STUNNING ACTRESS ON GIRL POWER, HER KILLER CAREER AND DEADLY NEW FILM
by ASJAD NAZIR
BOLLYWOOD bombshell Bipasha Basu has always had an explosive presence in cinema and returned to films after a gap of five years in recently released thriller Dangerous, which premiered online earlier this month.
The UK set drama sees her star opposite real life husband Karan Singh Grover and looks like starting a new phase in the career of a popular actress, who has become a unique icon in her own right. She plays an investigator trying to find the missing wife of a millionaire, who happens to be her ex-lover.
Eastern Eye caught up with Bipasha Basu during lockdown to discuss her epic journey in cinema, new film Dangerous, actor husband Karan Singh Grover, inspirations and plans.
How have you coped with lockdown?
I try to look at the positive side of every situation. Karan and I used this time judiciously, and realised that this time given to us is very valuable, precious and we need to evolve, and become a better version of our own selves in every possible way. It’s mainly about reconnecting, reevaluating, rethinking about the purpose of life, looking after mind, body and spirit – all of it. It’s been an amazing phase where I could give myself undivided attention, also understand what’s not required and required in my life.
Have you taken up any hobbies?
Yes I have. I’ve started gardening and like looking after my plants. I also realised my love for cooking. My love for food was always evident, but I never knew I would like to cook so much. I’m pretty much a very good chef and baker, so am enjoying that.
Have you looked back on your amazing journey during the coronavirus lockdown?
Absolutely. This period is a great time to reflect on your life, entire journey as a career person, as an actor and human being. Reflecting back only brings a smile to my face, and sometimes, I laugh at mistakes I’ve made in the past. But that’s the beauty of it. Life is such that you need to live in the present. The past should bring a smile to your face, while you’re always looking forward to the future.
Looking back, would you have wanted to do anything differently?
The person I’ve evolved to and become today is very different from the girl I was in my past. Yes, there would be a lot of things that would have been done differently if I were in that situation at the present time. I can’t really pinpoint, but it definitely would be different.
You are massively popular, but why have you slowed down on the film front?
I believe there’s one life and you have to enjoy every aspect of it. I’ve been working from a very early age. When I was 15, I started working as a model and as an actor at the age of 19, so I’ve given a lot of absolutely undivided time to my career. When I got married, I took a decision to slow down and enjoy the perks of all I’ve earned. I feel slowing down is not a bad thing. The entire world at this point of time has slowed down and realised a lot. Sometimes, it’s important to rethink, re-evaluate and understand what’s the purpose of your life. Right now, the entire world is doing just that.
Tell us more…
I have an amazing partner so can’t ever complain, but slowing down for me meant living a very integral part of my life – my family life. The time that I couldn’t spend earlier with my parents and family, I dedicated a lot of time to that, which was important for me. I definitely think it was the right decision, but today I am ready to get back into work, but in a balanced, not in a crazy, way. So yes, now I’m opening out to work offers.
What was the experience of working with your husband Karan Singh Grover on Dangerous?
Working on Dangerous with Karan was an amazing experience because I think there were quite a few tough moments and situations, and if he were not by my side, it would have been very difficult for me. It was a blessing that Karan was my co-star and when he is by my side, everything becomes so much more easier.
Did your dynamic on set change?
There’s a kind of professionalism both of us carry. Most of the time we are stuck to each other like glue, but on set, we had our own separate vanities and privacy as actors. We would have lunch together and rest whenever there was time between shots, but we liked being in our zones and working on the scenes. So, we do have the actor’s code, which exists without even being discussed. It’s great that both of us are alike, so yes, that tiny bit of the actor definitely precedes over the wife or the husband.
What was the experience of shooting in UK like?
