US-born actress Nargis Fakhri says she is still learning the ropes of making it big in Mumbai's entertainment world, where people are "best friends" with a person till they have work. "Once a film is over the friendship is also over," she rued.
Excerpts from an interview with the model-turned-actress:
Q. "Madras Cafe" got you good reviews. Did it get you good roles ?
A. I did receive many compliments for that role. The offers did come in. But at the moment, after "Main Tera Hero", I am only doing "Shaukeen".
A. I've learnt a lot about the ways of Mumbai's entertainment industry. But not enough yet. The one thing that I've sadly realized is when people are working with you they are your best friends. Once a film is over the friendship is also over. This is a painful process for someone who think friendships are for a lifetime.
Q. How much at-home do you feel now when you are three years old in Bollywood?
A. Shall I be honest? I am still a fish out of water. I don't understand a lot of things here. I am still trying to find my way around this place, trying to 'belong'. Like I am told, that if you working in Bollywood, you have to use accessories like wigs, false eyelashes and lots of make-up. So I do that although I am totally anti-accessory.
Q. You don't have to do what everyone does!
A. You do! If you don't, everyone will accuse you of being difficult. It's very tough to create a balance between what I am comfortable with and what people expect from me. If I have to survive, I've to try to be a conformist. But I've to admit there are lots of things I still don't understand. What hurts the most is that people here are so friendly when they are working with you and then they become like strangers.
For someone like me who is very picky about friends, that's very painful. But a friend told me,""You got schooled, not fooled"" You feel stupid when you are conned by people. But eventually you come out wiser. I never want to get bitter about experiences, no matter how bad.
Q. Do you miss your family in Mumbai?
A. I've to tell you, my mother visited me in Mumbai in January for the first time since I came here. She had a great time. She was with me for a couple of days in Mumbai. Then I sent her off on her own journey through North India. Regrettably, I couldn't spend more time with her because I had to promote my new film. But I am glad she saw how I lived.
Q. This was your mother's first visit?
A. Yes, though people wrote earlier that mom visited, and I was living in with Shahid Kapoor. Ha ha.
Q. So did you have to hide boyfriends and beer bottles when your mother visited?
A. Not at all. I talk about everything under the sun with my mom. I am a lot like my mom. We're very close. I take care of her financially and emotionally. She is my best friend. We talk about drugs, alcohol, and sex.
Q. I don't see you doing drugs. The rest I wouldn't know?
A. I am not doing much of anything else either right now except working. So it's a depressing life for me.
Q. Was "Main Tera Hero" a pleasant experience?
A. It was great fun. Most of the time I had a good time. It was like working with my family. Ileana ''Cruz and Varun Dhawan were very helpful. I pray I get to work with such people everyday. Ileana and I are so similar. She thinks the way I do. We both have a good head on our shoulders, although I am a lot crazier than her.
Q. Varun is your generation?
A. We hit it off immediately. Varun went to college abroad. We had a lot in common. I will not be politically incorrect. I'll say he's my most favourite co-star. He's a very smart young man. And very caring. I saw how kindly and generously he treats his staff. For me that's a sure sign of a good human being.