Looking chic, Soha Ali Khan animatedly talks about her upcoming film, Tum Mile, her first onscreen kiss, her first film with mom Sharmila Tagore and shooting with Shiney Ahuja after the controversy. Excerpts:
What is interesting about Tum Mile?
The plot. It is about what happens when, during a natural disaster, two ex-lovers meet accidentally after six years.
Do you think a relationship can get rekindled in such a situation?
It depends a lot on the people and how they choose to react to the situation. It also depends if there is still any love left after so many years. A lot may have happened in the interim; you may have moved on and started a relationship with someone else. You may not trust that person anymore. It depends on how you left the relationship. Many factors come into play.
Are you still friends with those with whom you had a relationship in the past?
Umm … I am with some and I am not with some. It depends on the intensity of the relationship and the reasons for your break up. And time, I think, heals things. Eventually you move on and may become friends.
What convinced you to go ahead with your first full-fledged onscreen kiss in Tum Mile?
It’s integral to the plot; so it wasn’t such a big deal. Lots of people are doing it and it adds something to our film.
Does it have anything to do with keeping Emraan’s serial kisser image alive?
No! In fact, he tries desperately in every film not to kiss and his directors ultimately say ‘Arrey ek de do na, kuch jam nahi raha hai, bas chemistry ke liye’ ( laughs). It haunts him a bit. For me it was not such a big deal and actually it’s not even my first kiss. There was a tiny peck with Abhay Deol in Ahista Ahista. This is not actually a lot more than that but a kiss is a kiss, isn’t it? ( laughs).
Do you think actors are less inhibited and the audience is more receptive these days?
Yes, there is a certain level of maturity among the audience as well as the actors. I am sure there are actors who are more conservative than I am and there are those more progressive than I am. It’s your call as an actor about how far you are willing to go. If, while portraying a character, you are able to bare your heart and soul and forget about your body, it’s great. It should be respected and not exploited. I feel there is a fine line between exploring and exploiting in this industry. Our audience is mature but traditional. Kissing is accepted but there are certain areas we haven’t ventured into as a country.
You mean going topless in films like Kate Winslet did in Reader?
In Rang Rasiya, I believe there is a topless shot by Nandana Sen. I think she is very brave to do that. It’s a beautiful shot, very aesthetic but I don’t know how people will receive it. There are certain traditional sections in society that may object to it. But I would see it as a movie about art and expression.
Will you do a topless shot for a film?
I would definitely have reservations about doing a nude shot like that, which is why I said Nandana Sen is brave. I don’t think I could do that.
What is up with Tera Kya Hoga Johny and The Accident?
Tera Kya Hoga Johny is ready but there has been a mad rush to release films so they need to figure out when to release it. I am shooting The Accident which I will be completing next week.
You are meeting Shiney after the maid controversy. How would you react to him as a co-star?
I feel one should be professional. He has been through tough times. It has been months (since we shot) so I am just focussing on how to get back into the character.
Do such controversies influence one’s impression about their co-actors?
My opinion about my co-stars has no relevance to my performance. Your likes and dislikes have to be left in your vanity van. When you go on the sets, you are the character.
Recently, your film with your mom Sharmila Tagore Life Goes On was premiered at MAMI. What was the response like?
Oh, it was heart-warming. I was very nervous but it went off well. People loved it. Sharing screen space with my mom was really special.
Bollywood news service