MUMBAI: She’s the host with a difference in the &TV show “Darr Sabko Lagta Hai.” The czarina of ghost sagas on the big screen since “Raaz” (2002) to new innings from “Raaz 3” (2012) to “Alone” (2015), Bipasha Basu chirps that she has no problems with the “Horror Queen” tag, as tags are given only when an actor does something right.
And she is right.
In a chirpy mood when we meet up at the Hotel Taj Land’s End, she gets into a fast question-answer round.
Excerpts from the interview:
Q: What made you take up this show?
A: I have been receiving offers off and on for television in the last five years, but I was not sure of what to do on TV. I love reality shows and might do them later, but right now I did not want to do something everyone was doing. My team and I thought of a fitness show, but that would have been too niche. And then they offered me this concept of short films done by varied directors like Sangeeth Sivan, Raj and DK, Suparn Verma and others.
This was their take and visualizations of supernatural short films with high production values, nice actors and a very fresh integration of me into all the episodes. I was the great link, but the way they integrated me was not at all like the normal sutradhar or narrator who narrates the future story and talks with a teleprompter in front of her. I would never do that, as I find it boring!
Q: The label of ‘Horror Queen’ now goes onto the small screen.
A: Yes. Horror films are a big attraction since movies began, and it’s a very big genre on television. So if it is made well and presented in a new-age way, it’s bound to be a perfect fit for me and the audience. I now own this genre in cinema, and I have got tags all through for the right reasons. As long as I know what I am doing, I am happy and take such tags with a constructive pinch of salt.
Q: Did your parents or anyone else scare you as a child?
A: I am sure they must have, which is why I am a bit of a ‘darpok’ (timid) person, because I was an extremely naughty kid! (Laughs) But I have always maintained that I have a memory that does not work beyond three months, so I can’t really remember! Even today, it is easy to startle me with a sudden touch or noise. I am scared of the dark, of reptiles, of heights — it’s a never-ending list! (Chuckles)
And if I am scared of ghosts without ever seeing one, someone must have told me such tales. There are always two sides to all of us, as most of us have never seen a ghost — as cynics we try to rationalize things, but we are always afraid of things that we do not understand fully.
Q: Your show’s tagline means that everyone is afraid of something. Have you ever met a fearless person in every aspect?
A: My mom! I think that ghosts would discuss her persona and decide to stay away from her!
Q: We hear you are doing a series with Rohan Sippy.
A: Yes, we are shooting for it already. The format is new-age, international, and is being produced by Eros Now. There will be three seasons of 12 episodes of 45 to 60 minutes each, and it is a fantastic growth graph for an actor in these films. It will have visiting directors like Reema Kagti, and that’s all I can tell you right now about it!
Q: What about a film?
A: Sorry to disappoint you, but I am doing a film now that will begin this year, release in 2016, and will not be a horror film! (Laughs)
Q: Talking about films, Dino Morea said recently that he would love to work with you again and is missing those wonderful times when you worked together.
A: Dino said that? Oh, come on, we cannot take him seriously! He’s really this sweet, silly Catholic boy whose remarks should not be read too deeply! He is a wonderful friend!
Q: As a heroine, do you keep tracks on the competition?
A: I am not a ‘casher’ on things to keep me going strong. I am content with what I get, because, if you understand me, you can never get more than what you get. So you have to accept it and not be bothered. I don’t even keep track of what’s happening or read newspapers! I am one of those girls who wakes up dancing, and brushes while switching on music and gyrating, so a newspaper full of sordid news like rapes, murders and other things is the last thing I want to spoil my morning!
Q: When will you do work in Hollywood again?
A: Arey baba, let me work properly over here first. For me, it’s never been just work, just family or just something else. Life must be a blend of everything!