Having done four films in the Punjabi film industry, Ihana has set out to make her Bollywood debut. And although Hate Story 4 is a bold film, the gorgeous actress is confident about being able to showcase her acting chops. Check out what this newcomer had to say about her expectations for the film, and how working in Bollywood compares to doing Punjabi films.
You’ve made quite a bold choice for your first Bollywood film. What are your expectations for the film?
A lot of people have asked me this, and although people associate the Hate Story franchise with being a hot and bold one, it’s all about the performance for me. When I first got the offer I said no, because I didn’t want to start my career with such a bold movie, as people tend to judge you based on the film you choose. But when I heard the entire story I was quite impressed with it, and changed my mind. I play a corporate girl, and there are a lot of variations to the role; so as an actor I can showcase my talent with this movie. The film’s story is based on true incidents; it’s not entirely a seductive film, but a story-based movie, so I’m quite happy with it. I guess people need to see the film to know what I mean.
How difficult is working in Bollywood compared to the Punjabi film industry?
Actually, it isn’t difficult at all. I have done four Punjabi films and although the industry hasn’t reached Bollywood’s level, it is pretty professional. There’s not much of a difference, if you ask me. People are professional and the budgets are quite high, even in the Punjabi industry. Having said that, it was absolutely great working with T-Series and the entire team of Hate Story 4, and I’m very excited about the film.
Is there a classic film remake you’d like to be part of?
I’m a huge Sanjay Leela Bhansali fan, and Devdas is my all-time favourite film. So if ever there’s another remake of Devdas I would love to work in it.
And what about an actor or filmmaker you’d like to work with?
As I said, it’s my dream to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali. And as for actors, I don’t have just one favourite. I’m a big fan of Amitabh Bachchan and Irrfan Khan. But since I’m very new to this industry and everyone here is great, I’d be thrilled if given a chance to work with any of them.
How do you unwind?
I love to travel. The schedules in the film industry tend to be very erratic, and considering I’m a family-oriented person, I like to spend my free time with my family and go on vacation with them. When I’m home I like to just do nothing, eat and chill with my familys. I also like to read so whenever I get the time, I do – while on a flight or while commuting. Sketching is something I’m fond of too, but unfortunately, I hardly get the time to sketch anymore.
If not an actor, what career path would you have chosen?
I cannot think of myself as anything other than an actress. I love what I do. But if not for this, I would’ve probably been an interior designer; that was actually what I wanted to do when I was growing up.
How did you get started in acting?
Acting wasn’t always on the cards; it just happened. Ever since I was a kid I used to imitate actors and actresses. In fact, I was a big Madhuri Dixit fan as a kid, so I would often mimic her. But I never thought I’d actually choose this career path, as nobody in my family is from the industry.
It so happened that while I was in college, people often asked me to get into modelling because I was tall and fair. And once I started modelling, acting seemed like the next best thing to do. I did a few ads and courses in acting, and that led to films.
What’s your favourite party destination?
I am not a party person at all. I don’t like crowded places; I prefer lounges.
What are your plans for the upcoming holiday season?
This month is very busy for me. Initially I wanted to go to Europe for Christmas and New Year’s with my sister. But unfortunately I have some projects at hand, and hence won’t be able to do that. To be honest, though, I’d be happy working during the holiday season. But if I do get some time off, I’d love to go and see Europe in its festive cheer.
What are you most comfortable wearing?
I’m most comfortable in jeans and T-shirts. I don’t like to be decked up all the time. Comfort comes first for me.
What’s your personal style like?
I wear whatever suits me. I don’t follow fashion. I think you should wear what complements your body, and that automatically becomes fashionable.
Tell us about your upcoming projects.
Apart from Hate Story 4 which is releasing on March 4, I’m doing one song in Arjun Rampal’s flick Nastik, which is going to release in May. There’s a Punjabi project and another one that I’ll be starting soon, the details of which I can’t give out right now. --- as told to Niharika