Main hoon hi nahin iss duniya ki … Diana Penty is a bit like this line from her hit song Tumhi ho bandhu in Cocktail. The actress shot to fame with her debut in Cocktail (2012) but disappeared thereafter! After a four-year gap she is back with Happy Bhag Jayegi. Diana talks about her hiatus, her comeback and her journey
How does it feel to be back in the film industry after a four-year-long gap post Cocktail?
It feels so great. I am really happy that I got to work in a good script like Happy Bhag Jayegi and I am making a comeback with a fun film. It’s a sweet rom-com but it’s unique.
While you essayed a shy girl in your debut film, you have chosen to play a markedly different character this time – bold and upfront!
Cocktail was my first movie; I had never acted before that. It was a first for me to face the camera with people watching while I was doing the scene. Being close to what I was, the role may have been simpler but it was still difficult for me. On the other hand, Happy Bhag Jayegi was a completely different role, probably more challenging because she is a loud, upfront and bold girl. I wasn’t as nervous in front of the camera anymore; I was able to get into the scene and not pay attention to the camera but this was challenging for me as a person because it was out of my comfort zone. It’s a completely different character, not much like I am in real life … I am a little bit like her but I am not loud.
Despite the success of Cocktail, why did it take you so long to bag your next film?
A career in films was not something that I had planned … it really kind of happened along the way for me, just like modelling. I was modelling when I was offered Cocktail; and one thing led to another. So, I didn’t have any fixed plan – that I should finish this movie and start another one and then do another. Or that I had to sign a film within a few months. I did not put pressure on myself, I decided to take my time. I wanted to find a story and a character that I was comfortable with … and that process took a while.
So what did you do in the interim?
In the meantime, I was working on my own stuff and travelling. I was meeting people and reading scripts. I was trying to just find myself (laughs) so it took a while. Two to three years later, I met Mudassar Aziz and Anand Rai and that’s how Happy happened. I was doing things that interested me and I was working as well … it’s not like I completely disappeared. It’s not as bad as everybody thinks (laughs).
Is it difficult to make your place all over again in the industry?
Yes, I guess it would be. It’s almost like starting from scratch. I just looked at Happy in terms of starting a new project and doing my best; I did not think whether it would be difficult or not. But I expect after all this while, it’s easy for people to forget – it’s like ‘out of sight is out of mind.’ So, yeah it will require a little more effort may be to jog people’s memories (laughs). But I didn’t think that way; I just focus on doing my 100 percent.
Will you do more films after Happy Bhag Jayegi?
I would definitely like to do a film. I will be interested in doing something that is also completely different for the third film.