By Ninder Kaur
See Jacqueline as you have never seen her before. She is usually playing the super glamourous roles like she did in the 2014 movie Kick, but now, Jacqueline Fernandez will be seen as mother in this month’s Bollywood blockbuster Brothers.
Asian Style Magazine caught up with the 30-year-old brunette bombshell to find out about her challenging new role, what it was like working with Akshay and what she likes to invest her time in…. when she isn’t too busy acting.
Tell us a bit about the film?
The film is about love and hope. It is about two brothers who become to hate each other and compete in a martial arts contest. There is a lot of positivity about the movie. You continuously see positive side in things.
The last film you starred in was Kick, where you played the glamourous Shaina. How does your character in Brothers compare to your previous roles?
They are worlds apart. Kick was all playing a high fashion, super glamorous rich kid, whereas in Brothers I played a character that came from a simple, middle class family. My character has a lot of middle class problems -not enough money, trying to keep your job whilst raising a family on minimum wage.
Was it difficult getting into character?
It was a bit challenging for me because in my previous role I have always played a character that I can relate to. In the film, I am the mother of a child who suffers from kidney failure and the family situation in the film was not normal or ordinary. I was playing a character out of my comfort zone where I was raising a family on minimum wage. But, I was working with a fantastic director and without him I wouldn’t have been able to bring this character to life. Karan Malhotra taught me so much.
Did you enjoy playing your character?
To be honest, I enjoy playing characters that are more close to me like Shaina in Kick. It was a lot easier to play her. The kind of roles I am doing now with Varun in Dishoom and Tiger are a lot more relatable to me. The characters that I play have a lot of me in them.
In Brothers, there was no possible way I could relate to the character. It was a completely new challenge to me. I was learning everything from scratch and I had no reference points at all. I had a very realistic look about me, not like the glamour girl you would usually see me as.
What was it like working with legend Akshay Kumar?
Akshay was a fantastic co-star. He has been in the Bollywood film industry for years. We all learnt so much from him. He is so amazing to have on set. He has so much energy. He knows to crack a joke at the right time, when people need it the most. He is an unbelievable actor that only needs one or two takes and he is really patient when you have to do your take. He is just such a great guy to have around.
How do you decide on accepting a film? Is it the team you’re working with or is the decision solely made upon whether you like the script?
It is a bunch of those things. I would probably look at the team first. That is my first priority. I would look at my director, producer and the actors. Then, I decide if I like the story and the role. They come to me later but a team is the most important. You might have a fantastic script and a good role but if it isn’t executed properly with the right people then it goes to waste.
Aside from filming, how else do you spend your time?
I have recently opened my own restaurant in Sri Lanka, which is where I am from. I have always wanted to open up my own restaurant, so I am really happy that I have managed to achieve that.
Sri Lankan food has always been a passion of mine. I want people to taste really good genuine Sri Lankan food without them having to worry about it being too much of a rice and curry dish or too spicy. I wanted to have it in a contemporary setting and that was very important to me.
Restaurants have always been something I have wanted to do, but it is really tough work. Sri Lankan food is more island food and it would be nice to bring the island to the UK and to Mumbai too.
Is it true that you are starting your own clothing line?
No. This is not true. The media has exaggerated this. Right now, my priorities are acting and my restaurant. Who knows, in the future it might be a possibility but for now I will leave it to Sonam (Sonam Kapoor). That’s her thing not mine.
What’s next for you?
Since Kick, I have been given a number of opportunities. I have been shooting back-to-back for a number of films, in fact, I have shot three movies already this year. I have been given a part in the new movies Bangistan and Dishoom, so there are a lot of promo tours happening at the moment. This is the busiest I have ever been. I just want to make sure that I am working continuously because there was a time when I had no work and that was a real struggle.