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Genelia D’Souza talks about making her latest Bollywood movie Force and what it’s like to be famous

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Published: Tue 27 Sep 2011, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Wed 1 Nov 2023, 9:37 AM

A STYLISED THRILLER among the new wave of Indian films paying homage to the seminal Indian action genre, Force hopes to combine state-of-the-art fight sequences and thrills with an original romantic narrative, delivering an abundance of on-screen energy and vigour that will have audiences gripped.

Directed by the critically acclaimed, Filmfare and National Award winning Nishikant Kamat, at the heart of the action-love story is a renegade cop, played by John Abraham, in relentless pursuit of a ruthless, underworld gangster. Sharing the screen with John is one of the most vivacious starlets Genelia D’Souza who plays John’s love interest.

The free spirited Maya (D’Souza) pushes Yashvardhan (Abraham) to make a choice between the life he already knows and the life he could have with her. Here Genelia D’souza explains all.

You have become hugely successful, yet keep a relatively low profile why is that?

I have been extremely lucky with the roles and films I have signed and the opportunities that have presented themselves. However, I still feel there still much more ground for me to cover in my career and I want to do so much more. Insofar as keeping a low profile, I just try and focus on my work and do the best I can. Of course, as an actor, you are in the public eye, but I never let that divert my attention from the job at hand and always try to remain grounded and focused. My family plays a huge role in keeping my feet on the ground. At home, I am very much part of the family, have certain responsibilities at home and am treated as normally as any daughter, sister would be.

You are very picky about the films you do, what does a project need to have before you say yes?

I believe that the script is the king of the project. If a script can grip you on paper, then there is no doubt that it will translate into an interesting watch on screen if envisioned and executed by the team best suited for it. After the script comes the team backing it and the vision they have for the project and my character. I am always drawn to an appealing story premise and idea – something that is innovative in its own way - be it the idea itself or its projection.

What attracted you to Force?

It is a film that allowed me to push both my artistic and physical boundaries. I think while the young, cute, energetic girl has been something most people associate me with, Force has given me a character who is definitely a mature extension of that bubbly girl. As soon as I read the script, I was hooked and wanted to be a part of this film. In addition to the story and script knowing that Nishikant and Vipul were at the helm of it gave me more reason to be part of the project.

Can you tell us about the film and character you play?

Force is a very stylish and contemporary action-romantic thriller, layered with many twists and a compelling, central narrative. It is essentially a cop film with a love story at the heart of it. It’s a very gripping film with a strong suspense streak along with well executed action scenes that will certainly have audiences glued to the screen. I play the character of Maya who is an extremely strong and empowered character in her own right. Within her cute, energetic and affable persona, she is a strong willed and someone who believes in doing things a certain way to make a difference to the world.

Force has been touted as an action film, where does your character fit into it?

Maya, my character plays a very crucial part to the progression of the film in addition to serving as the backbone to her partner. She is his confidante, his support and she is also fearless in her own way. She stands her own in the film and is key to how the story pans out. Her own character etching has a very prominent space in the film.

What is John Abraham like as a co-star and how does he compare to other leading men you have worked with?

He is extremely disciplined and focused on set. He has a very positive aura around him and enjoys the work he does. I have known and worked with him before so we had a rapport that went even beyond the film.

In all honesty, I can’t really compare the leading men I have worked with, as they have all been so great in their own ways. I have been fortunate enough to work with some wonderfully talented actors and each of those working equations have helped me learn and grown and I cherish the time I’ve spent with them to ensure we do our best and add value to our films.

Will this film appeal to the ladies?

Yes, without a doubt. Firstly, you have John’s amazing, eight-pack abs providing some eye candy for the ladies. But more seriously, it is such a well-crafted film – some wonderfully choreographed action sequences, a gripping narrative, and insofar as my role, ladies will certainly be able to relate to Maya. She very much represents the modern woman and has a very key role in the film. I think the film will appeal to men and women equally.

Why has there been a sudden rush of police films?

Police films have been such a defining genre within Indian cinema – not only Hindi movies but throughout regional cinema also – and I think it’s a space that is growing further.

Why have you remained so connected to south Indian cinema?

I completely enjoy filmmaking regardless of which language it is communicated in. I have been working across four industries – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam and honestly consider myself fortunate to have got the opportunity to work and learn so much.

How does it compare to commercial Hindi cinema?

The sensibilities, the working techniques, the stylistics and the productions as a whole are quite unique. The industry has its own identity, just as Hindi cinema does, and stays very true to itself. It very much does its own thing, follows its own rules and is highly innovative and skilled as a standalone industry.

Do the fake rumours that circulate about your personal life bother you?

Honestly, I am really surprised and amused with most fake rumours. You can’t allow yourself to dwell on these things. It’s amusing how the fertile imagination of a few people can actually result in rather ridiculous rumours. I am sure people consuming information like this are smart enough to realise the truth.

Do you like being famous?

I think fame is a by-product of being fortunate enough to be doing what I love doing most - acting. I am so blessed and fortunate to be in this position. It is extremely humbling. There are a few downsides such as the invasion into your private and personal life, but it is something you have to live with. I’m so thankful for the opportunities I have had and I wouldn’t want to change anything.

If you could do any other career what would it be and why

If I wasn’t an actor, I would probably working in an MNC as I have pursued my MBA.

What other films do you have on the way?

Among my other Hindi projects I am reading a few scripts which when finalized I can formally announce and talk about. I am currently shooting for Tere Naal Love Ho Gaya – a Mandeep Kumar/Tips film opposite Riteish Deshmukh.

Tell us something not many people know about you?

I was a national level football player growing up.

Can you give a message to your fans?

Thank you all for supporting me, giving me your love, affection, encouragement and blessings and for being a key reason for making me get to where I am today. Please go watch my film Force – it’s a great movie.

Why should we all go watch Force?

A lot of hard work and passion went into the project from everyone involved. Force falls clearly under the classic action romance genre, but leverages state-of-the-art screen technology to modernize the presentation. It is also a very classic narrative and plot line, with a strong romantic undertone set in today’s times. I hope audiences across all ages enjoy and appreciate this movie. Above all, Force will appeal to a wide variety of cinemagoers as it has something for everyone from action to drama and romance.

Force opens in the UAE on Thursday, September 29

Genelia, who is known for playing the bubbly, vivacious college girl in most of her films, says she seems to own that spot in Bollywood.

The 24-year-old actress, who has portrayed the role of a young energetic girl in films like Tujhe Meri Kasam and Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na, says she is offered such roles more than other actresses.

“I seem to own the spot of the college girl in Bollywood. Down south I have been given strong issue based roles. But here I don’t get one,” Genelia said.

During the making of Force, a scene where Genelia had to tie the knot with her co-star John in the film faced controversy after the priest who conducted the on-screen ceremony, claimed that he had read out the actual wedding mantra.

But Genelia, who has been fighting off rumours of her marriage to good friend Ritesh Deshmukh, says she is tired of clarifying her martial status.

“I am a girl, I have a family and I also want to get married. I am bothered by rumours about me. It not only affects me but also my family. We actors have a life, we have a heart and we are lonely and they should get that straight before doing cheap publicity stunts. It is sad,” she said.

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