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Interview Hindi

Jacqueline Fernandez: I was hamming away in A Gentleman but Raj-DK calmed me down

The actress got candid about the film and how she suddenly thought about the idea of pole dancing in the song 'Chandralekha.'

Photo: Shutterbugs Images

Keyur Seta

Jacqueline Fernandez has an unusual feat of having two movies back-to-back where she is cast opposite an actor who is playing a double role: Siddharth Malhotra in A Gentleman and Varun Dhawan in Judwaa 2. For the time being, she got speaking about A Gentleman, which is a quirky action film about two diverse lookalike characters. In a chat with Cinestaan.com, Fernandez shared her experience and how she suddenly thought about the idea of pole dancing in the song ‘Chandralekha.’ 

It is an action film. How much of the action was done by you?

There is a lot of action in the film. I am doing a little bit of it. Not much. It’s in my character to do action. And she gets put in a situation where she has to. But it is like kind of out of her world to actually do that. But she still manages to. 

You have done quite a few action films like Kick (2014), Dishoom (2016) and now A Gentleman. But we haven’t seen you do a lot of action...

That’s really upsetting for me because I have been a part of such big action movies. I keep hoping. I keep thinking — when are they going to give me an action film to actually do the action? I can do my own stunts. You won’t even need to spend on a body double (laughs). But unfortunately I haven’t been given that opportunity. 

How challenging was the pole dancing in the song ‘Chandralekha’?

It was crazy. And it was so weird and random. We were shooting in Miami and we had this song ‘Chandralekha’ to shoot for. I knew it was an office song and a party. I was like, oh one more party song, so same dancing and choreography. I thought what can we do to make it different for me, someone who actually enjoys dancing and wants to do different things. I looked around and asked Raj and DK, ‘Can’t you see something that is all over the place and everywhere you look — on the beach, gyms and clubs?’ There’s pole dancing everywhere! Miami is pretty cool when it comes to pole dancing. So, I got this idea and asked if we can incorporate this in the song. 

But on my first day of training, I said, ‘Guys, let’s not do pole dancing. It’s really, really difficult.’ But the trainer had already flown in. It was amazing. Not only did I learn this amazing dance form but it has also become a part of my fitness regime now. It has helped me improve my upper body strength. It’s fun to do and it looks great in the song. 

You have worked with two director duos — Abbas-Mastan (Race 2, 2013) and Raj-DK. How different are they in their working style and approach?

Raj and DK talk more than Abbas-Mustan. This is also because I have a lot more to talk to them about. When I worked with Abbas-Mustan, I was relatively new, so we didn’t have that much of a conversation. They are very, very soft spoken. Raj and DK don’t shout or get angry. They are very chilled out and laid back. But they are quirkier in their sensibilities. Abbas-Mustan’s genre is very specific. They do thriller suspense and action stuff. Raj and DK get action comedy very well, especially comedy. They both work as one unit. They both say ‘action,’ ‘cut,’ ‘good’ and ‘okay got it’ together. They are actually like one person.

How similar are you to your character Kavya in real life?

Very! Even when I was getting the narration, I was like, ‘Okay, this girl sounds a lot like me.’ Except that my job is different. Kavya works in an office in Miami. She is very normal NRI girl. She pretty much wants adventure in her life because she works 9 to 5 in a tech company. She is really longing to do fun stuff, which is why she plays X Box and loves fast cars. She is always pushing Gaurav to do cool things. She gets really upsets with him when he wants to stay at home and cook or wants to invite my parents home for dinner and come to see his new house. I just don’t understand it. That’s why she enjoys Rishi’c company more.

You were Siddharth’s bhabhi in Brothers (2015). The equation completely changed here.

(laughs) I told him, Sid just forget that if we were to do this film together. 

What makes you choose a film?

More than anything, when this film came to me, I was most excited for the fact that it had Raj and DK. They seem like fun. I love their aesthetics. I loved their Go Goa Gone (2013). It was very funny, different and youthful. Shor In The City (2011) as well had a really nice element of drama. I just felt these directors would do both. For me, working with directors is something really important because you learn a lot and they can extract a lot from you. And I feel like at that point where I want as much extraction to happen as possible (laughs). I felt they will make something real and won’t have any hamming. It was a bit funny because when we first started shooting, I was playing this character very loud, which I am used to. I am always been told to be more loud. So I was hamming away. They (Raj and DK) were like, Jackie just drop down, drop down. I said, it’s a lot harder (laughs). I liked how they mellowed me down and made me as real and relatable as possible. 

You just finished working on Judwaa 2. Judwaa (1997) was quite an iconic film. How was the experience like?

It was amazing. I actually didn’t realise it. When the film was offered to me, I was like, okay fine. Judwaa came in the 1990s. I hadn’t watched Hindi films and wasn’t well-versed with them then. So, I never understood the rage that was Judwaa. A lot of my friend say, ‘Oh my god! It’s freaking Judwaa and it’s so freaking cool. We have grown up on that film. It’s cult.’ I was like, I don’t get it. So, it didn’t really hit me. But the minute we started shooting the film, I started realising that this is a really, really big film and it will be a crazy roller-coaster. The day Salman (Khan) was on sets and I saw how emotional David sir was, it was nostalgic for him and Salman as well. 

You are starring in two films back-to-back (A Gentleman and Judwaa 2) where your co-star is playing a double role. How different are Siddharth and Varun when it comes to playing double roles?

They are so different. This (A Gentleman) is in a very action space. Varun’s is more into comedy. They are different also because the roles demand so much and there is so much difference in the role. Sid was able to carry off Gaurav who is a safe, calm and boring character as well as Rishi who is this rough and tough, crazy guy. I can’t wait for the trailer to come out for you guys to see what Varun has done. He is spectacular as Raja and Prem.