Lara Dutta’s first film with Yash Raj Films is ‘Jhoom Barabar Jhoom’. Here’s a chat with her about the film and her first experience with YRF.
What do you think about the music of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom?
The music of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom absolutely rocks .The first time we heard it we were super excited and we could not decide which version of Jhoom Barabar Jhoom we like the best.
Which is your favorite track?
My favourite track is the title track but the Desi version of the title track
On the music directors Shankar Ehsaan Loy
Shankar Ehsaan Loy they have done an exceptional job with the music of JBJ.
The music is really high energy, the first time that we heard it we were all super excited about it. Also I love them for the fact that they have done this really wonderful theme track for my character in the film for which I am eternally grateful to them.
What made you decide to do this film?
Jhoom came to me at a very difficult time, I had both my parents in the hospital in the ICU and I got a message saying that Shaad was casting for Jhoom he wanted to meet me so I was super excited but it was also tinged at that that time with a little bit of my focus being completely somewhere else I remember sitting outside the hospital and praying and hoping that he hangs on for me. I sent him a message saying that I won?t be available on the phone for five days and I just kept praying and hoping that he would wait for me, and not think that she?s not interested and this is a Yashraj film and she doesn?t care. But he did and when I came, and I heard the script I think the character is what completely sold me by the time we came to the end of the script, I knew I really really wanted to do this film and be a part of it. I think it?s one of the best decisions that I have taken.
Tell us something about your character in the film.
The character that I play in Jhoom is half Brit half Pakistani. She speaks Hindi in a French accent she is very sophisticated and suave, she?s the manager of the Ritz in Paris and she?s somebody who meets this person who is completely opposite to her in everyway where she?s very soft spoken and sophisticated person she meets Rikki Thukral who is best described as a diamond in the rough. But she is obviously drawn to this person because he is so unlikely and has this endearing quality about him and she ends up getting hitched so I play Abhishekh Bachchan fianc?e in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom .
Tell us a bit about the styling and the the look in the film.
I think I have been styled very very differently on screen this time than anything that I have ever looked before on screen and Aki Narula who has done the styling for this film has his own quality of this large, extravagant, almost slightly crazy but really young and fun sort of a feel going and when we were styling the clothes when we got down to before we started shooting while the look was being put together, I was so apprehensive between all the colours that were supposed to be worn, I thought it might look quite strange on screen, but I think the results were there for everybody to see it. It?s absolutely fantastic. Bobby is looking in my opinion the best that he has ever looked on screen before.
Is this the first time that you are working with Aki Narula? What was it like?
This is the first time I am working with Aki I love the fact that he is young he?s exuberant and that he is so involved in every single aspect of what has to come together and he has a fantastic sense of style so he just throws together the most unusual accessories with an outfit and he really creates this look that no one has ever seen before. He gave me these fishnet stockings and these boots which got stuck in the boot and poor Aki stood with me for about two hours making sure that his garment was not ruined. A lot of times designers cut corners and just make do with things that would look good on screen but don?t really hold together and I think Aki has always been the perfectionist of sorts so we just keep on everything to look absolutely perfect. We had a lot of fun infact he gave us the ability to kind of bring our own sense of style to certain clothes or to the character and that worked really well and we went out to shopping with me in London which I don?t think he will ever forget.
Any particular outfit from the film you would like to keep or wear even otherwise.
I had a very classy beautiful black Moschino dress. I think it was the most sane outfit I am wearing in this film. But it was just cut really nicely and maybe the fact that I was wearing it in Paris it felt very chic and ?fresh? as they say.
What was the experience in London and Paris?
The song Ticket to Hollywood was shot in Paris almost for a period of a week and it was freezing cold and when you see the clothes I was wearing in the song were quite tiny but we had a blast doing it also the song is a just a lot of fun, a lot of movement there were lot of dances so your mind was taken off just the weather. It was fantastic but it was hard work as well. I think Vaibhavi Merchant the choreographer just did the most amazing job trying to manage a 100 dancers on the streets of Paris, is tough work. London was fantastic I really enjoyed the day of work that I had both with Bobby and Abhishek together. I think just everything came together, the location that we were shooting at was this beautiful house a wearhouse that was converted into a residence and it has this railway line behind it and they were just nice and I think having worked with both of them before in the past you just kind of be one of the boys and have fun.
Tell us about your experience of working with Shaad.
