Pakistani actor Sara Loren Bipasha Basu has been charming moviegoers since her debut opposite Akshay Kumar in Ajnabee. Now she’s bringing
her star power to ﬁ tness and fashion with exercise DVDs and a clothing line. But it’s the ‘sexiest women in Hollywood’ title that best suits this queen of seduction. Aatma… Raaz… Creature 3D and now Alone. You seem to be a ‘crusader of horror.’ I have done ﬁ lms in all genres, not just horror. But yes, if you compare my career graph with other actresses, maybe I have done more. It was never a planned move. My next release Alone is a hor- ror ﬁ lm with an intense romantic angle. But I am tired of answer- ing why I do horror ﬁ lms; no one actually sees what I do in them! So now, I won’t take these up for some time! I am… very free, bindaas. Personally, do you have a penchant for scary ﬂ icks? Although, I like scary ﬁ lms I get petriﬁ ed watching them. I close my eyes during the scary parts, then keep asking my friends, ‘What happened?’ I remember watching Blair Witch Project on a Brit- ish Airways ﬂ ight. I was so scared that I kept sinking lower in my seat and ended up kicking the old man sitting next to me! (laughs) How do you manage to look so hot even after so many years in the industry? I am enjoying what I am today, way more than I did in my 20s. I have made ‘myself’ the number one priority in my life. That puts a lot of things into perspective. I dedicate an hour to myself everyday no matter what. During that one hour I forget everything – family, friends, work…no one can reach me. That kind of investment helps. Today I am calm, and focussed,
and can handle situations better. The bonus is that I look good and am happier. In an industry where fortunes change every Friday, you are still going strong even after 14 years. It’s the connect that I have made with the audiences. If you don’t have the audience’s love, you can’t last this long. I am an actress who lives by my own rules and principles. I don’t suck up to any- body. Although, I sometimes feel sucking up would help, but it’s too late to learn. I have never been overly ambitious. I am not an actor who lives, breathes and dies cinema. I love my profession and give 100 per cent to it when I am at work. But it’s not every- thing for me.
So what consumes you when you are not facing the camera? Lots – scripts, meeting, events, shows, endorsements, etc. I am working on my brand – BB Love Yourself. I am planning something big which will be launched soon. This is besides the DVDs that I bring out. I am also working on my accessory line Trunk Label, which has now gone global. So I have my hands full. What’s the toughest thing in this business? The insecurity! Although I am pretty much unaffected with things around me, there were times in my personal life when I went through a crisis. That’s when you feel as if everything is collapsing around you and there’s a tinge of insecurity. It’s very tough. At the end of the day, actors are human beings. But we are treated like demi gods and goddesses. We are under scrutiny on a daily basis – whether it’s our personal life or the way we dress. Everybody RULES OF FASHION…
I love dressing up and I don’t care if the fashion police says: “oh she’s wearing a bodycon dress again.” I have a ﬁ t body and I will wear a bodycon dress as long as I want to. If I have paid 0 one lakh for a pair of shoes, I will deﬁ nitely wear it again and again. You can’t tell me that I am repeating things. I come from a middle class family with middle class values. I may have a lot of money. But I also have value for money. BRANDS I LOVE…
D&G, Armani, Elie Saab and Zara are some of my favourite brands. I also love maxis and ganjis from Supre an Australian brand. I SPLURGE ON… Exercise gear. I have the funkiest shoes, sports bras, pants… everything. I also like Lululemon a Canadian brand. If you me send to a store like that I will come out with the entire store! HOTTEST THING IN MY WARDROBE…
My ﬂ ourescent Lululemon pants. You need to look hot when you are working out.
I DON’T UNDERSTAND…
When Bollywood stars on the red carpet abroad wear brands they can’t carry off, with bizarre hair and weird make-up. What’s going on?
A DEAL BREAKER IN A RELATIONSHIP…
FITTEST PERSON IN BOLLYWOOD
Akshay Kumar is truly a ﬁ t man. Deepika Padukone also looks very ﬁ t. WHAT NEXT?
Vikram Padnis’ debut ﬁ lm – Nia.
I love the attention (laughs). Attention in the form of healthy appreciation is always welcome. And the unwanted attention… I’ve been blessed with blindness There were times in my personal life when I went through a crisis. That’s when you feel as if everything is collapsing around you and there’s a tinge of insecurity. It’s very tough. At the end of the day, actors are human beings has an opinion about us. You need to be strong and conﬁ dent, else it can crumble you. It’s not for fragile people. You have to have a very thick skin to last in this industry. Having cemented your position with Raaz, Jism and Corporate, why didn’t we see you in more women-centric ﬁ lms? The opportunities for women in this industry are few. Plus, there are logistical issues, which I refuse to succumb to. If you look at it – there are just two or three successful women-driven ﬁ lms. Audi- ences are still not ready for such ﬁ lms. Even producers are not will- ing to put their money on them. Though they put a lot of money on bizarre and stupid ﬁ lms!
Do you think your sexy star image sidelined your acting talent along the line?