UK is amazing! London is one of my favourite cities and Karan’s too. We have had tremendous experiences every time in UK and shooting there was extremely comfortable. We have a lot of friends there as well, so, it was quite an amazing experience. Only at the end, we had an unfortunate incident of Karan having an accident on set and from that moment it was very tough. We had to do surgery and put a rod in his leg. The entire unit left, only Karan, my assistant and I remained in London. We spent Diwali in a hotel, as he was not allowed to travel back to India because of the surgery. So yes, it was an eventful trip.
What is your own favourite moment in Dangerous?
It’s a thriller with lots of twists and turns, so I can’t really tell you which moment is my favourite because that would definitely reveal a lot about the plotline. It was exciting to be a part of this thriller and I hope people love it.
Today, what is the priority for you professionally?
Professionally, my priority would be to be a part of projects where there’s a tremendous, author-backed role for me. I’m looking forward to some interesting web series or shows because in that you can have a long-term graph of a character, so am looking forward to something really exciting in the near future.
What kind of roles are you looking for?
With the advent of the web shows and series, thankfully, there’s no character, which is stereotypical. There are a variety of shades and different kinds of roles that are being written for men and women. I am looking forward to any role that I have not played before or anything that is interesting as an actor. Right now, I am looking forward to good writing and strong characters. Let’s hope it happens soon.
Do you think your sexy image works against you in terms of roles that you are offered?
I wouldn’t say that a sexy image really works against me in terms of roles offered to me. I would say that people have a little bit of the stereotypical vision. I, as an actor, can fit in any kind of a role. I have done a lot of different kinds of roles, from a simpleton to an absolutely glamorous character, so every type. But I also feel, in today’s times, the visionaries, people who are making content, their ideas and minds are much more open to seeing actors in different ways. I don’t think that it’s a problem at this point of time to get interesting work.
Do you see yourself working in the West in the future?
Time and again, there has been a curiosity and interest about me working in the West. There were a couple of auditions also. I would love to work there, but to relocate myself, there’s a lot of thinking behind that. I don’t think I would like to do that, but project wise I would love to. There’s no particular boundary I have in my head being an actor.
How much do you and your husband discuss work at home?
We are actors, so do discuss our work. It’s very healthy to have a chat about the different content that is being offered to us, but the final decision is the individual’s. It only helps to have another actor who can hear you out and give their opinion about what you are thinking.
What do you most like about Karan as an actor?
Karan is absolutely spontaneous and a natural. There’s no method acting in his case. He’s like, you just tell him and he’s ready. He’s very professional and absolutely fantastic with lines and his memory is great. So, as a co-actor, he’s a dream to work with.
You are a symbol of girl power, what key advice would you give young women and girls?
I would say always believe in yourself and don’t try to be like somebody else. You can get inspired by others, but always maintain and build your own identity. Be happy with who you are, love yourself and give yourself everything, which is very important. We, as women, are programmed to be givers, so we kind of start giving at a very young age to everybody around us and those we care for, and kind of forget ourselves, which shouldn’t be the case. In today’s time, we have to look after ourselves first and then we will be able to look after others better.
What inspires you?
Life inspires me! It’s a tremendous gift. Every morning I wake up, feel grateful that I’m alive and start my morning rituals. I like that my life is a little ritualistic now; everything is disciplined and I do everything on time. I look after myself, so there’s a lot of self care involved in my everyday process. My partner inspires me everyday; the person he is and his spirituality inspire me on a daily basis. My parents inspire me; they’re a wonderful couple. Throughout this lockdown, they’ve been alone, but have been fantastic. They’re always positive, learning something, doing something, energetic and full of life. Basically, it’s life around me. The people around me are inspiring, so can’t complain!
Why should we watch Dangerous?
Dangerous will give you a thrilling evening of binge watching in the comforts of your own home. It’s exciting and fun. If you love me and haven’t seen me act for a while, it’s something I’m doing after a long time. What’s exciting is Karan and I are back in a project and people like us as a couple. For people who like Karan as an actor, he has an extremely dynamic role. There are a lot of reasons, so find your own reason and watch it.