Apart from the fact that Shaad was a director I was just really glad that he was on the sets because he was the only other Arian against the three other Aquarians that were Bobby, Preety and Abhishek but would say that I did know of Shaad and I really admire him since the time he had done Bunty And Babli he was somebody whom I really wanted to work with but I didn?t know him personally as a person and I just kind of felt that being an Arian he probably would have an Arian temper but he?s just one of the sweetest nicest person?s I have worked with, he is so clear in his head about what he wants to do and where he wants to go in his film? He has his own brand of madness which is very typical of Shaad and I think that?s what makes his film so vibrant and amazing on the screen and he just really is one of the few people who have a conscience who are really clear about what they want to do and won?t compromise on it and he is fabulous as a director to work with.
Can you tell us about the experience of working with Abhishek, Bobby and Preity in this film?
I was very excited to be paired opposite Abhishek, the last film that we did together was Mumbai se Aaya mera dost which was almost two and a half years ago and I think he?s one of the actors that I pair best with on screen and also he?s really very adorable as a person himself as a human being also he?s come a long way as an actor since then, so its fantastic its almost like having a new Abhishek the actor on screen to work with. I think between the two of us we sort of create lots more that happens outside the script on screen, so he?s fabulous to work with, you never know what he?s going to come with you at. Abhishek is invariably coming at you with something you might as well be rest assured. But I think that way we feed off each other?s energy and it work?s really well. Even dancing with him, he?s become such a fabulous dancer from what he used to be previously but that?s true and he?s fabulous now. It was challenging sort of keeping up with him and I think he went at Jhoom Barabar Jhoom with a vengeance. I think everybody had upped their entire level and given everything to this film. So it was wonderful to work with him.
Bobby, is who we call the ?baby? and we pamper him and mother him and things like that, but I think Bobby worked really really hard for this film, and he was the one person whose lines I read while I was doing the script reading and I wanted his lines as he has the best lines in the film. I have worked with Bobby on 3 films previously and he?s so easy to work with, he?s always giving, he wants to make the scene in total happen, so he?s not a selfish actor which is fantastic.
Preity, this is the first time I was working with Preity, and normally people sort of assume that when you have 2 actresses on set together it?s going to get little uncomfortable, we?re going to compete with each other, and I think Preity is one of the sweetest people I?ve worked with, we have both of us stepped on each other?s feet constantly while shooting for the grand finale song and I mean that literally not figuratively, but it was amazing, both of us were in agony together with our heels, but it was fabulous having that female company on set and she really is superbly talented and a joy to watch and learn from and I think she completely rocks.
What comes to mind the moment you hear the word Jhoom Barabar Jhoom?
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear the words Jhoom Barabar Jhoom is absolute craziness. I think it?s the most fun film that I have been a part of and it?s definitely translates on screen.
This is your first film with YRF, what was it like?
YRF completely spoils you as an artist, after that you find it very difficult to work with most other people and that?s the truth of it. But I think for every actor its like a dream come true to be able to work with Yash Raj and I just wake up every morning and I give thanks and I am greatful of the fact that I got this opportunity this early in my life.
What was it like working with Vaibhavi Merchant?
The first time I worked with Vaibhavi during Mumbai Se aya mera Dost she was choreographing the song Saiyyan and she made me move in ways that I have never moved before but also I was in agony for a week after so when I hear Vaibhavi is going to be on set I know just what to expect. But I think she is by far one of the best choreographers that we have in the industry today. What I love about her is that she is not trying to fit you into a certain kind of choreography, she?s very very specific to what you are good at, she know exactly what each actor in this industry can or cannot do, and what they look good doing and she incorporates that into the dance movements. So rest assured if you are with Vaibhavi she?s going to make you look great on screen. Jhoom being a musical had a lot of dancing involved and the final track was really grueling almost 17-18 day schedule where all that we did was dance. We literally danced to Vaibhavi Merchant?s tunes and after that all of us did nothing for two weeks and soaked our feet in tons of hot water. She is also a lovely person and really good at heart.
Any memorable incident that comes to mind during the shooting of the film?
The whole of Jhoom is really a memorable experience. Like I said it?s one of the few films where we had such a blast making the film, no one can control the results of it, we sort of leave that upto fate, but it?s just the experience of being part of something like this is really special and for an actor to get that within their career is what we wake up and get onto the sets for. A memorable experience is my wig worn for my character falls off at a very crucial stage in front of the entire public in front of the Eiffel tower and it was quite hilarious because Abhishek had quickly grabbed it and I had to hide and put it into place, as the rest of the people there thought that I was French, so everyone thought it was all real and natural.