Initially, it did. But both the audience and media are intelligent. They don’t really perceive me as just being sexy. You can’t last so long if you are only sexy. There has to be something more to make you last for 14 years. Sexy is just a new ﬂ avour.
How do you deal with this whole sexy tag?
When I started off, sexy used to be an abused and apologetic term. Journalists would ask, “People call you sexy, how do you feel,” as if I was supposed to feel bad about it. I would explain that worldwide there are actresses who are sexy. And I aspire to be an actress who is sexy. I would love to be a sexy grandmother. Human beings should be a little sexy. Otherwise, the world would be a boring place. You are single and attractive – how do you deal with all that at- tention?
I love the attention (laughs). Attention in the form of healthy ap- preciation is always welcome. And the unwanted attention…I’ve been blessed with blindness. I’m so myopic I don’t see people star- ing at me. Maybe that’s why I don’t understand this whole concept of wearing a robe on top of your shooting clothes. Because you’re going to shed the robe in front of the camera! Since I wear skirts, dresses and shorts off the screen, too, why should I get coy about them on set? I know it gives people a shock to see me walking up and down in shorts. But my logic is simple. I can’t see them. So they can’t see me!
You brought in a whole new level of ﬁ tness to Bollywood. How do you maintain that body?
When I am in the gym, I am like a child in a playground. I prance around like a monkey with a big grin on my face. I put together a routine and try it on myself. I do a mix of weight training, func- tional training, biometrics, cardio, Pilates, etc. The only thing I don’t have the hang of is yoga.
What are the challenges yet to be met?
I have achieved nothing. If I had a bucket list I would have had 2,000 things still left to do. I haven’t even started.
Pakistani actor Sara Loren
While it’s all part of the job, she allows herself to go with the ﬂ ow of the emotions and get swept away just a bit. Sara is deliciously frank about chemistry on and off screen. She gives the usual ‘friends only’ about her equa- tion with Adhyayan Suman, her co-star in Ishq Click, which has some hot scenes. “I have a certain comfort level with Adhyayan and if that comes through on screen that’s great,” she prevaricates at ﬁ rst, but then admits. “See, when you are shooting you start to like the guy and you have to live those moments. You get attracted to the per- son. That carries on outside as well. I know that with the next movie, I’ll have to go through some sort of chemis- try with another co-star. I like living in the moment and the attraction that comes with it.”
She was christened Mona Laizza, but in Pakistan that got distorted to Mona Lizza. When she started her ﬁ lm career in Mumbai, numerologist Sanjay Jumani and the Bhatts, together decided on Sara Loren as the best name for her career in Bollywood.
Sara is quirky and adventurous. She loves the movie Black Swan – to the extent that the tattoo on her back is inspired by the dance in the ﬁ lm. She loves the idea in it: live-die-repeat. The idea that you can change and turn around things with thoughts. “I have changed so many things in my life – the countries I have lived in and even my name twice over. I am a strong person and believe I can make things happen. That is perhaps because I have struggled so much since my father died.”
Sara is chilled out and frank about putting forth her opinions about her colleagues. Her favourites in the indus- try are many – Hrithik Roshan, Varun Dhawan and Arjun Kapoor. She gushes about Salman Khan (Oh my God! He’s so sexy. When you look at him you feel so different!)
Sidharth Malhotra (He’s so hot). She’s happy with the sexy image she has after Murder 3. (I don’t want to kill that image, but would like to do other stuff, too. I’d like to portray someone really innocent as a contrast to that). She’d like to work with Karan Johar (because he’s the face of Bollywood); Ayan Mukherjee (because he makes you laugh and feel like a girl); with Yash Raj Films (how can you not?); and of course with Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Imitiaz Ali. All the top directors in fact, much like every actor out there wanting to work with directors who hit the bulls eye at the box ofﬁ ce.
Marriage is not on the cards at the moment. “It’s more important to ﬁ nd your soul mate. It’s better to be in a rela- tionship and take your time with it rather than rush into marriage and have regrets. It would be awful to ﬁ nd the person is not what you thought he would be.” She likes bold and bindass men with a dash of humour, loads of energy and who are positive. She loves the water. “A date on a boat in the middle of a lake with champagne, can- dles and the works for me. Rather cliched, but I admit I like all the props of romance and would like to be wooed with them.”
Sara is not coy about her homely interests. She loves to cook and swears that she makes a mean biryani and lamb chops. “I’m passionate about cooking – I got this from my dad. He used to love cooking.” But she admits that she lives on caesar salad and orange juice. The demands of the job don’t allow for dietary indulgence.
On cross-border tensions she says, “I don’t think young people care too much. They just want to get on with their lives. They don’t have time to ﬁ ght. People are the same both sides. They love and get hurt the same way. I have family on both sides so I can connect with both.”
“I don’t think young people care too much (about cross border tensions). They just want to get on with their lives. They don’t have time to ﬁ ght. People are the same both sides. They love and hurt the same way. I have family both sides so I can connect with both.”