Bipasha Basu Makes A Comeback After 5 Years. She tells Subhash K Jha why she was tempted back to work by Vikram Bhatt.
You have been missing from the screen for a while. Is it because you had more interesting things to do?
Yes, I’ve been missing from screen. Post my marriage I wanted to take some time off. But I wasn’t quantifying my time. So I had no idea how much time I was taking off. I was happy building my relationship with my partner (Karan Singh Grover). I spent a lot of time with him and my parents and sisters. That’s something I hadn’t done for a long time.
You started your career early?
You know, I left home to work from the time I was 16. I didn’t even realize I had taken such a long time off from my acting job. But I guess everything happens at the right time. Now Vikram Bhatt’s OTT series Dangerous is happening.I am sure there will be many more after this.
What prompted you to take the plunge again , your Raaz director Vikram Bhatt or the temptation of working with your husband again?
Well after Alone, our last film together, my husband Karan and I had got a lot of offers together. But I had made a decision that I did not want us to work together on everything that was offered to us. We didn’t want to do any work together unless it was very exclusive and we said no to a lot of things.
How did the two of you sign Dangerous?
Dangerous was first offered to my husband Karan. Then Vikram Bhatt(who produces the webseries) asked me to take a narration. I totally loved it. The director Bhushan Patel and I had worked together before in Alone and everything fell into place. I didn’t accept Dangerous because my husband was in it, or because Vikram Bhatt was producer. It was a decision based entirely on the script. Though I must admit admit eventually both Karan and Vikram turned out to be a big plus. I really enjoyed working with them again.
Raaz remains your biggest hit…do you regret some of the choices you made after Raaz?
No, not really. Raaz is not my biggest hit. I’ve had many hits. I’ve been blessed with many kinds of films. I’m one of the lucky actresses to have done all kinds of films, from multi-starrers to heroine-oriented subjects, comedies, non-Bollywood Indian films (like Rituparno Ghosh Bengali film), art films…Every film is special to me. Films that may look like mistakes to others are not mistakes for me because they’ve helped me grow as an actor. I don’t think one can get it right each time. One has to go through the process of finding one’s bearings. I’ve loved all my films, even the bad ones. I really feel blessed for all the love I get after 19 years in the film industry. People want to see me all the time. The media loves me. The fans love me. So no regrets.
A lot has changed since you did your last film. Would you say the film industry is more organized now? A safer place for a single woman to work in?
It’s a constantly evolving situation. I never felt unsafe in this industry. Right from the the time I came in I conducted myself in a way where I was always given respect. I have heard about unfortunate incidents in lives of others. So I really can’t comment in this issue on the basis of my personal experience alone.
How effective has the MeToo movement been in Bollywood? Do you think the cleansing process was required?
The MeToo Movement was something that was waiting to happen not just in Bollywood but in every industry and organization in the world. The cleansing process was required, even though I haven’t come across any such incident of misbehaviour personally, but I’ve heard of these things..And I feel the perpetrators will be more careful now. Not that everyone has turned into saints. But yes, they will think many times before behaving badly.
As an outsider how difficult was it for you to reach the top of the entertainment profession?
I feel this insider-outsider debate has been given way too much importance. Yes, I was an outsider. But because of the audiences’ acceptance I am an insider now. Every individual has her own journey her own struggles be it a star-kid or an outsider. As outsiders we get less of a chance to prove ourselves to be accepted by the audience. Once we get the audiences’ acceptance no one has the power or authority to take it away from us. I have a lot of friends among star-kids. They all had to go through their share of struggle, prove their talent. The audience accepts or rejects them. Many star kids are nowhere today. The ones that are successful are the ones who deserve it. I do not belong to any outsiders’ club. I had my own journey but I empathize with everyone’s struggle.
You don’t buy the nepotism theory at all?
If I’ve a child and he or she wants to be an actor it’s not a crime. I don’t understand this debate at all. We should focus on our own struggles and not judge the struggle of others.
How do you see your future? Any plans of motherhood?
I don’t believe in living in the future. Motherhood? If it happen it happens let’s see. I know I’ll make a good mother.