It's very essential to get your comic timing right, says Pagalpanti star Ileana D'Cruz
Ileana D'Cruz in conversation with City Times ahead of the release of Pagalpanti
Ileana D'Cruz, who had taken a brief hiatus from movies to deal with some health issues, is back with a bang on the big screen in Pagalpanti. The actress who got her big Bollywood break with Barfi! is familiar with comedies, but when asked how she fitted into an ensemble film, featuring seasoned comedy stars, Ileana said it's always better to have several actors. "The more (actors) the better, different actors bring different styles of acting to the table which enhances the film," said Illeana, while speaking to City Times ahead of the movie's release.
Tell us about your role in Pagalpanti.
My character (Sanjana) is the most normal person from the entire crazy bunch, but she gets caught in a crazy situation, thanks to John (Abraham's character) and his bad luck. Sanjana just wants to get her money back from him and get out of the mess, but she ends up falling into one crazy situation after another. She's kind of torn because she used to love the guy, but she also wants her money back.
What's the craziest moment you've had in your life?
I would have to say that the craziest moment for me was signing my first film, because, at that time, I was not at all prepared for the movie world. I wasn't looking to be an actor, I didn't know anything about acting, I didn't know the language of the film I was working in, and I didn't even know how to dance, so I guess, that must have been my pagalpanti moment!
Was it tough working with a huge cast?
It doesn't matter how many people are working in a film. The more the better, because it adds that much more character to a film. Different actors bring different styles of acting to the table which enhances the film. I never had any insecurity issues working with an ensemble cast. I had to just focus on playing my character, and by doing that nothing else mattered for me. Anees Bazmee was very clear in how he wanted us to play our characters, so that made our jobs so much easier. You didn't have to overthink or get confused because he just spells your role out perfectly for you. We had fun on the sets. I got to work with Anil Kapoor again, then there was John who has an unusual sense of humour and then there was Arshad (Warsi), who has incredible comic timing. So it was a great feeling on set.
Who were you most comfortable with?
Anil Kapoor. He and I have a great rapport. I love having conversations with him. Then there was Saurabh, I've worked with him in Barfi! and other films. He is a lovely person. But I also became very close friends with Arshad while filming. We bonded so well, I also got very close to his family.
Serious/romantic roles versus comedy - which genre do you enjoy?
I like to mix it up. I like working in serious films but sometimes things can be physically challenging. I like to switch it up because I don't want to do just serious films. Pagalpanti was a fun film and after this, I will be doing a serious film, (The Big Bull) with Abhishek Bachchan.
Does it take a lot of effort to do comedy?
For sure, it does. You have to get your comic timing right. It's very essential because if you don't get that right your jokes fall flat. It also helps if you have a director who understands comedy. In this matter, Anees was bang on, he's one of the funniest people I know, and his writing is fantastic, and having someone like him around makes our job a lot easier.
Between your last film Raid and Pagalpanti you took a nearly two-year break. What was the reason?
Honestly, I didn't like the offers that were coming my way. Then I had some health issue so I had to take some time off to recover. In terms of offers I wasn't too pleased with them, I'm extremely picky and I would rather wait for a good script and do movies that I'm 'kind of happy with'.