Acting Chops

Acting Chops

IF YOUNG ACTRESS Parineeti Chopra ever discovered the formula to bottle the energy she exudes, she would be one very rich lady.

By David Light

Published: Wed 31 Oct 2012, 10:37 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:23 PM

Bids would come in from far and wide for merely the essence of this girl’s joie de vivre, which, when speaking with her, is infectious. Whether it’s the incessant fidgeting, her cheeky laugh, or the juxtaposition of a mature gravelly voice with that fresh-faced demeanour, Parineeti makes for an entertaining conversation partner.

“I’m always very loud!” the Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl starlet stated when concerns over the music in the Ritz Carlton DIFC ballroom being too loud were raised. “You’ll be able to hear me from the next room,” she added bouncing around in her chair.

In Dubai to walk the ramp for a special Manish Malhotra Diwali collection show for Sarah Belhasa’s Studio 8 boutique on Monday, this was Parineeti’s third time acting as the showstopper for the famous Indian designer. Putting the cherry on the cake of an impressive compilation of designs, Parineeti’s walk drew the loudest cheer of the evening when she appeared next to Manish to take the applause.

The high tea event turned out to be just the beginning of the evening, however, as the 24-year-old was instantly swamped by well-wishers for the best part of the next two hours. Spending time with anyone who approached her, it is possibly this public appeal that led to her being chosen as a host and winner of a People’s Choice award during its inaugural ceremony in India on Saturday.

The trophy Parineeti took home over the weekend was for her supporting role in the Maneesh Sharma-directed Ladies Vs. Ricky Bahl, but it is as the feisty Zoya in this year’s Ishaqzaade that the relative newcomer has garnered most plaudits. Her awards for that performance will have to wait until next year, yet Parineeti is well aware of the impact the movie had and the fact it has established her acting credentials.

“I’m glad that one of the best scripts around came to me so early in my career,” she told us. “Now that I am an actress, I’m glad people aren’t only saying ‘she looks good.’ They are saying I can do this job and to achieve that means the most to me.

“I’m not just here as eye candy, because I don’t feel that I am that beautiful. The fact people praise my acting is what means the most to me.”

Beauty, of course, is in the eye of the beholder, but most wouldn’t argue that Parineeti has a charming look that translates well to the screen. Despite this, conjecture has been rife as to the reason she hasn’t followed up her instant success with a host of new movies. Could it be her unconventional looks? Has she already been type-cast? According to the woman herself, it is simply a case of taking her time.

“I made the decision to not read any scripts before Ishaqzaade opened. I wanted to see where it went. I have finally chosen three films to shoot. My first movie starts next month, which is directed by Maneesh (Sharma) again. It doesn’t have a name yet, that happens a lot, but it’s about new relationships and is in a very Woody Allen space. It’s happily crazy and like nothing I have ever done. Although it’s a romantic film we are treating it like a comedy because it is so funny.”

Asked why she thought they came to her first with what she described as a “zany” script, not rising to the tongue-in-cheek tease she replied with a smile, “because I paid them.”

It was at that point that the tapping of fingers and funny expressions went into overdrive. A straight forward tete-a-tete had become highly amusing banter with few words being exchanged between the laughs. Comfortable in anyone’s company, it was the answer to a question on what she was wearing where her everywoman charisma shone through.

“I hate dressing up,” the model for the night declared. After the giggles had subsisted, she then clarified her statement, pointing out that even though it is a humorous thought for someone in her position, there was some truth to it. “There are designers like Manish whose clothes are beautiful, so once I am in them I am happy. But the thought of doing hair and makeup and having to sit properly I don’t like. I am a very energetic person and want to move around all the time. I feel restricted, but it’s a very small price to pay because I’m in the profession that I love.”

Parineeti’s thoughts on the future and marriage

“My aim in life is to be constantly busy. For an actor that is a huge aim. We are not dependent on what we want to do. We are dependent on whether people want to see us. People have to like what we do and I want to be in that space. I want to do lots of films, adverts, shows and in ten years I want to get married.”

Why the strict ten-year timetable?

“Somebody asked me a few months ago why I wasn’t married and I replied that I am only 24, why should I be? I told them I’m not going to even think about it for the next ten years and that became the headline. It just seemed to stick and I like it. Who knows, I may find someone right now?”

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