She’s leggy, she’s innocent and she’s under a fit of an all time excitement. When you speak to her, you get two notches higher in knowing her better. The anticipation, the tantrums, the glitz are all a part of the showbiz, that’s what she claims and she nails them down too. A simple, ordinary girl at heart who still loves chatting with her colleagues even today, watch a movie with friends, gel well with everyone around, Esha has come up a long way.
From lifting the coveted title of a beauty pageant, the cross roads of her Life took a different turn when she was roped in for a three film contract with Vishesh Films. With ‘Jannat 2’ already being labeled as a hit film, her debut was widely acknowledged. True that! She is gearing up and taking innumerable challenges to woo the audience even more with her upcoming ‘Raaz 3’ and ‘Chakravyuh’ where she is reportedly playing two characters that are completely different from what she did in the Emraan Hashmi starrer’s sequel.
When we tried contacting her for an interview, the conversation was all smiles and no worries. Excerpts from the heart to heart chat with the new fashionista in B-town. Presenting Esha Gupta!
Passion, glamour, glitz, hard work, ability and expressions: A blend of which of the following do you think is essential in an actress?
I think it should be a perfect concoction of Passion, hard work and ability to go with. If you have passion, you have the ability to learn your expressions. Moreover, if you are hard working and match up to a certain level, then glamour just acts as another add-on. Glamour and glitz comes along the way. You need not be glamorous to be an actress. On screen and off screen, you are always two different people. If you aren’t passionate enough and lack the ability, you can never pull it off as an actress.
You initially won the Miss India pageant few years back. From a supermodel to the lead heroine of Jannat 2, how has the transformation been?
I am really the same person. Today, I am doing this show where I am the show stopper. But these are the girls whom I had met during the times I was just a model. It has been two years since I stopped modeling. I have not even met them since. I saw them then, I am seeing them now. It is obviously a different thing, for sure. Sitting with the girls who were once my colleagues even now gives me a different high. Like I said, I am still the same because I call them to my room; I am sitting there and gossiping, and discussing what we have missed and how life has changed. And when you talk, you really get to know that everyone’s Life has changed. Mine has taken a greater dimension altogether. Now, it’s so hectic. As soon as I land up in Mumbai, I have to rush for my dubbing, then I have my gym and eventually if I get some time out, I will catch up my friends for a movie. I maintain a diary and the moment I wake up, I make a list of what I have to do for the day. People might think there is a lot of glamour and fame around, but the fact that they don’t know is that everything here is not at all easy. You are always under a scanner, which is not there when you are a model. Everything you do are a part of everyone’s staple diet each morning!
Jannat 2 was a huge success and you were appreciated for your role. How was the entire experience of being accepted by the audience?
Audience is the one who makes the films, at the end. Of course, the critics always have their pros and cons. That is their work, their job. But by the end, the one who sells the film is the audience at the box office. The box office in turn decides whether the film is a huge hit or a flop. That’s what really mattered to me. Being accepted by the audience is the best feeling on Earth. When I signed on for the deal, I only had it in my mind that whatever happens, I want the audience to like me and accept me. There was always skepticism whether they will do it or they won’t. But finally when it happened, I was actually very very happy about it. No matter what your film or role is, once the audience accepts you, everything becomes good!
Now, you are also doing a film with Vikram Bhatt which is a sequel to the Raaz series and is titled ‘Raaz 3’. You signed up a three film deal with them. How did you land up with the coveted deal?
When they called me and when Mukesh sir met me for the first time itself, he had offered me the three film deal. That was the time I was signed in for Jannat 2. After that, they were again recasting for Raaz 3. Mukesh Sir asked Kunal Deshmukh, my director how is Esha and all and he said she’s fantastic. Vikram was very confident in me pulling off the role. He never gave me the script the day before. He used to bring the script on the same day. Honestly, the whole acting credits for Raaz has to go to Mahesh sir and Vikram because everyday they both discuss everything with me. Emotionally it is a very turmoil film. It takes a toll on you. But that’s how I landed doing my second film immediately after my first film. The deal is of three films in three years according to the contract. It’s not even a year and both my films are done. The third is still left. Whenever I get a good option, I will jump into it.
