German bombshell Claudia Ciesla burnt the floor with her item number 'Balma' from the film 'Khiladi 786'. International model turned actor and the new Bollywood item girl talks about her life after Big Boss, on modelling and the film industry in a candid chat with Shabarni Basu. Excerpts:
How different is being on celluloid from the ramp walks?
It is different because in acting you have to get inside your role, feel and play the character. So it's more about your emotion...it's not about your body.
You see the body language has to come naturally with the character you are playing, but in modelling it's just about posing figure, your face has to be blank, straight forward and you are selling the product you are wearing.
It's like night and day, you cannot compare it. I have come from the modelling side, so it is a long process to transform your body language and am happy I did that!
Life after Bigg Boss 3?
It was a different experience. You live with people you don't know and everybody plays game...but at the end of the day I have learnt a lot.
It is true everybody behaves differently under different circumstances because everyone plays a strategy to win, but you are learning how to live with so many people in one house.
The show was my first experience here...I even learned to cook roti (chapati) and sabzi (curry) over there and for me of course it proved to be a great platform.
How would you put the fights that happen in the Bigg Boss house?
You know when so many people stay together, it happens naturally. It is not scripted, even in your house you'll find some fights are going on. They are small irritations over there, as at the end of the day you are not in touch with your family, not connected to your parents so small things get into big fights. Its natural instinct.
Life after the song 'Balma' from 'Khiladi 786'?
Ah Balma...life is amazing after that. You know the experience to dance next to Akshay Kumar...it's amazing because he is one of the Bollywood stars, even Asin...she is like wow!
Then Ganesh Acharya is the choreographer...top people from industries and to work with them, I feel so happy...so overwhelmed. It's like a dream come true for me. Specially for the song that Himesh Reshammiya composed for the film, that turned out to be so catchy and popular with the audience, I am so happy for that as well.
Are you a trained dancer?
Entering Bigg Boss, Bosco and Caesar choreographed and I was dancing. After that I was fascinated about Bollywood dance and I kept learning from different people. I learned the 'Balma' song in just two days.
Right now I am comfortable with all the steps but yes I rehearsed a lot and learnt from different Bollywood songs. I love to dance and it is more like a hobby for me and a part of my exercise, which anyway I have to do so why not do something that I like to do.
Apart from dance what else do you do to keep yourself fit?
I follow a fitness trait actually. I regularly go to the gym, used to do horse-riding but being in India, it is sometimes possible in Maha Laxmi Race Course (in Mumbai). Being in India, I have learnt yoga and I do breathing exercises which keep me cool and relaxed.
Apart from that, I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. It is not compromise for me, it has been a routine for so many years and even now if I see fast food...it's like yuck!
Are you looking to bag big banner offers?
You know I am open. A few months back my Punjabi film (Yaar Pardesi) released and I am the heroine there, right now I have done an item song...of course it has a big banner but it is my first item song. I am open to doing more item songs because I love to dance.
From 'Balma', I got such good response, and people appreciate me like "Claudia you can actually dance!" People had not expected me to dance...so I would like to do more item songs but definitely acting is my priority in Bollywood.
I have also done Bengali film ('10:10'), I have offers from the south, so I am open, I would like to do my job.
Any upcoming projects or any new offers in Bollywood?
Yeah, there have been item songs offers, touchwood! On 7th of November the movie (Khiladi 786) released so as of now, I am excited for that. Then my team will get to the others, how to choose them and what will be good for me.
Any Bollywood diva you look up to?
You know there are many...I admire Katrina Kaif because my struggle and her struggle are same, even language wise, but she is ruling the Bollywood. Again, Kareena Kapoor is one I look up to as far as acting is concerned. I am such a big fan of her.
Watching 'Heroine', I felt no one could act like her. She showed the real acting skill and am admiring her since 'Chameli', when she was just 20 years old and still today she has grown. I have learnt from her.
'Heroine' has depicted a lot of negative side of a heroine's life. Does that have a similar impact on you?
You know 'Heroine' is not negative for me. There is so much of happiness in doing the acting job. I have been so much lucky and I did item songs. It's not always negative, people offer you since they appreciate your job. In 'Heroine' our film industry is projected so wrong that I will disagree too, in that movie. It is just showing the negative art. It is not all negative, there is so much positive things as well.
Do you have a wish list of male actors you'd like to work with?
Yeah the wish list is very long. I started Bigg Boss with Amitabh Bachchan, the godfather of Bollywood, then 'Zor Ka Zhatka' with Shah Rukh Sir (Shah Rukh Khan), and then dancing with Akshay Sir.
So I cannot say one name, like Shah Rukh is god of romance, Akshay Sir... who is so good at action and comedies...then coming to the next generation, there is Ranbir Kapoor, who acts so naturally...so they are different heroes and everyone in Bollywood is on my list!
Your take on Akshay Kumar as a dancer?
You know I used to rehearse but he never came. He used to come in sets and Ganesh Masterji's assistants used to show him the steps and he would say "acchha chalo take" (come lets take). He is so experienced! And he used to do it in such a perfect way!
Any particular genre you look up to?
No...no particular genre. You see I like to experiment, I like to do new stuffs...I like to challenge myself. I have learnt Hindi which was not easy. I learnt Bollywood dance which was not easy for a foreigner. So whatever will come across me I would try to give my best.
You've been born and brought up in different atmospheres. So how is India working for you?
India is different, very good actually. A lot of people helped me here. The culture, language is different, so is the food but people in India are really warm and guided me in small little problems that I couldn't manage myself. I am really comfortable here, I am saying that this is my country, my home right now.
Any plans to work in German films?
You see after my Bengali film, I went back to Germany, that was a mistake. Had I stayed here, then my career would have come up fast. You cannot stay in India and work in Germany or vice-verse. You have to decide what you want to do and what are you comfortable in.
When I was doing modelling and acting there, I was successful but the moment I shifted to India it is impossible to concentrate over there. I am full on concentrating on Bollywood films right now. But now the world is open so Indian artists are doing well in Hollywood and I am proud of it. So the world is open for each other and you never know.
So is it script or the length of the role for you?
At the end of the day it is the script. Because if the script is strong, automatically it will become a super hit. Since now-a-days the audiences are very smart, they are getting bored very fast.
The treatment and visuals of the movie is very important along with good scripts. Even if you have lengthy character and the script is not really good, then what does it matter? Rather I would do a short role but in a challenging manner!
Coming to Indian boys, do they stand a chance in your life?
Ah...see it is a matter of mentality, right now I am young, it's not the time to think about marriage. I believe that first of all I should try and concentrate on my career, they will come a moment when the time is right. For me it's not about countries, it's about the kind of person, who stands by me when I need him. It's not about the look which will go away in a few years, inside portion is more important for me!