ROZA CATALANO tells JYOTHI VENKATESH that she would slap if a person asks her to sleep with him in exchange for a role
Is it true that you are keen on learning the oldest form of martial arts in China shortly?
Yes. I am fit and I want to become fitter as days are passing by. As a kick-boxing freak for the past 4 years and a trained martial arts person, I am now gung ho about trying my hands in the oldest and the best form of martial arts- Wushu Kung-Fu from Anan Henan in China.
How do you feel when complimented with epithets like sexy, hot etc?
Though these epithets are compliments used by men with a sexy connotation. I confess that I am used to passes from men, especially in India. If men do not make a pass at you, who will? But I do not give any man the vibe.
Did you come all the way to India from Africa, just because you fell in love with Saif?
Contrary to the notion that I had an ulterior motive and wanted to pursue my career in Bollywood by latching out to Saif, though I used to do theatre in Switzerland and also walk the ramp, I came to India just in pursuit of my heart, because love for Saif dictated every move of mine. For three years of my life, I did not do anything and just took the back seat by stepping behind Saif.
Is it true that you did two ads as well as anchored a talk show when you were with Saif?
I did two ads with Saif just for a lark when the producers of the ad requested me to be a part of the ad campaign. I also shot for two episodes of a show for Star as an anchor, but the channel decided not to shoot further episodes of the show. It was around the same time that Saif and I split and I was quite crest-fallen and had to get over her trauma and fend for myself. I have always believed that if one door closes, yet another will open for you.
How did get over the trauma?
I felt wounded but at the same time, I realized that it was important for me to understand what is going on around me and stand for what I believe. In the difficult period that ensued, sat back, felt the pain and started re-discovering myself, by setting out to learn more about myself which I did not know at all earlier. Though it took some time, it was not difficult for me to get back on my feet. I think it is because of the way I approach people and life in general. It is my persona. I used to walk in areas which were dangerous. If you have an attitude, where you respect others, others in turn will also respect you.
Have you lost the belief in love?
Just because I had a failed relationship; it does not mean that I have lost my belief in love. I have big respect for love and for myself too. However, I have realized one thing for sure. That is I cannot indulge in something in which I can give 100 percent of myself. At the risk of sounding to be very selfish, I need to give love to myself first. I believe that everything will come at the right time.
What did you learn from your relationship with Saif?
I do not like to talk about my relationship with Saif because I have moved on and that is a closed chapter in my life. You learn from a relationship and move ahead if it does not work for some reason or the other. You should not start hating love, but protect it, because love is what makes living worthwhile. I also do not believe in blaming any one or pointing out fingers. I do not think any woman can take something away from you if you are not giving. I do not like to play the victim.
What is your take on the syndrome of the casting couch in the film industry?
I am of the opinion that every individual has to know what he or she is. I have heard a lot about the syndrome of the casting couch in film industry. I do not believe in barter system. I’d perhaps slap if some one were to ask me to sleep with him in exchange for a role. I like having my own space. I guess, if you know you are capable, then you know your talent and will have your own self esteem.
Do you feel handicapped as an actor, because of your white skin?
I do not want to get typed as yet another item girl in Bollywood, just because I have white skin. I do not want to be slotted as a foreign bimbette. The reason I did only item numbers mostly is that the roles which I was offered till now were not substantial at all. Music makes me feel closer to God. I am sure after people watch me in films like Nakshatra, Monopoly, Ek Second Jo Zindagi Badal De etc, I will be approached for roles which are written keeping me and my talent in mind.
For the last two years, I have been brushing my knowledge of Hindi. Now that I am in India, I am not going to give up easily till I make it in Bollywood, like Katrina Kaif. Kat is amazing. Success stories of women like Kat inspire me, but I am here not to compete with Kat or any other actress but with myself. Kat has proved that movies do not have borders.