A number of Bollywood stars have been making cameo appearances in high-profile Hollywood films, and the latest do that is model turned actress Nargis Fakhri.
She plays an assassin in this week’s big Hollywood release Spy, which stars Melissa McCarthy as an unlikely super spy, and has got great reviews.
EE‘s Asjad Nazir caught up with the Pakistani-American star Nargis in London recently to discuss her Hollywood adventure and more.
Is this film you starting a new phase in your career, by going to Hollywood and becoming an action woman?
Nothing that has happened so far was a plan. Even Bollywood wasn’t a plan. It was all a good accident. Now this was something I hoped for, Asjad, that one day I can go back home to America and work. So this was a great opportunity for me to experience what it is like to work on a Hollywood set and I really had a great time. And if, God willing, I could find one foot in each door, I would gladly do that.
How much training did you do for the action scenes in Spy?
Oh my god! We spent a lot of time rehearsing and learning the moves and stuff. (Laughs) But I will say that when we got on set, things did get messed up sometimes.
Is being an action star something you want to pursue in the future?
Do you know what, I would love to if that could happen. Let’s see what happens. Maybe some directors will see Spy and think, ‘why not write a story about a desi action hero?’
Melissa McCarthy is the current comedy queen of Hollywood. What is she like as a co-star?
She is so funny all the time. I don’t even know if she is trying to be funny or if she’s like that naturally. (Laughs) It is really great to work with someone who always keeps smiling.
Your character in Spy is serious, but how do you find comedy as a genre?
I don’t participate in the comedy in Spy. I think the closest I came to comedy was Main Tera Hero. That was pretty interesting and funny. I think after this, I will have some more opportunities to do comedy in Bollywood.
You are being very picky about your projects?
Yes, I am just slow, I guess. I know I can’t do everything. Just because people offer you stuff doesn’t mean it’s a good fit. I like the time to see. I’m really glad everything I have been in like Rockstar, Madras Cafe, Main Tera Hero and the item numbers have all been hits. I think Spy is gonna do really well. I am doing really well and can pat myself on the back. I just want to do fun and good stuff.
Are you making a plan or following your instincts?
In reality, I think it’s just about following your intuition. Somehow I can feel if it’s right or not.
Which is your favourite spy movie of all time?
What’s a good spy movie? It’s been so long…
How about James Bond?
Yes, those are good, but right now my favourite spy movie is Spy. This is my favourite, honestly.
Do you fancy being a Bond girl?
Oh, that really would be so nice and lovely. Maybe playing the villain in James Bond, I would take that all day long. Let’s see.
You must like the fact that so many actors from Bollywood are bridging the gap with Hollywood?
I like the fact that there is a bridge happening between the two industries. I think it’s beautiful. There have never been this many. I believe it’s a combination of people in Bollywood and Hollywood knowing how lucrative it is to merge. I think that is really interesting. [Spy director] Paul Feig is a really smart man for using actors from all over the world, not just American actors. It is really wonderful to know that he is aware of Bollywood. So that was a great surprise. It’s fantastic.
Did you learn anything new from doing Spy?
I think kicking butt was the biggest thing that I learned doing the film.
Have you got used to the Indian press writing false stuff about you, romantically linking you up with everyone?
You said it correctly, it is so silly. I don’t read anything about me any more because every time they write something absurd.
Finally, why should we watch Spy?
It is an amazing film. It’s a combination of comedy, drama and action. It leaves you surprised. You assume it’s going to be a certain way, but it takes all these twists and turns. You are left in tears of laughter.
Spy is in cinemas now.