Q. Passion, looks, hardwork, ability and expressions. A concoction of which of these characteristics, according to you, is essential for an aspiring actress?
A. Passion for what you do and a whole lot of hardwork with it. Nothing comes easy. You need to love what you do and you’ll eventually work hard towards achieving it.
Q. You were born in Sri Lanka. What drew you to Hindi cinema, which is culturally a lot different?
A. Yes. Completely different. But Bollywood is a vast industry. I have known Bollywood since a young age and was drawn towards it pretty quick. So when Aladin came my way, I took it and never looked back.
Q. In your other interviews, you have admitted that your first film wasn’t that much of a struggle for you. Tell us about that.
A. It definitely was not. The funniest thing about it was that without even trying, this project came my way… So, I have realised from my first experience that it is just about being happy with what you get. It is not about becoming desperate or frustrated. It is just about letting things come your way naturally. In the meantime, you should be happy and feel great with whatever you have already. The time I got Aladin, I was not having any expectations and I actually didn’t care much. I was just doing my work accepting whatever came my way when this fantastic opportunity presented itself.
Everything has its pros and cons. I did have to struggle actually. I wasn’t a good dancer and my Hindi was also quite bad. Now, of course, it’s all much, much better. But I have been through my share of struggles too.
Q. How did you prepare for your role in Judwaa 2?
A. Judwaa 2 is a real rollercoaster ride. We’ve had an amazing time shooting in London and Mauritius. I play Karishma’s character in this film but it was just a breeze. David Sir [David Dhawan, the director] was there and gave us guidance and support and yeah, we did a couple of readings too to fit into the skin of the characters.
Q. Sharing screen space with Taapsee Pannu and Varun Dhawan, how was that experience?
A. I have worked with Varun in Dishoom (2016) before and it’s always amazing to share screen space with someone whom you have a great connect with both on and off-screen. I’m really comfortable with him and his energy just keeps the set alive at all times. I am working with Tapsee for the first time of course and fortunately, we connected instantly. She’s been an awesome co-star and she’s a lovely person to add to it. We’ve created so many memories on Judwaa.
Q. You have also worked in two Hollywood movies —Definition Fear (2015), and the soon-to-be-released According to Matthew. How was it like working in Hollywood?
A. Hollywood and Bollywood, both the industries work quite differently. There’s so much to learn and take back with you. It was difficult but at the end of the day it’s all what you learn and apply to get better at what you do.
Q. You are mostly seen in glamorous roles in commercial films.Would you also like to do offbeat cinema?
A. Yes, I’d love to do so. Everything is an opportunity to learn and experience new things to better yourself. It would be interesting to do that kind of cinema. If given a chance, I would love to take it up as I feel I’m ready for it. At this point in my career, I would love to challenge myself into doing something that is off the beaten path.
Q. You’ve been in the industry for almost eight years now. What are the biggest lessons that you have learned?
A. Looking back, eight years seem long now. There’s always something to learn and pick up. Hardwork is honestly the key to getting wherever you want to be. Just put your head in the game and keep going.
Q. You’ve had two back-to-back releases with A Gentleman and Judwaa 2. How excited or nervous are you?
A. A Gentleman released on 25 August and now it’s time for Judwaa 2. I am super-excited for this one. The craze from the first Judwaa still continues and with this music, who can resist? Nervousness creeps in closer to the film’s release date.
Q. What is it that you keep in mind before you come on board to endorse a brand or a certain range of products?
A. All my brands are a reflection of me. I endorse a brand because I truly believe in it and what it stands for. For me, my brands are an extension of me and I like to give my hundred percent to all of them.
Q. You have supported charitable organisations, campaigns and a number of causes. Recently you were a part of Forever Against Animal Testing campaign, by a cosmetic brand. What message did you want to give to the world about animal protection?
A. That, guys, please please stop testing your products on animals. It’s not fair. The Body Shop’s campaign on Forever Against Animal Testing has brought a large number of people to sign their petition to stop such testing. Tere is a global target to raise eight million petitions to stop animal testing forever and everywhere. Let’s aim to avoid this completely and keep our animals protected from these hazardous chemicals.
Q. How do you define creative satisfaction?
A. Creativity is about being visionary. To me, when your vision comes alive into execution, that is when you are really creative.
Q. Which projects are you currently working on?
A. I am working on two films now, Drive and Race 3.