In a plain white off shoulder dress and absolutely no make-up, the striking Barbara Mori sits across to talk with us. She looks splendid in her simple attire and her pretty smile immediately put everyone at ease. 'Hello, everyone,' she warmly enquired.
With that greeting, she went to talk extensively about her life, her career, her country, our country, love, motherhood, and of course, her debut Bollywood film Kites.
She proudly showed her David's star tattoo on her right wrist, identical to the one that Hrithik and Suzanne have, explaining that it's her souvenir of the actor, and his family's love to her. 'My tattoos are a reminder of my life's special things to me. Oh, I have bad memory you know,' she smiles.
Excerpts from our conversation…
How was your experience in Kites?
It has been the best and the most different experience in my career. There is so much difference between Kites and other projects I've done in Mexico. This is my first English movie. This is my first Hindi movie. This is my first action movie. This is my first big budget movie…a first for so many things. It was an enjoying, exciting experience.
Why did you sign up for Kites?
Because it's a beautiful love story…
Whats your definition of love?
I think, the most important thing in life is love.
Tell us about your experience of falling in love.
The first time I fell in love was when I was fourteen. It ended because he wasn't a gentleman. The second time I fell in love was with my son's father. It also ended because he turned out to be bad too…
But are you still in touch with your husband?
No,no, we were never married. But yes, I'm still in touch with him, because I have a son, you see.
How old is your son?
He is 12 and his name is Sergio.
What does Sergio mean?
It means nothing (laughs). Just Sergio.
(Later, we came to know, Sergio was named after his father, actor Sergio Mayer )
What difference do you find between Indian and Mexican men?
You see, men are men here, there all over. But if you ask me difference between the two countries as a whole, then there are a lot of cultural differences, in way of thinking. There in Mexico, you can be a single mom, but here it raises a lot of eyebrows. There are similarities in food. Both the countries have spicy food.
How do you find India?
I find it fascinating. I've just been to Goa so far. I want to visit the Taj Mahal and the surrounding places but I'm pressed for time.
What kind of a person are you?
I'm a very emotional person. I get attached to people instantly. One meeting with the Roshan family and I fell in love with them instantly.
Did the Roshans teach you Hindi?
Yes, all through the shoot, I kept learning a few words…and the Roshan family chipped in too.
So do you now know what 'ullu ki patthi' means?
Yeah! I knew it even before the shoot because Hrithik had explained it to me. Now I also know how you really say I love you in Hindi. Its- main tumse pyaar karti hoon (smiles).
Which was the toughest scene you had to do in Kites?
The underwater sequences…especially 'cause we had to make them seem like they're very easy and smile all through.
Any funny , weird on-set incident you would like to share?
Yes, there was a scene where I had to cry. So this girl came up to my vanity van and gave me a bottle of…what's that liquid…
Yes, glycerine. I said no. I don't want to put it. She said but you have to cry. I said I know but I don't want to put it. It went on with her trying to explain to me with sign language. In the end I walked out without putting the glycerine. Later I gave the shot and I cried. When Rakesh came to know I cried without glycerine he went –how you did it, Barbara? And his expression was really wild as if he'd witnessed something incredibly rare (laughs).
How do you react to reports of your link-ups with Hrithik?
I laugh at them. It's the same in Mexico. I'm linked up with my co-stars. In the beginning, I used to cry saying it's not that way, why do they say that. It's been 12-13 years of my career now, so I'm used to it.
Do you think these kinds of rumors help to promote the film?
Tell us more about yourself.
I was born in Uruguay and grew up in Mexico. I have an Asian root too as my paternal grandfather is Japanese. I have worked in 10 soap operas and 6 movies. I started working when I was fourteen as a waitress. I started modeling when I was seventeen. Later soap operas happened and films followed.
Did you always want to be an actress?
No, I always wanted to be a teacher.
Did you know about Bollywood, before Kites?
Yes, I knew that Bollywood is a big film industry. But not, many details. Because back in Mexico we don't watch too many Hindi movies.
Have you seen Hindi films now?
Yes, I've watched Hrithik's films. Lakshya, Koi Mil Gaya, Jodha Akbar…many.
Did you know that Hrithik is such a big actor here?
I didn't know it before. But when I came here, I realized he is like a god here. I'm thankful that I got to work with him. I could've worked with any other Indian actor. But it was Hrithik. It's such a big deal, no?
What keeps you going in life?
My family. For me it's the most important thing. No matter what big things happen with me in my life, in my career I always want to go back to the comfort of my family. My family reminds me where I eventually came from. I try to be honest in life. I also educate my son to be that way.
Tell us about your relationship with your son.
I'm not a perfect person and not a perfect mom. But I can surely say that the relationship I have with my son is one that every mother would like to have with her son or daughter (smiles). When he asks me a question I explain to him he shouldn't do such things because they can have so and so consequence. If I say- Don't do it, because I say so. He will never understand. Our relationship is full of honesty and friendship. He never hides anything from and I try to make it easy for him to keep sharing things with me.
Do you wish to be married in the future?
No I don't wish to be married…
Do you wish to do more Bollywood films?
Yes, I've had a great experience here. I told Anurag too, when he asked if I'd like to work with him again. I said I'd love to work with you again, in Bollywood (smiles).
Reporter and Author: Susan Jose