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25 Feb - 02 Mar , 2012
Shoe And Tell
Shoe And TellGenelia D'Souza, a self-confessed shoe addict, on putting her best foot forward

She doesn't call herself a shopaholic, but the newly-married Genelia D'Souza is a self-confessed shoe addict. "I go ballistic when I see shoes. I need to have all of them. I have actually lost count of how many pairs I own, but I am sure the number is not less than 500! In fact, if I am uncomfortable with my footwear it affects my work. I feel I will not be able to act!" giggles the actress.
However, when it comes to bags, she prefers to use what she has. "I don't believe in going and buying a bag to match my dress. I have a few big bags in neutral colours in which I dump everything."
When it comes to clothes, Genelia opts for comfort over style. "I have a designer named Priyanjali who designs a lot of clothes for me. I don't have a fixed style and like to wear all kinds of clothes including long dresses, shorts and Indo-Western. Basically I love to wear comfortable clothing like kurta and jeans, jumpers, etc. However, I am very particular about the stitching. All my clothes have to be stitched well as I can't wear clothes put together haphazardly, for sure. And I love to accessorise my clothes with jhumkas! I simply adore them," she says with a smile.
She also adds that any ensemble can be made to look attractive if it is donned with confidence. "Even if it is a bad outfit, I just carry it confidently. I remember the time when I was in college. I was not particular about wearing branded stuff but I loved to experiment. I used to rip apart my jeans and always attempt some creative patchwork on my T-shirt. I see how all of it is helping me today. I come from a middle-class family and it was a big honour for someone like me when I was told that international brands like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior had me in mind when they were looking out for an Indian face. Till then I had always believed that such honour was given to kids from illustrious backgrounds or filmi families."

"I Want To Be Reckless," Says Emraan Hashmi
Emraan Hashmi in an unplugged version

I have done my own kind of cinema, stuff that doesn't conform to traditional Bollywood norms. When they had family films and dancing around trees, we did a film like Murder. Twenty-eight films in seven years Emraan Hashmiwith more than 50 per cent of hits, Emran pretty much marches to his own beat. For someone who got into the profession to beat boredom, the actor has done pretty well.

Have you celebrated last year's double whammy yet?
I was whisked away to Delhi to shoot for Jannat 2, but I celebrated New Year with family in Goa so that was good. I have not really had much time to celebrate, in fact I wasn't even there for the success party of The Dirty Picture since I was shooting in Delhi.

A lot many sequels up your sleeve! Don't you find the process pretty complicated?
Right now we are shooting for Raaz 3, Jannat 2 and Murder 3. Actually, it's not difficult to play the characters but when so many films are slated together, the initial part gets very tough. I don't know about actors who prepare to get into the skin of the character but personally, I don't work that way. I just get a sense of it at an intuitive level.

You have been very prolific as an actor – you must live out of a suitcase.
A few days ago, Vikram Bhatt asked me about the number of films I have done so far. When I told him it was 28 films in seven years – that makes it four films a year – he was surprised. Right now, it pinches me more because I want to spend more time with my family, especially my son. At present all my films are being shot in Mumbai, which is good. Last year one was in Goa, the other was in Baramati and Latur. The Dirty Picture was shot in Hyderabad. Jannat was in Delhi so I was out of town all 365 days. And then, of course, the 12 city promotions followed, so yes, I was living out of a suitcase (smiles).

More than 50 per cent of your films have been successful at the box-office, would you care to share your trade secret?
My agenda for doing films even today is the same as when I started out—it should have an element of risk and something new. I have heard that people get more cautious after they get success but I don't want to be that way. I want to be reckless. I was reckless enough to take these films so I want to continue on that path. Some amount of luck and loads of hard work and of course, a passion for cinema are the key to success.

Do risky films really add up to success?
Some actors go by their heart, I use both my heart and my head. There has to be passion but there has to be a little bit of math. You have to be slightly calculating about the kind of films that you do. The idea is to have a script that is good but it also has to have a mass connect otherwise I won't be a part of the film.

After Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai and The Dirty Picture, you have finally earned praise for your performances. Comment.
I have been pretty much the dark horse. Even if my films have not garnered the kind of budgets some other's producers or directors films may have, it's okay. I like to keep it that way. I like to surprise people on the opening day which we have done time and again. No one expected The Dirty Picture to do a business of 80 plus crore. I don't fear expectations – they are good but I know what they are working at.

Amrita Rao talks about her all-time favourite films

Sound of Music
A strong script, a powerful performance by Julie Andrews and soulful music, that's Sound Of Music (1965) in a nutshell. The story of a woman leaving an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower caught my attention when I first watched the film as a child.

Amrita RaoJungle Book
An animated film about a boy raised by wolves, Jungle Book was a favourite during my childhood days. I adored Mowgli. Till date I can emote all his funny expressions.

For me, this Ram Gopal Varma film was the quintessential family entertainer. It had drama and romance. I particularly loved its strong story line. A. R. Rahman's music was note-worthy and the songs were very catchy. Most of the dance sequences still stay with me. In my opinion Rangeela was a breath of fresh air in that age and time.

Andaaz Apna Apna
It's a hilarious comedy starring Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon and Karisma Kapoor. I hope some Bollywood director decides to make its sequel. I'd love to be a part of it.

This is one film that has influenced me greatly as an actor. I am not into hardcore action films but I loved this movie. It had me glued to my seat. I loved the songs too.

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