You are a heroine in South films. One would have expected you to make a Bollywood debut...
That’s destiny’s call. I didn’t plan it that way. Two years ago, if you had asked me if I would do TV, I would have probably said no. However, now television is equivalent to Bollywood. In fact, its reach is far greater than films. Even Bolly stars are on TV today. Also, South films are limited by language and audience. I have been getting offers for TV shows but I was doing a diploma in broadcast journalism and screenplay in New York. I had taken a break for a year, and it’s just that Beintehaa came to me at the right time.
What is different about Beintehaa?
The storyline is unique and interesting, nothing close to a saas bahu drama. It has a glamourous appeal to it even in the way it has been shot and picturised. It’s like a Bollywood film. A couple of days ago I was shooting for it in Bhopal, but it didn’t feel like I was on the sets of a serial. Also, my character Aaliya is as good as a hero. She is a little bit of a tomboy and very strong. Only unlike the hero, she is grounded (grins). The two are childhood friends and though they don’t get along well end up being married to each other. That’s where the story begins.
Since it’s a Muslim social, did you have to specially prepare for the role?
I always had a fascination for Pakistani soaps. Recently, I have been watching Sher E Dil Key Darwaaze online. I find their serials interesting and love the Urdu language. I am hoping to learn a few words during the shoot of this serial. However, we won’t be using too many Urdu words as it will be difficult for the audience to understand. As far as my look is concerned, we have gone for a Kashmiri look with a Pakistani sense of dress designing. I will be wearing lovely shararas and salwar-kameezes.
What was sister Amrita’s reaction to your TV debut?
Amrita was aware that I had been getting TV offers. And as I said, TV has become big. In fact, she also is getting offers — Anilji (Anil Kapoor) had offered her 24 but for some reason she couldn’t do it. But I guess the trend of short series on TV has started and Amrita may look at doing something like that.
Comparisons with your sister will be inevitable...
That will only be in the initial phase of the serial. People are bound to look at me and compare — after all we are sisters. When Kareena Kapoor came, I myself saw a lot of Karisma in her but that faded away. In my case, I hope my character Aliya becomes so popular that only she is remembered!