He plays a womaniser in 'I Hate Luv Storys' but in real-life Imran Khan is the sort of nice guy any girl could proudly take home to mama. His co-star Sonam Kapoor (who admits to having had a big crush on him) says so herself! Imran's amazingly chilled out, admits to being an old-fashioned romantic and, of course, he has those movie star good looks. He says he loves being an actor but he's also honest enough to declare that there are things about his job he hates. It's this brand of no-fuss plainspeak that has him saying that girls today are interchangeable. But, believe us, there's an interesting reason he says it. Read on to find out that and much more about Imran.
In 'I Hate Luv Storys' you play a character who's a bit of a womaniser, how did you go about creating a connection?
A bit of a womaniser is putting it mildly (Laughs). I think most of the work in creating a character is done by the writer and director, assuming the writer and director know what they are doing! So the scenes, the set-up, the building blocks are all there. What the actor does is add flavour to it. I feel a movie is a totally collaborative process. I rely heavily on my director, and Punit (Malhotra) guided me all the way through with the role. As did Sonam.
What's it like working with Sonam?
We've know each other for a while now and hung out together, so we're quite pally. But in the movie, everything my character does is supposed to rub her character the wrong way. I've spent just about the entire film trying to irritate her! My shoelaces are untied pretty much throughout 'I Hate Luv Storys' and this really bothered her! (Sonam was also a bit bothered by Imran's shirt when this interview was happening. The moment she spotted him, she came over and said, "I suggest you iron your shirt, dude!" Imran laughed off the suggestion.)
Was there any particular thing Jay, your character in the movie, does that you would never ever do?
Well, he lies shamelessly to get women. He lies about his name and his job. He even pretends to be blind to get sympathy!
Tell us about your favourite real-life love story and your fave movie love story
In real-life love stories tend to be not so dramatic. That's why we make movies. And I love so many movie love stories. There's 'Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak', 'Maine Pyar Kiya', 'Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge'. I have the feeling those kind of movies won't get made anymore. They were lots of fun, but also so over-the-top in some ways. If we tried to make a movie like that today, people would say 'That's so dated!'
Who do you think is the most romantic Bollywood heroine of all time?
Madhuri Dixit. I loved her in 'Dil' with Aamir mamu. You know, despite all those horrible frilly things that heroines in the 80s and 90s wore, they really could carry films on their own. Madhuri and Sridevi could get an opening (at the box-office) on the strength of their name. Today, the girls seem interchangeable. I don't know if it's the scripts or the audience.
When you choose a movie, do you think about how it's going to do at the box-office?
You can never tell, can you? There have been movies with top actors being directed by a top director and those haven't done well. Then you might have a movie made by a first-time director with a cast of newcomers that's a hit. So I think it's best to just choose what you like.
Does it ever get annoying when people say you have a chocolate boy image and might have trouble breaking out of it?
It's inconsequential to me. I'm just here to do work that I find interesting. People can say whatever they want about my image.
What do you love most about your job?
That I get to do new things. I get to travel to new places. I get to learn new things with every movie. I learnt horse-riding for 'Jaane Tu', Parkour for 'Kidnap', and scuba-diving for 'Luck'. My job always keeps me active.
What do you hate about your job?
That I don't get time with my family and friends. It's literally snatched moments after work. Maybe an hour and a half before I have to go back to a shoot.
To know more about what Imran thinks of Sonam, get your copy of Masala! Magazine issue dated July 8.