You know someone misquoted me. I am actually not scared of ghosts, what I am scared of is the time when I am staying alone and the lights are completely off. In that darkness that time, even if I get to hear a crick, bas tab mera band baj jaata hai. But I am not scared of ghosts. I believe in spirits, whether it’s evil or not. But I don’t have the fear that they will come and kill me. I am not that kind. I have stayed in hotels that are really creepy and I could not sleep but I still managed to stay alone. Raaz was a different experience altogether. More than getting scared, Raaz was an emotionally challenging film for me. Scary and comedy films are the most difficult films to be acting in. It was not at all easy for me to do this film. To make people feel the fear that you are feeling is a task that needs a lot of hard work. We are all scared of some thing or the other in Life but it is more of a realistic thing and not a ghastly experience.
There was also news that you had to do a complete rip off scene in the film. What was that about?
Yes there is a scene like that but I cant talk much about it because then I would be telling you the story. In the scene I start hallucinating and eventually run out. But I am not naked while I am doing it. I was quite covered but doing an entire rip off scene in front of the people there, the cast and the crew all looking at you, that was very difficult for me. It was not an easy task. I had to do multiple retakes, I was crying, yelling in bare minimal clothes, if I can put it like that. It is quite intimidating and according to me, it is the strongest scene in the film. You just know one thing: If you don’t want to do it, you just don’t do it. If its even a little wrong, the whole appreciation is going to go away. You have to pull it off. Like I said, this film drove my emotional abilities to the helm. Before this scene, I remember I was crying in front of Vikram and pleaded that I wouldn’t be able to do it. Vikram just said, ‘Are you mad?’ It was like an exam for me. Before the exams, each one of us start getting stomach aches and cramps, while we were kids. I was a good student but I always used to get bad stomach aches, acidity and god knows what all the time before my exams. For this one, I would give the whole credit to Vikram for pulling it off for me.
Raaz 3 will again feature you and Emraan as the lead pair, post Jannat 2! How was it working with him this time round?
The audience should definitely expect a lot of fire crackers and there are a lot of fire crackers in the film too. It is always a great experience to work with Emraan. He is a great actor, very supportive and if you have a supporting co star by your side, it helps you work on your inhibitions. Jannat was not as challenging as Raaz 3 or Chakravyuh. So if you don’t have a good supporting cast you know you would not be able to pull it off that well. You would still feel a little awkward and feel the presence of a camera.
Other projects that are keeping you busy
Raaz 3 is on the floors and so is Chakravyuh. Chakravyuh will have Arjun Rampal, Manoj and others and is directed by Prakash Jha. I am playing a cop in the film and there are few stunts which I have done in the film. You will like the film. And Raaz 3 is the most challenging role I have done till now. But because of Mukeshji and Vikram’s belief in me, I guess I can pull that off too.
Fashion to you is: Being comfortable being yourself, regardless of whatever you wear.
The biggest fashion moment of your Life was: Not particularly as such because I have always enjoyed dressing up nicely. I have always loved everything
The biggest fashionista in the industry other than you would be: I quite like Deepika. She is easy. Whatever she wears is quite wearable and you can even connect to her as an artist. She can be in her normal jump packs and you still feel she is there. That’s her aura.
One common fashion faux pass everyone tends to make today: Sometimes they go over the board I feel. Most of us do that. Sometimes we get extra excited and we go over the top with the accessories. I don’t like that because I prefer the minimal.
One contemporary from the industry who made a faux pass and made you laugh: I don’t know but I have seen many a times, other actresses traveling and they are wearing boots even in the month of May or June in Mumbai. I think that’s the biggest faux pass according to me. If you are wearing boots in winter, its still ok. I come from Delhi myself, so wearing boots in summer is seriously something I don’t get!
If you turned yourself into a fashion brand, the product and the name of the brand would be: Well, I would just buy Dior and let everything be the same. I would not change anything about the brand because I am a big Dior freak. From my handbag to my wallet, everything is Dior!
The most expensive fashion buy for you was: My Dior wallets are the best buy for me!
One thing you possess that looks quite expensive but is cheap: Of course, I have them. The shoes I am wearing now is under the brand name of Russel and Bromley. It comes from London. It is a cheap brand. It looks like a Jimmy Choo but its more of an Aldo or something. They are flat shoes and they look really expensive.