Before Kick, I had no confidence: Jacqueline Fernandez

The Sri Lankan actress admits Kick has triggered a dream run; says be it Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar or Tiger Shroff, all these actors have the same energy level.

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Mayur Lookhar

She turned up looking like she had just shot a hot dance number. Jacqueline Fernandez was dressed in casual shorts, cool top and brown shades. Before one could ask her, she was quick to remind everyone that the shades were because the vagaries of show business had left her with a sore eye.

The beautiful Sri Lankan actress will soon be seen in A Flying Jatt, her third film in less than three months. Fernandez plays an environment teacher, one bubblier and louder than characters she has played before.

"Housefull 3, Dishoom, and now A Flying Jatt. It is a very exciting time for me," Fernandez said. "Since most of these films are back to back, I get to see and meet you [media] people regularly. I may not know all your names, but at the same time I do recognize most faces. It can also be taxing as promotion in the Hindi film industry is at a different level today. You have to be on your toes, aware and focused every single day."

The Bahrain-born Sri Lankan had a difficult start to her career with her first two films, Aladin (2009) and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai (2010), bombing at the box office. She then took on a bold avatar in Murder 2 (2011) and appeared in hits likes Housefull 2 (2012) and Race 2 (2013). However, she only played second or even third fiddle into these multi-starrers.

A break-up with director Sajid Khan had fans fearing that it could be the end of the journey for Fernandez. But her career got a much-needed kick when she starred along with superstar Salman Khan in the 2014 blockbuster Kick. asked Fernandez whether the turnaround in her career was the result of Kick. “Definitely, post-Kick I've been able to do five movies in three years, something which never happened to me before," she said. "Since Kick, it has been an amazing dream. Hope it doesn't end.”

Asked what went wrong before Kick, she replied, “Before Kick, I didn't have any confidence. I was working hard, but that wasn't the problem. Back then, I used to be low on confidence.”

From Akshay Kumar to Salman Khan, Varun Dhawan to Tiger Shroff. Fernandez has worked with seasoned pros and GenNext stars. Asked about her experience of shooting with both sets, she said, “The superstars have years of experience, but the reason why they are still there is because they have the exact same energy as these young actors. One thing common between all of them is that they are all ambitious and extremely focused on work.”

Talking about her A Flying Jatt co-star, Fernandez said, “He is extremely shy and I'm usually the one talking. He keeps telling everyone that he is really boring, but Tiger is actually a fun person to be with. I am an extrovert while he is an introvert, but we gel well. We also share common interests – dance, travel, movies.”

A Flying Jatt, a superhero film, has been generating great buzz among fans. Fernandez’s new dance number 'Beat Pe Booty' is creating waves for its Matrix-style dancing. asked the actress whether the Matrix movement was fiction or reality.

“It is possible [to pull off such moves]," she explained. "You just have to work on your glutes and your core. I’m sure you can pull it off. You just need Tiger’s knee, though. Jokes apart, if you have seen the making, then it [the move] was harnessed. The funny thing was that even though the harness was there to help me, it was really difficult to move in that position. You need to have lot of leg strength, lot of core strength to pull off something like that.  Obviously, I couldn’t see when I was doing it, but in the film it looks really good. [Filmmaker] Remo [D’Souza] always has to do something different."

While Fernandez's stock is rising, there are also murmurs that she has been keeping tabs on the career moves and film offers of the other successful import, Katrina Kaif. When this was brought to her notice, Fernandez said it was commonplace in the media to fuel such talk and create misunderstandings between two performers and so she never felt the need to respond to such tales.

What is true, however, is that Fernandez will be starring in an upcoming Salman Khan-Karan Johar co-production. Confirming the development, the actress said, “We start shooting for that some time next year. You will see plenty of action in it. It is a very interesting script and a different kind of role for me. I’m looking for scripts which are meatier and where I can challenge myself. This [film] is definitely something that fits that criteria.”

Finally, we asked Fernandez if Tiger Shroff, as the younger co-star, addresses her as madam, the way he greets female journalists. "No, I’ve known Tiger for a while," she said. "We work out together.  We’ve been friends before A Flying Jatt. I was there when his first film Heropanti released. We are very contemporary, we hang out together, Though I must admit he is very polite, it would make me feel old if Tiger called me madam,” she laughed.

A Flying Jatt releases on 25 August 2016.