Pageant queen to restaurateur, actress has a lot on her plate as she turns 32
Avinash Lohana (MUMBAI MIRROR; August 10, 2017)

Jacqueline Fernandez, who recently wrapped up her sixth Sajid Nadiadwala production, the twin caper Judwaa 2, has dived straight into the promotions of Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK’s A Gentleman with Sidharth Malhotra. “It had been a crazy week,” she says, alluding to her arm injury during the Mauritius schedule when she dived into a coral reef and then had to be hospitalized in Mumbai for a stomach bug. “I had a promotional event that day and remember waking up in hospital thinking I can still make it, but I wasn’t allowed. My mother was praying for my well being at home,” she reminisces.

However, the sunny girl that she is, Jackie refuses to dwell on unhappy thoughts for long and is soon exulting about how much she loves the Dhawans and the Judwaa franchise. “After working with Rohit and Varun in Dishoom, I completed the circle with David sir. Ganesh Acharya sir (the choreographer) and Manish Malhotra, who’d styled for Karisma Kapoor, also returned for part two as did the two songs,  'Tan Tana Tan” and “Oonchi Hai Building'. There was plenty of nostalgia,” says the 31-year-old actress.

Point out that there was also talk of a cold war with co-star Taapsee Pannu and she attributes it to the fact that they didn’t shoot together in London. “She’d finished shooting when I arrived. We actually met during 'Tan Tana Tan' and we had a blast because she’s full of life like Varun and me. She taught me Punjabi and I found a drinking partner who, like me, orders water with lime,” she chuckles.

Miami with ‘Gentleman’ Sidharth was as much fun. Jackie, who plays Kavya, an independent NRI miss, reveals that they’d work hard all day and party even harder. “Miami has a cool night life so we’d go bar-hopping after ‘pack-up’. I also indulged in water sports like wakeboarding. Sid and I have a lot to bond over, including our simple, loving non-filmi families. He’s chilled out, his energy is light and easy and I’m glad our chemistry works,” she asserts.

Next up, she will be seen alongside Sushant Singh Rajput in Drive, which she describes as an “amazing opportunity to work with Tarun (director Tarun Mansukhani) and Karan (producer Karan Johar)." The film, she says, "is about cars, racing, mind games and a different kind of action.”

Meanwhile, she’s gearing up to tour UK with Salman. “I can’t wait to go on stage with him. We start rehearsals soon and will be dancing on our Kick songs along with other fun numbers,” says an excited Jacqueline, who will be reuniting with the 51-year-old actor in Remo D’Souza’s untitled next in which she plays his choreographer. “I’m constantly trying to learn some new dance form. After pole-dancing, it will be Remo’s speciality, hip hop. I used to be so nervous during Kick but Salman and Sajid really guided me well and now I’m a little more confident around him,” she says, dismissing rumours that the film has been shelved because Salman’s current priority is Race 3.

The actress, who turns 32 on August 11, will celebrate with a working birthday and is also looking forward to launching her restaurant in Mumbai. “It should be ready in a couple of weeks. I’m a foodie and love feeding people. I already have a restaurant back home in Sri Lanka and my partner in Mumbai has her own restaurants so I have nothing to worry about,” she says breezily.