Bollywood beauty Bipasha Basu was in the UK recently for the Bollywood Showstoppers Tour, which saw her dazzle audiences in Birmingham at the LG Arena as well as London at the O2 Arena, with dancing queen Malaika Arora Khan and singing sensations Atif Aslam and Shaan. We managed to catch up with the ‘Race’ actress to talk about film, fitness and fashion! Check out what the ‘Billo Rani’ had to say below.
DB: You was in London last year to finish of some re-shoots for your forthcoming Hollywood epic Singulairty. Your fans are eager to see the release of the film. Has a release date been confirmed?
BB: Even I have no idea. We are working on the post-production because it is an epic war film; it’s taking a long time in post-production. Everything is done so now it’s all about the post.
DB: Singularity is your Hollywood debut with Josh Hartnett. Which other Hollywood actor would you love to work with?
BB: Brad Pitt for sure! I am very loyal to my choices and I have always been the biggest fan of Brad Pitt.
DB: Your Bollywood debut was in a negative role in ‘Ajnabee’. Since then you have always played bold and unconventional characters in your films. What makes you want to challenge yourself and do these out of the box roles?
I am a very regular girl, I come from a very regular family, I’ve never really changed. But my profession gives me the freedom to be somebody else; somebody that is not me and it’s quite exciting.
It’s only sad that in Bollywood we don’t write such strong, interesting in-depth roles for woman. We always treat them as accessories, we always treat them as ‘okay she has to dance and look pretty’. We have to be with the hero, the hero has to save us. It’s a very typical strong stereotype I think all my contemporaries and me are a part of. But at the same time we want to fight against it and want to do something out of the box.
So I kind of keep on looking for roles that excite me that will want to bring me to set. Because we all know that you can look pretty, you can look good, but besides that when you are an actor there is always an urge to do something else.
DB: As an actress who stars in many female centric roles such as Jism and Corporate, why do you think such films have made a come back into Bollywood now especially with the popularity of films such as ‘The Dirty Picture’ and ‘Kahaani’?
BB: It has not come back, it is just a phase. Every time we did a ‘Corporate’ or a ‘Jism’ or any of my films which were steered by a woman, it was always said “ok it’s great times for women”, but on and off these films come and go. There will be one ‘Chameli’, one ‘Aitraaz’, there will be one ‘Corporate’ and one ‘Jism’. It just comes and goes.
‘The Dirty Picture’ and ‘Kahaani’ came back to back and I think it is wonderful for Vidya as an actor. She had a lot of struggle, but she has had it pretty good now because people are writing roles for her. But the rest of the contemporaries are still in the same place. It’s not that every single actress is getting the super fabulous roles. We are still looking pretty, wearing great clothes and looking sexy and glamorous. That is what we are known for. It’s not bad but, it is not something that is going to keep you here forever and ever, it’s something that is just very momentary.
DB: You are known as a fitness enthusiast. Why is keeping fit important to you?
BB: I think if you are not fit you are not going to really enjoy anything in life. You are not going to enjoy your career, the money that you make or the fame that you have. If you have no health there is absolutely no point in living. It is absolutely pointless.
DB: You’ve recently released your second fitness DVD. What tips would you give to people on being fit and healthy?
BB: The important thing is that you have to love yourself. If you don’t value the body that you are born with it’s actually kind of difficult to teach people how to start getting fit.
People have to understand the importance in the difference between fit and thin. People take too many shortcut practices just to become thin. So I am trying to preach and talk about fitness mostly and I don’t talk about anything that is a short cut. You cannot get fit in a week it is not possible. You can do crash courses and diets that can make you become unhealthy and skinny, but that is not what I preach. It is very important to know are you investing in your health the right way or not.
I believe you need to keep yourself active because nowadays jobs are very sedentary. You could do anything, play a sport, go to the gym, swim, yoga, Pilates, do my DVDs (laughs), there is so much to choose from!
DB: Finally, you have a great eye for fashion what does fashion mean to you?
I guess I have been a model so fashion is definitely something I am very interested in. In terms of when you are talking about being apart of the film industry nowadays there is a very thin line between fashion and films.
You are kind of being role models to so many people. So you have to be a little bit up to date. We have fantastic stylists and designers in our country and we are very open to international designers now. Fashion is something that is a very imperative part of our business, but for me as a person it is more about comfort, and it is about suiting your personality. Like I really don’t care about the fashion police, they can say ‘Bipasha wears very fitted dresses because she has a good body’. I am going to continue wearing them, it doesn’t matter I am not going to change!