"Dostana is Tarun's baby all the way" - Priyanka Chopra

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By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Priyanka Chopra admits that she hasn't rested for more than a year now. 2008 especially has been crazy with five releases already to her name and sixth round the corner in the form of Dostana. However, she doesn't mind all the excitement coming her way as she hardly has got time to mourn over the failure of her movies or revel in the success of Fashion. Joginder Tuteja catches up with Priyanka Chopra hours before her Dostana gets ready to hit the screens.

Love Story 2050, God Tussi Great Ho, Chamku, Drona, Fashion and now Dostana - Whew!
[Laughs] Ya, these are indeed exciting times. I could use so many adjectives to describe what I feel but well, in the end it's all so scary. There are so many expectations that one attaches to a project. It is like sitting in Board examinations month after month.

Dostana still sounds like a safe film after all. Promos give an impression that it is an out and out fun film.
There are a little bit of emotions attached to the film as well. At the end of the day it is mainstream cinema and it has to be interesting. Dostana is not a random candy floss entertainer. Since the film has been made for commercial audience, it has to tell an engaging story. Here things turn really different. That's because when I interact with the characters played by Abhi and John, it gives a different dimension to a man-woman relationship. It's really fun because I am there with these two guys who are supposed to be in a romcom relationship of their own!

A film with two men in a romcom affair? And you were still game for it?
I was sold the moment Tarun (Mansukhani) narrated the film to me. I didn't have any apprehensions because Tarun was so clear in admitting this very basic fact to the world on screen. He wanted to bring things out of closed doors and make the world know that this too is a part of society around us.

But wasn't there any apprehension about non-acceptance of the film? What if it doesn't turn out to be a hit? Also, Tarun is a first time director.
You can't pick a film thinking whether it would be a hit or not. How can you even do some calculations? Yes, you do assess the commercial viability of the subject but beyond that you have to leave it to the conviction of the director. And let me tell you that I wasn't even thinking about Tarun being a debutant director here. I have worked with quite a few since I made my debut and while some of them have made fantastic films, some haven't. But that can't deter me from saying no to someone just because he/she hasn't been entrusted with this responsibility before. Come on, someone gave me a first chance too!

Karan's association with the project would have reassuring enough though?
Having Karan around is great but Dostana is Tarun's baby all the way. It is written and directed by him and knows the subject inside out while Karan hardly came on the film's sets. Moreover, I myself come with so many questions while working on a film and sometimes it can become really testing times for the directors. Still, Tarun braved all of it and answered all my questions. That shows his understanding, commitment and conviction.

You earlier mentioned that Dostana has some emotional moments as well. The KJo effect?
I won't say that the film has trademark Karan Johar stamp of emotional moments in Dostana. But then yes, there are moments where you get a lump in your throat. There is some softness in heart that comes on and just like there are some ups and downs in every feel good entertainer, the same is the case with Dostana too.

Softer songs like 'Kuch Kum' and 'Khabar Nahi' do promise that, isn't it?
Yeah. In the narrative they really do well. I know that songs like 'Desi Girl', 'Maa Da Laadla' and 'Shut Up and Bounce' are a rage today but I know for sure that once the films release, others too would pick up well amongst the audience.

Coming to your much talked about look; there are talks about the hard work you put in shaping your body for Dostana.
[Smiles] It's great that after Fashion, my look is being noticed in Dostana as well. However, I know for myself that hard work was there in Drona or Love Story 2050 or for that matter even Don. It's just that currently we are talking only about Dostana or Fashion.

But your weight loss is quite apparent in Dostana?
It's my luck that I was working on both Fashion and Dostana together. For the early part of Fashion, I had to put some weight to depict the chubby look of a Chandigarh girl. Then for the Mumbai shoot of Fashion which showed my journey to the top as a supermodel, I had to loose weight. The look I acquired for Fashion also helped Dostana because I was training hard and was fast acquiring a well toned physique.

Last but not the least, one can't help but ask this question. How does Bobby Deol's character bring the twist in the plot of Dostana. And please don't say - 'Watch the film'!
[Giggles] Watch the film!

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