Bipasha Basu: “I was blown away when I heard the script for Players”

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On Friday, we finally get to watch and experience the exciting thrill ride that is Abbas Mustan’s Players: Go for the Gold, which is a remake of Hollywood’s The Italian Job. The film boasts an all-star cast and the gorgeous Bipasha Basu takes on the new avatar of an automobile expert in the cool heist flick. Not only is her character an expert at fixing cars, but she also can fix any other mechanical item you can think of. She also joins in on a con of a Russian general as a dancer in a club and of course, is part of that epic gold heist, but you will see that all play out on the 6th. Bipasha says that it was the script and her role, the cool factor and stunts, plus her fabulous equation with Abbas-Mustan that made her want to take part in the film. Last week I had a really fun conversation with the actress about the film, working in -30 degrees on a moving train in Russia and how the boys of the cast thought of her as a…well you need to read on to find out more!

What made you say yes to this role in Players?

I know any time Abbas-Mustan cast me, firstly, the film is a blockbuster and secondly, my character is always liked. There was no question that they wouldn’t give me an interesting role. Then I heard the story and screenplay and I was bowled over. The film is very tight and very interesting. I wanted to see me as Riya, my character is very dynamic. So, yeah I was on immediately.

This is the official remake of The Italian Job, so who is your character within the story?

It is an just adaption of The Italian Job so the basic story remains the same, but new characters have been added because the screenplay is very different with of course, more twists and turns because, you know, Abbas-Mustan, they are very good at it. They make great thrillers. It is amazing. I really have to say hats off to them because they have taken a classic and they have just turned it around. They have made it to the tastes of 2012 and they have Indianized it. My character is an absolutely new character. I was really, really excited to play her because she really is a critical player in the film.

Tell us what it is like working with Abbas-Mustan.

They are the most creative directors you can ask for. They know how to make stylish films. Me and Abbas Bhai and Mustan Bhai have a very amazing tuning now. We have done quite a lot of films together and they don’t even need to tell me, I understand what they want out of me in a particular scene. It is amazing. They are like family to me now.

It being Abbas-Mustan, I assume you got to do action?

The entire thing is a heist film and every player is particularly skilled in one thing. Riya, my character, she is an automobile expert and so everything to do with a machine she handles that. So, put together, everyone with their skills pull off big missions and we all contribute equally to the stunts. It is really big because these are like large-scale action sequences and very, very high energy. Everyone is doing their bit, bit, bit, but when it is edited it looks so big and so huge that it looks amazing. Everyone is filming separately because everyone is doing something at some place and then when it is all put together it really looks great.

The film was shot all over the world; did you do some of the scenes that were shot in the North Pole?

Yes, yes…

Tell me they didn’t make you stand out there in a white filmy sari.

(Laughs) No, they didn’t. Our films have changed; we don’t do the sari thing anymore. That stopped about the time I started films. I did do one film with Abhishek and in the film we were on our honeymoon in Kullu Manali so I wore a sari and my feet were freezing, I remember and Abhishek… he was trying to throw me in the snow off screen… (Laughs) That is Abhishek’s sense of humor, he wants to get you in the snow it was a challenge. (Laughs)

In this film we had to actually shoot in -30 degrees. We were put in a moving train in a cargo car so it was an open thing and we died really. We just died. We couldn’t say our dialogues; you know our spit would freeze. (Laughs). It was crazy. You couldn’t really open your mouth, your jaws are locked. We were hungry all the time in the cold. We were drinking like tons of hot chocolate and because of that we became a little bit plump, pleasantly plump, all of us during the Russia schedule, but thankfully because the clothes were like really thick to keep us warm you couldn’t really make out that we were a little plump. But really it was an amazing time.

You know the sun would set for only two hours, so when we landed the first day it was 12:30 in the night and it was bright and I said, ‘Where the hell am I?’

There was nothing to do there so we were always hanging out together. On a day off we would play video games in one really old kind of arcade. We would go out for walks and freeze. Everywhere we would go we would freeze.

We tried to talk to the Russians with sign language. I had some Russian admirers all the time, wherever we went and I had these “bodyguards”, the guys from the film with me and one would turn into a brother, one would turn into a boyfriend, one would turn into something and save me from these Russian men. It was amazing out there, but it was quite mad.

It seems that you guys all really bonded on set on this film.

It was one of the nicest crew and cast that you can ask for, they are all friendly. I knew the crew completely because it is the same crew that worked on Race. You know, the cast, it is a bunch of very effortless people who like to do good work and have a lot of fun during the making of the film. Everybody there has a great sense of humor and we are all so mad that we had so much fun when we were not shooting. It has been wonderful. Effortlessly we got along.

Tell us about your song that was shot in the Russian club.

Yes, there is part of the screenplay where I am actually seducing one of the Russian generals in the film for a particular mission we are on. The song is really catchy and the lyrics are really interesting. I like the way I look, it is a very cabaret look that we tried to do. It has some very interesting dance moves done by Bosco and Caesar.

It was really fun because the rest of my costars are there and it was really funny because when I am dancing they are looking at my face during the song. One of the boys would start laughing every time I would look into their face. Here I had to be sexy and the boys, they treat me like one of the boys (laughs), but then they are like, ‘OH! You are looking HOT’! And I am like, ‘Thank You. You fools! You guys think I am a boy… one day you should go out with me in New Zealand and Russia’. That was when they were like, ‘Oh, you are actually not a boy other men really like you’. I was like, ‘You guys are such morons!’ (Laughs) The guys are really insane in our film! We really had a lot of fun!

What do you love about the film?

I like the story, I like the screenplay it’s really interesting. I like the action sequences I think they are done brilliantly. My DOP Ravi Yadav, he shot the film amazingly. It is all white so it looks gorgeous on screen. It is very stylish. It is very modern. It is a film that you can just watch it and have fun. It is one of those films where you just say, ‘Wow! That’s a sexy shot. He is looking hot. She is looking hot. He is looking so cool… Oh wow, that’s a great stunt’. It is one of those eye candy kind of films where there is no stress and it is effortless watching.

You were on our Best Tweeters list for 2011, congratulations! What does Twitter mean to you?

Oh Wow! I think it is the best tool that has come out to actually allows you to interact with the people who make you who you are. Not necessarily everyone is a fan and an admirer, sometimes there are people who just follow you. I have had lots of people who follow me and then they have become my fans. It is quite amazing. I have converted some people who just out of curiosity followed me to figure out what kind of person I am and they have become my fans in the process. It is a tool, which can really take out the real you to the people who have actually made you. It is fantastic. It is something amazing. I really like to be on Twitter.

What other projects do you have lined up for 2012?

The next one in line is Jodi Breakers, it comes out on the 25th of Feb. It is my first romantic comedy. It is opposite Madhavan. It is a really cute film because for the first time I play a very cute and endearing character called Sonali. These two people actually specialize in breaking up couples. We have taken that up as a profession that we are going to break up couples and we are going to make money on it. They are somewhat like divorce experts, but it is not a real profession what we do (laughs) in the film. It’s cute because the girl’s philosophy is that two people who are not in love, they should not be together because then they can have a second chance to find love. The boy’s philosophy is that there is nothing called love so might as well break the couples and make money. Each of them had a bad past experience with love. These two really cute characters meet together and they start this business of jodi breakers and then the story goes on. It is an amazing very cute romantic comedy.

You can see Bipasha and the rest of the Players crew that includes Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Bobby Deol, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sikander Kher and Omi Vaidya try and pull off the heist when Players: Go For Gold hits the cinema on January 6th.

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