A Force to be Reckoned With — Q&A with Genelia D’Souza

Photo: Fox Star Studios

Photo: Fox Star Studios

Genelia D’Souza is ready to break the mold. The actress, who is typically known for her girl-next-door charm, says her character in the upcoming action flick “FORCE” is far from a kid, much to her relief. D’Souza made her big screen debut in “Tujhe Meri Kasam” (2003) but became a household name in “Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na” (2008), the cult coming-of-age romance that perhaps gave her what she describes as a “cutesy, teenybopper image”. But now, the 24-year-old actress finally gets to be a lady — and not just any lady, but one romanced by resident dreamboat John Abraham (and by romanced, we mean on-screen, of course – watch it, rumormongers). The bubbly D’Souza chatted exclusively with Divanee.com about having to literally become Maya, working with Mr. Abraham, and why nothing compares to mom’s home-cooked food.

What attracted you in particular to your role in FORCE?
Well, that it breaks away from my cutesy, teenybopper image is one of the things that excited me. I had seen the original film in Tamil and loved it. I always wanted to do something like that.

This is quite a different role for you. How did you approach the character of Maya?
For starters, I had to look like Maya in a large way. She’s not a kid — she’s a woman and a lady. So I had to come out from the way I look, and from my mannerisms, to a ladylike personality. First I got the look down, and then I had to get into the thinking of Maya. She talks a lot, but there’s not even one thing that she says that doesn’t make sense in this whole ‘talking a lot’.

That was director’s initial thing. Everything about Maya is an attraction, be it the way she looks, she dresses, she speaks, or the way she just comes across in any form or any which way. That was something that I kept in the back of my mind. I did have three readings with Nishi [director Nishikanth Kamath], and we did work on Maya in terms of presenting me very differently.

How was it working with John Abraham?
We’ve done a couple of films together, but [they were] ad films. So I knew John as a person, but working with him was an absolute joy, and the characters Maya and Yash have very interesting chemistry.

Photo: Fox Star Studios

How would you summarize the film in your own words for the audience?
I would say it’s a journey — an action film with a heart.

Is there a type of character you would like to play but haven’t yet had the chance?
I’ve had a fair deal of different roles. I’ve played a warrior, I’ve played someone who is hydrophobic, so the industry has offered me a lot in a short time. And then coming from the fact that acting wasn’t an initial career choice, every role is something that means a lot to you.

With which actor/actress would you love to share the screen but haven’t?
I think a lot. There are a lot of people that I’ve not shared the screen with, and a lot of directors I look forward to working with.

What is your favorite song from FORCE and why?
My favorite is “Chahoon Bhi”, cause it has a lot of soul. That’s one of favorites.

After a tough day, what is your favorite meal to come home to?
My mom’s food. Anything would do, it’s just that she has to do it.

FORCE opens worldwide on Friday, September 30. Check out the trailer below:

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Sabrina Siddiqui is the editor-in-chief of Divanee.com.