producers, directors or co-stars and the audience simply love her. After giving hits like "Ajnabee", "Raaz" and "Jism" she is giving the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Karisma and Kareena a run for their money. She is very down to earth, sincere and hard working and believes that if you work hard and do it with all your heart then you are bound to succeed in life. Bipasha who modeled for SeasonsIndia in the year 2000 has a heart-to-heart chat with our correspondent Sanyukta about her ambitions, future plans, projects and her life and love.

Excerpts from the interview

This is a very common question but I still would want to ask you…..did you always want to be a model and actress?

No. I had never thought that I would be a model. I wanted to be a Doctor (laughs) but then here I am. I got sick with the thought of dissecting rats and stuff and after 12th I took commerce. I was planning to do chartered accountancy when one day I met Mehr Jessia in a hotel in Calcutta and she suggested that I take part in the Godrej Cinthol Supermodel contest. I did, I won and the rest is history. I got good offers and though I was hesitant at first but then I just decided I will give acting a shot. Well I worked hard and hard work always pays.

How do you feel now that "Jism" is a hit?
I am very happy. I am told that people loved it and they appreciate my work. And I knew from day one that this film would be a hit because the concept is brilliant. It is a very different and bold film. The topic and scenes have been handled very beautifully and delicately.

Wasn't it difficult shooting the love-scenes?

Well the story demanded the love scenes but it's not sex all the time. Jism is an emotional film, a mature love story. There were bound to be kissing scenes. But the scenes in Jism were not vulgar and forced. Those scenes are infact an integral part of the script and they have been handled very well. I enjoyed working in the movie because I believed in it and that makes portraying the given character easy. I was completely comfortable doing those scenes. Nobody forced me and told me "You have to do this". I agreed to do what I thought I would be comfortable with.

One thing you have to admit that the sex scenes in the film did lure public to the theatres.
Well India is a country that is full of hypocrites. We have made sex a taboo and because of that people here crave for sex. Anything to do with sex will attract them no doubt and initially yes, people did go to see that but there is much more in the film rather than sex. Jism is a love story which believes that attraction draws people together. Falling in love too has a lot to do with attraction. That is something that is neglected and overlooked in Hindi films. They only show girls and boys singing, dancing and fighting with their families. And the audience has realized that after watching the film. Those who have seen the film didn't come out of the theatres saying that "Oh shit that was one hot film." They all have enjoyed the story on the whole.

The film industry is famous for branding actors with the character they portray best. Didn't you feel apprehensive about being tagged as a sex symbol?
Well guess what "I love being called sexy!" Andthat is because it comes naturally to me (smiles). In personal life I am sexy and I think every actress wants to be called sexy and thrives hard to look sexy on screen. But in my case I didn't have to work hard to achieve that sexy tag, it just followed me automatically and I take it as a compliment. And frankly speaking I would never want to take off that sexy tag.

I have to admit that you really had guts to accept the role because not too many actresses would have dared to do what you did?
(Surprised) Well about that I don't really know but one thing I would like to tell you is that when I entered the industry I had told myself that I wouldn't do insignificant roles. I always wanted to do things that other actresses would think 100 times whether to do or not. Jism was a superb project and I knew that it was meant only for me. I had the guts to take on the role and now I'm being praised for my efforts (Smiles proudly). I'm really grateful to the media for their support. It's praise from them that will egg on more film-makers to experiment with such daring themes. What we need today is good script. I'm bored watching films with similar stories; therefore it's high time we gave them something different.

Did your relationship with John help you while enacting those hot scenes?

Well John was definitely a great help and it was infact easy to do the love scenes but I think I would have done it with any other co-star. The truth is when I signed the film I didn't know John and who was going to be my co-star. But without John around I don't know how the scenes would have looked. We were both very comfortable while doing those scenes.

How do you react to stories about you and John?
I'm not saying anything (Laughs). Let the press write what they want. They can link me with anyone as long as the men are good-looking. Those who need to know will know!

