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published time By 2Blue published time 30 Dec, 2013 Share image 0 Shares
Load more There was an unmistakable genuineness about her smile when she opened the door to welcome me to the Christmas party that the Pinto sisters were hosting. As I tried to reciprocate the warmth, I hoped that my smile looked more relaxed than it felt. Truth be told, I could barely make eye contact. But by the end of this half-hour long interview, the eye-contact was long and intense, out of sheer gratitude and respect. Here’s exactly how it went down on the night of December 25, 2013 at the new Pinto residence in Orlem, Mumbai.

Every artiste worth his or her salt finds strength in struggle. Now that the hardships have gone out of the window for you, where do you draw inspiration from?

First of all, it’s not the end of the struggle. A different kind of struggle took over the day Slumdog Millionaire became a huge success. That’s when I was tested if I was really worth all the accolades and appreciation. Honestly, I don’t believe in achieving anything without struggle. It’s what makes you value what you gain (or lose) a lot more. Even the most established actors, who can ‘green light’ any role, deal with struggle. Working on the character, the dialect… there’s constant struggle. And that is a good thing as long as it’s a learning experience. So I still continue to find inspiration in struggle.

Artistes deal with more rejection than most people have to. How did you cope with it before Slumdog Millionaire?

Rejection happens because of various reasons. Either you are not right for the job, or someone can’t really see how you can be… because the person doesn’t have that stretch of imagination. Earlier, not understanding it made it very hard to cope with it. Now that I know the rules of the game, I understand it a lot better. And so, I don’t take rejection as harshly as I used to before.

The success of Slumdog brought with it several changes, relocation being one. How do you bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle for your precious few?

I keep my inner circle as tight and small as possible. I’m very private in that sense. Fortunately, the circle comprises friends who like to travel. I’m not a big fan of technology. So I don’t use it to ‘bridge the gap’. When I miss my family, I just fly home… which is at least two to three times a year. And mom’s home-made food gives me enough good memories to last a while.

You have a film lined up with Christian Bale. Now isn’t that something?! Tell us more.

It’s called Knight of Cups. It’s directed by Terrence Malick, and is scheduled for release in 2014. Honestly, it’s going to be a big surprise for all of us actors. We have finished shooting it. But we still don’t know what the film is all about. That’s the exciting part of my job. I get to work with some of the legends from the industry, who don’t tell the actors what the film is about.

Is there a Bollywood project in the offing?

Nothing as of right now, but I sure am interested in doing films like Mirch Masala, Arth, and Nishant. As you may know, these films featured Shabana Azmi and Smita Patil amongst other amazing actors. I have learned so much from them. Not to say that I don’t love comedy. Films like Khosla Ka Ghosla have also been very intriguing for me. But I haven’t really thought of doing hardcore commercial films as a career option.

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