She has thrown the proverbial beautiful, sexy and sultry out of the window. So when I was told to meet her, I was a bit sceptical. Yes, I picked her for my next interview. Not that I knew that she had nothing to do with the above adjectives.
Oh no! So as I enter the Gloria Jeans coffee house, the recently opened chain in Juhu which really has that ambience of Central Perk, I see two men cornering the actress, who eventually happen to be her publicists. And as anybody would do, my eyes were directed to the centre of the table, nothing right or left. It took me a moment to register Kainaz, and the reason of her super cuteness and prettiness personified. Her hair is loose and long, her makeup applied, her summer dress from head to toe is black.
At first glance, she might be a 16-year-old trying to pass for 18 at the local nightclub. Then she gets to her feet and is instantly transformed, looming 5ft 10 in her tottering lavender heels sharing a ‘have-we-met-before’ handshake. I wish! It was that very moment I questioned myself, ‘I didn’t know whether I chose her, but something told me that she chose me.’ Lucky me! The dark eyes, the frivolous hair, the impish smile…Kainaz got all of me in a flutter. The two film old actress hasn’t made much noise, thanks to the box office dud Paathshala and her quiet role in Wake Up Sid. But she is back in her third instalment playing Ragini in Ragini MMS that’s surely going to make a loud noise in our paranormal world. Once released on May 13, you will know what I’m talking about. Now back to the porcelain fragility of Kainaz: a cutesy nose, and lips that, while they may not be Urmila Matondkar’s, still have a Bollywood pout to them. It’s the eyes, though, that are Kainaz’s fortune.
You can see it in her eyes: the fire and angst to climb the ladder of success. With her lips touching the straw, her frothy cold coffee slowly on its way up and sitting with her back to the window, the actress looks comfortable relishing every moment of her caffeine. Yet everything about her is quietly confounding, especially her long dark eyebrows that rise to sceptical circumflexes when the questions get irksome. But all this and she still answers each one of them with her infectious smile. UK’s Harrow Observer columnist and Bollywood Hungama‘s London correspondent meets Balaji and IRock Productions proud paranormal possession, Kainaz Motivala, in a coffee shop to talk everything you’ve ever wanted to know about coffee. Oops! Sorry! See, that’s what happens when you meet her. Hang on, where’s my coffee? And just before we finish our candid chat, the actress delivers in a weird voice: "Ragini MMS is a roller coaster ride…. Ragini MMS is an epic… Ragini MMS is….." and Kainaz is nowhere to be seen in the coffee shop. I was all alone and my coffee was right there in front of me, or was it? I didn’t know it then, but it could’ve been a threesome!
"Audience isn’t PSYCHO. They want good content"
I really don’t think about how big the banner is. The script is what makes me interested in the film. When I signed on Ragini MMS, I didn’t even know it was a Balaji fim. I signed up with IRock. The character I play is fabulous and I am very lucky that very early on in my career, I got to do a film and a role like this. It’s good in a way that these big budget star driven films aren’t working now-a-days because it’s not about the actors anymore. People want content that is good. I come from that school of thought.
"I have no GRUDGE for shooting the love making scenes again"
We haven’t reshot many scenes, except a few love making scenes that we shot. Love making scenes have turned out to be very realistic, and that’s why I agreed to do it in the first place. I am not a kind of actress who believes in ‘kiss-for-the-sake-of-kissing’ or wear a bikini just for the sake of wearing it.
"There wasn’t any PARANORMAL ACTIVITY I’ve witnessed on or off the sets"
I haven’t experienced anything paranormal. When you do such films that play with your mind, you tend to believe that things are happening for real but they aren’t.
"RAGINI MMS is the best thing that’s ever happened to me so far"
After getting the role for Ragini MMS, for the first few days I didn’t believe it and was also pondering on the thought of what if it doesn’t work out. I was supposed to keep it as the biggest secret for the longest time. I did two auditions. We did not do an audition that normally takes place before you get your part. I was told to improvise on my character and nothing was briefed about how I should be doing my part. The ball was thrown in my court and I had to play it to win it. I improvised on my sweet character I play in the start of the film and the other was a fear improvisation.
Before we started Ragini, we did intensive workshops for a month where we went into the fear zone as we wanted to keep it very real because many a times fear is portrayed in films as ‘over the top’ and often ‘loud’. We noticed that when we were really scared, we don’t scream that much. We try to be quiet; our eyes pop out, etc. Such smallest of things were taken into consideration but these were the things that got to my head before the film and after. One day, my mother opened the door after I returned from the workshop and as soon as the door opened, I yelled. I was scared and I don’t know why.
"I didn’t BLACK OUT when I met Ekta"
My first meeting with Ekta was very chilled out. She isn’t the person what many think she is. She is easy going and you can share your talks with her. She is sweet and gave us a lot of ‘pep’ talk. She was encouraging and very motivating. She told me to do a good job and not to get stressed about it.
"My SIXTH SENSE tells me that Ragini is the scariest movie of all time"
The ghost in the film isn’t scary and nor is Ragini. But the way they’ve shot the film is scary. At some point, you get into this whole zone with Ragini as an audience and that is what will scare them. They are going to feel for the character. Ragini isn’t a long film in terms of duration. It’s a short film and such films have to hold the audiences. I feel there shouldn’t be an intermission in Ragini MMS.
"The scariest movie I’ve ever seen is THE SHINING"
The scariest movie I’ve ever seen is The Shining starring Jack Nicholson. Even the background score of the film is scary. I saw the film two to three years back. This was one film I watched after I signed on to Ragini MMS. Then for references, I watched a lot of films like Paranormal Activity, Devil, Blair Witch Project, a French film called Them and a few more.
"Ragini is Pawan’s baby like ROSEMARY’S BABY. He has lived with it"
My director Pawan Kriplani has lived with the film for a year and a half. He knew our characters in and out. We both had a long chat about the film before we started shooting. He made me do a lot of homework and all to prepare for my role which would result in authenticity. I’ve worked with Ayan Mukerjee too in Wake Up Sid and will continue to work with young directors who I also believe in and can personally relate to.
"I don’t have THE RING to give to my boyfriend as I don’t have any. Ragini is lucky"
Ragini as a character has a huge graph in the film. It starts off with her being very vulnerable. She is a very normal south Mumbai girl and has got her boyfriend who she is madly in love with. It’s the truth but I don’t have a boyfriend in real life. Isn’t that scary?