There was lot of controversy about you refusing Madhur Bhandarkar's Police Force. What was the reason?
Actually this whole issue of my refusing Madhur's film has been grossly exaggerated. Madhur is a good film-maker and Chandni Bar is one of my fave films. I was excited when he approached me for Police-Force but after hearing the subject, I realised the subject was a male-dominated one. It also has three heroines. Naturally I would have very little to do. Therefore I told him on our second meeting itself that I was not interested and he was cool with it. There's absolutely no tension between Madhur and me. In fact I've just been offered Vijay Galani's next film, being directed by Madhur.

It was also reported that you didn't want to play Amitabh Bachchan's love interest in the film "Aan" offered by Madhur Bhandarkar because Amitabh Bachchan is 30 yrs elder to you.

Good God!! who comes up with such stories. Well excuse me but I would love to play his love interest in any film. Amitabh Bachchan may be double my age but there can definitely be an attraction between us. Forget films, even in real life there are couples who are 30 years apart in age who're romantically drawn to each other. The fact is the film that was offered to me gave me very little scope and so I was not interested.

Why did you turn down Boney Kapoor's film?

It was offered to me but nobody gave me story narration. Then something happened. I'm sure it must be dates (Laughs). That's one of the reasons I can't take on many projects. I'm also pretty honest with producers when the role they offer isn't up to the mark. I'm not expecting to be offered branded roles but they should be substantial. I want my due as an actress.

What other films do you have on hand?

There's Vikram Bhatt's Aitbaar with Amitabh Bachchan and John Abraham. I'm also doing Vikram's Footpath with Aftab Shivdasani. There's Rohit Shetty's Zameen with Abhishek Bachchan. I play an airhostess in the film. It is about hijacking. I was offered another fabulous film with Abhishek. Unfortunately, I had to turn it down because I did not have the dates. Lara (Dutta) is doing that role now. There's also Glen and Ankush's Jaane Kya Hoga with Aftab again. It's about human cloning. I have also agreed to do Mani Shankar's Rudraksh with Sanjay Dutt. I'm also doing a film being directed by Krishna Babu in which I'm this sweet, simple, Muslim girl called Khushboo who falls in love with a Hindu boy.

Tell us something about Vikram Bhatt's Aitbaar.
Aitbaar is the story of girl who is torn between her father and lover. Her father, played by Amitabh Bachchan, has lost a child in the riots. He is convinced that her boyfriend, played by John Abraham, is not the right guy for her. The lover is possessive, the father obsessive. And this complicates the girl's life.

How was it working with Amitabh Bachchan?

It has been an extraordinary experience. He is a pro. He comes on the dot and is very composed on the sets. I have a lot to learn from him.

So what is the story of Footpath?
Footpath is the story of four friends and how they get embroiled in drug trafficking. I play Rahul Dev's sister and Aftab's friend. The four grow up on the footpath. I'm the only one to have had a sheltered upbringing. I choose not to associate myself with my brothers on moral grounds. It is basically a male dominated film but I play an important role.

Now tell us about your Coke commercial with Hrithik Roshan?
Oh, Hrithik is such a good-looking guy and an absolute sweetheart. I really enjoyed shooting with him. However it's a pity the ad is delayed because of some problems. Hope things are sorted out soon.

Now on the professional front, your relationship with Dino was going on very steadily then what went wrong?

Well it's really difficult to say. Maybe our priorities changed and we were not ready to compromise on any front. We began going steady when we were very young and vulnerable. Today, we are all grown up and different people. Thankfully, Dino and I are still the best of friends. We still go out. We are doing films together. What's changed is that we are not girlfriend and boyfriend anymore. And I think in today's day and age that's insignificant. What matters is friendship!

Do you regret anything in your life?

No. I am happy with what I have and the way my life has shaped up. I only believe in hard work and to succeed in life you have to be sincere with what you are doing and do it with all your heart.

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