One of Bollywood’s most devout members of the Roman Catholic institution claims she is challenging her own boundaries as she stars opposite John Abraham in this week’s release of Force. With a romantic action-thriller directed by Nishikanth Kamath under the Fox Star Studios and Sunshine Studios banners, Genelia D’Souza believes Force to be “stylish” and “contemporary.” A star both in Bollywood as well as in Tollywood and Kollywood, Ms. D’Souza spent a few minutes chatting about Force, which opens on September 30, 2011.
Parimal M. Rohit: Tell us about Force and the character you play.
Genelia D’Souza: Force is a very stylish and contemporary romantic action-thriller layered with many twists and a compelling central narrative. It is essentially a cop film with a love story at the heart of it. It’s a very gripping film with a strong suspense streak, along with well-executed action scenes that will certainly have audiences glued to the screen. I play the character of Maya, who is an extremely strong and empowered character in her own right. Within her cute, energetic and affable persona, she is strong-willed and someone who believes in doing things a certain way to make a difference to the world.
PMR: How comfortable were you doing intimate scenes with John in the film?
GD: I have known and worked with John before, so we have a great rapport. However, it was of course still a little awkward, but we both focused completely on the scene at hand. What actually eased us out was knowing that our director, Nishikant Kamath, was in control, thus ensuring a more relaxed atmosphere on set, and a clean and aesthetic end product on screen.
PMR: What attracted you to Force?
GD: It is a film that allowed me to push both my artistic and physical boundaries. I think that -- while the young, cute, energetic girl has been something most people associate me with -- Force has given me a character who is definitely a mature extension of that bubbly girl. As soon as I read the script, I was hooked and wanted to be a part of this film. In addition to the story and script, knowing that Nishikant (Kamath) and Vipul (Amrutlal Shah) were at the helm of it gave me more reason to be part of the project.
PMR: What is John Abraham like as a co-star, and how does he compare to other leading men you have worked with?
GD: It was great to work with John. He is such a wonderful co-star. He is extremely disciplined and focused on set. He has a very positive aura around him and enjoys the work he does. I have known and worked with him before, so we had a rapport that went even beyond the film. He is a lot of fun to be around, and working with him was, as always, very enjoyable. In all honesty, I can’t really compare the leading men I have worked with, as they have all been so great in their own ways. I have been fortunate enough to work with some wonderfully talented actors, and each of those working equations have helped me learn and grow, and I cherish the time I’ve spent with them to ensure we do our best and add value to our films.
PMR: Will this film appeal to the ladies?
GD: Yes, without a doubt. Firstly, you have John’s amazing, eight-pack abs providing some eye candy for the ladies. But more seriously, it is such a well-crafted film – some wonderfully choreographed action sequences, a gripping narrative and, insofar as my role, ladies will certainly be able to relate to Maya. She very much represents the modern woman and has a very key role in the film. I think the film will appeal to men and women equally.
PMR: Why have you remained so connected to South Indian cinema?
GD: I completely enjoy filmmaking, regardless of which language it is communicated in. I have been working across four industries – Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam -- and honestly consider myself fortunate to have had the opportunity to work and learn so much. Each industry has its own sensibilities, working techniques, and thus helps you expand your horizons. Regional cinema is so influential and has a very strong following. It allows me to reach different audiences and it produces some amazing films which can often inspire Hindi productions, as one can observe from a few recent Hindi films.
PMR: Tell us something not many people know about you.
GD: I was a national-level football player growing up!
Fox Star Studios' 'Force' is released on September 30, 2011.