She is ethereal in front of the lens and more so when we sit to talk about films, family, friends and fortune today. Everyone’s favourite, JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ in conversation with PRATHISHTA MALHOTRA.
You have always called yourself an opportunist…
Actually for me, it has been about opportunities and grabbing the right ones. I have always done them with the intention of being grateful for what I have been given, every single time! There has never really been an ambition in terms of, ‘I need to get here, do this and that.’ It was always about, ‘Oh my god! This just came my way, let me do this!’ And luckily for me, things have always followed up and well, I’m just so glad that it has come to this now. I really did not plan anything for any of this (Laughs). I have pretty much gone with the flow and now it feels like it has become a full-on career. I have become more serious about it, taking more control of it.
This world has always been tough for newcomers and when someone comes from another country and has an accent, the going gets tougher….
Yeah, there was always an issue when it came to dubbing but even in terms of casting, people are hesitant to sign you as they feel that you don’t know Hindi, so how will you cope with it? But for me, I have never had a problem with lines. I’ve got the hang of a Hindi-speaking person now which is something that I never had before. But yeah, language takes time to master, it doesn’t happen overnight. It gave me a lot of trouble before in terms of working on a film, being cast, being convincing, but now I think that stereotype is gone. If you are a foreigner and have come with certain baggage, it takes time for people to relate to you and accept you.
Most stars unanimously hate dubbing. Is it the same with you?
It is terrible to dub because you have to redo everything, all your emotions and stuff. Especially if you have done a very difficult scene and you have to dub for it, it is really annoying. You know, there are some scenes that you have been so nervous about and have given your best shot and then you come to the dubbing table and are like, ‘Crap! If I don’t do this well, my whole scene can get screwed up.’ There is this added pressure of giving a good dub when you feel like you have done everything. A lot of people get conscious when they are acting because of so many people being around you – it is even worse when you are dubbing. You are in this room all alone and on the other side there are a bunch of people listening to your voice. You know, I am not fluent with Hindi and will always have an accent, so I will always be conscious of that. It is not fun to dub at all (Laughs)!
It is important for one’s films to do well and that is the biggest struggle…
Yes, it is very important for your films to do well because it determines everything. As newcomers, very few of us take the time and have the patience to choose our films wisely. There is no guarantee that your film will be a hit but it at least will give your film a better chance at doing well. As a newcomer, you do whatever comes your way because you are trying to work and stuff but it can be very detrimental if you have flop after flop. It affects your career terribly. You have to be extremely careful about who you are working with, what film you are choosing, what type of a role are you choosing because it affects the audience in a very big way unless you want to be slotted.
Did you have to fight stereotyping?
For me after MURDER 2, even though it was a hit, I got very stereotyped. People only wanted to see me in a hot, glamorous role doing bold things. I was like, ‘No!!’ I had to put my foot down so many times because I wanted to do other stuff. I don’t want to be stereotyped as I don’t want to do that for the rest of my life. It took me some time and then I signed HOUSEFUL 2 then went on to KICK but it does take a lot of patience because it is very difficult for an actor to sit at home and not sign a film. You can get very tempted to sign a film as well. But at the same time, it is very important as your film flopping is worse than sitting at home!