It’s been about five years since Jacqueline Fernandez made her pedestrian debut with Sujoy Ghosh’s Aladin. A spate of flops followed, but she finally tasted success with films like Race 2 and Housefull 2. This week, the 28-year-old is back in theatres with her ‘biggest’ film yet—the Salman Khan-starrer Kick.
When the Sri Lankan stunner signed the film over a year ago, she couldn’t believe her luck. “Even when we were shooting, there were moments when I would get overawed. The first few days I’d keep thinking ‘Oh my! I am shooting with Salman Khan. We are in the same frame’,” she says, with a laugh. While things settled into a rhythm soon, Jacqueline got emotional again when she saw the promos for the first time. “I had to remind myself that I am a part of a film as big as this! It was such a blast to make this film. From day one, there was this happy-positive vibe on the set and I have to credit Sajid (Nadiadwala, debutant director and producer) and Salman (Khan) for leading the way.”
A Salman release on Id is a big deal, but Jacqueline is not giving into nerves. “People around me think I am nuts for not being nervous, but I am not. What to do? I am just really excited for everyone to see this film.”
Salman is notorious for mostly working with heroines he knows socially or has worked with before. Interestingly, Kick’s lead pair didn’t know each other at all before they started shooting. “The day I signed Kick, Salman called to congratulate me. I think that was the longest conversation we had ever had. Our paths had crossed at film awards, but we didn’t really know each other. But I wasn’t really perturbed. I don’t think it’s important for you to connect with a co-star off-set. If you are a good actor, you should be able to ‘act’ your way through the scenes.”
So, what was her first day on the set of Kick like? “I was on the set when Salman walked in with his entourage. ‘Hi, let’s shoot’, is all he said and we started. As we shot, we got more and more comfortable as co-stars. I had so many pre-conceived notions about him, but he was so different. He is very focused and serious on the sets. Between shots, we’d discuss the scenes and how we’d better them. Salman is a generous actor. He is not one of those who is only concerned about how his scenes are going. He takes the time to help and encourage his co-stars.”
In the five years that she’s been around Jacqueline hasn’t managed to carve out a niche for herself in Bollywood, but the actress is hoping that Kick establishes her. “I have given everything to this film because I know I won’t get an opportunity as big as this to establish myself. It’s now or never. I have always believed in doing best in everything I do, but sometimes even the best intentions don’t work. But things will change with Kick. I can feel it,” she says, crossing her fingers.