A trained pilot, an actress, Nargise came into limelight with Priyadarshan's Garam Masala. After a few more films, she can now be seen in Kushti, also starring Rajpal Yadav and the star wrestler Khali. Read on...
You play a village belle, Laadli, in Kushti. So what enticed you to take up the role?
When I read the script, I found a lot of freshness in the subject. I found the character very rural. It had a lot of vibrancy and was a complete contrast to what I am in real life. That was something that really excited me. In fact, I did question the makers about their choice. They were convinced I could pull it of. So I went ahead with it. But as an actor, I am glad something like this came my way. I like experimenting.
Are you paired opposite Rajpal Yadav in the film?
The story of the film is very complex. In the film, it is Rajpal who falls in love with me and wants to marry me. I have been showed as someone who is immensely in love with Salman Khan. My father dislikes Rajpal and he lays a condition to beat Khali in a wrestling match if he wants to marry me.
So is Salman Khan making a guest appearance?
Let's keep it a surprise... (laughs)
Do you think the audience will accept you and Rajpal pitted opposite each other?
Of course, people will accept. Haven't you watched Charlie Chaplin films? He was loved for whatever he did. They would laugh at his humour. Have you noticed how Charlie would always fall in love with a pretty girl and when he didn't get her, the audiences sympathised with him. They felt bad for him when he'd get rejected by the girl. I think Rajpal Yadav is the Charlie Chaplin of Bollywood.
How much did you know about Khali before you signed this film?
Honestly, I had no idea who Khali was. When I was narrated the script, I went back home and discussed it with my parents and I told them that some Khali was also there. There was a pin drop silence when I said the name. My cousins' eyes popped out with the mention of his name and I couldn't figure what was going on.Then they told me who Khali was.
Tell us something about Khali. Did his food chart affect the shooting? How was he on the set?
Khali was the star attraction on the sets. As far as his food chart was concerned, everything was taken care of. He was really concerned about his co-stars. We were shooting in a small village in Tamil Nadu. In between the shots he used to ask the junior artistes and technicians if they were feeling all right. It was very hot there. Every time, after we would finish a take, he would tell me, why don't you go and stand under a tree. So it was great working with him.
And how was working with Rajpal Yadav?
I knew Rajpal Yadav since the Garam Masala days. He is so funny. having Rajpal on the set meant fun. I remember when we were shooting Garam Masala, he used to tell me that we should be paired opposite each other. And I would say, of course, it will be possible one day. So there we were on the sets of Kushti, paired opposite each other.
Any funny incident you recall while shooting the film...
I wouldn't say funny but we were shooting the climax scene. Khali had to lift Rajpal in the air and swing him around. Every time, Khali would lift him, I would get really scared. They were no safety measures and no cable wire attached to Rajpal. Hanging mid-air, Rajpal would shout at me not to get worried. I used to wonder how he managed that.
You had a great start to your acting career with Garam Masala, Pranali and Morning Walk? Why did you disappear after that?
Well, I have no regrets. Acting happened by chance to me. I am a trained pilot. I am going to get my license soon. Whatever films I have done, I have done it with a lot of honesty. I am happy doing what I want to do. I don’t want to be lost in the crowd.
What should the audience expect from Kushti?
The kids would love the film because of Khali's presence, if not anything else. But then, there's something for everyone in the film. Be rest assured.