It’s been over a decade since Bipasha Basu did her first horror film, Raaz, with Dino Morea. Since then, the Bong stunner has dipped her toe in genre pool ever so often with films like Raaz 3 and her next release Creature 3D. “I really thought I would get braver after having done all these films, but clearly that hasn’t happened,” she says with a laugh.
“When I am shooting horror films, I refuse to stay alone in a room. Creature 3D didn’t scare me so much, but now that I am shooting for Alone, I sleep with the lights on. And, my maid sleeps in my room,” she confesses,” adding, “Any and everything scares me. In Alone, there is a scene where I am lying in bed and I have to turn. When I turn, I am almost nose-to-nose with a ghost. I knew that there is a person lying next to me, but when I turned I screamed. For some reason, I got so scared that I completely broke down. The director and the unit must have thought ‘wah! Kya acting hai’ but when I didn’t stop crying even after ‘cut’ was called out, they go worried.”
So, then what is it about the genre that keeps drawing her back? “These films are always entertaining. Also, I always seem to get great roles in these films. I am not just playing a ‘supporting’ actor to a hero. Horror is still fairly new as a genre in Bollywood… it’s a new way to entertain. Creature 3D is India’s first feature on the lines of Anaconda or Godzilla. These films are always fun to watch and make… it’s a win-win.”
While Bipasha has gone all out to promote Creature 3D, she kicked up a controversy in June when she refused to participate in the promotions of her last film, Humshakals. Not one to mince words, Bipasha calls making the film a “humiliating experience”. “For the first time in my life, I did a film because my managers thought it was time I signed a big commercial film. I was told that there was no script. And, that I would have the best role among the actresses. I went on the set every day and just sat around. I didn’t complain even once. When I was dubbing, I realised I was in the film for six minutes, so I told everyone concerned that I wouldn’t promote the film. Till date, I don’t know the story of the film… so what would I have promoted? Humshakals was the worst mistake of my life.”
While Humshakals is a film Bipasha wishes wasn’t a part of her filmography, she is very kicked about her first Hollywood film, The Lovers, which is directed by Oscar-winner Roland Joffe and also stars Josh Harnett. “It’s one of the most beautiful films I have ever made. As an actor, I am very happy with the kind of work I have done. The fact that an Oscar-winning director (Roland Joffe) applauds you in a front of a multi-national cast was just such a special feeling. After every shot, Roland would tell me “B, you nailed it!” I was like that eager child in class who wants the gold star. It was a different kind of a high.”
With her career on the right track and a stable personal life, Bipasha says she is in a good place. The actress has been seeing fellow actor Harman Baweja for almost two years now. While there have been reports of an engagement, she say they are just rumours. “Engagement might be an important ritual for others, but I don’t think it is important. If you are not meant for each other, that ring will not keep the relationship going. When I am ready, I would much rather do the real deal, marriage, than have a ‘stop-gap arrangement’.”
For now, Bipasha is happy to have found a partner who is also a friend. “Our relationship evolved very organically. We started off being friends and talking on-and-off, and at some point we realised that we meant something more to each other. What I love about him is that he has a lot of patience. I am very childish. I am all over the place… I am also over-active. What is beautiful about him is that he communicates. Most guys don’t communicate, but he does. He knows that talking things out is so important for a woman.”