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Priyanka Chopra can kick butt. And she knows how to look good while doing it. She plays bodyguard to a superhero in the forthcoming Drona, opposite Abhishek Bachchan, and a pop star of the future in the recently released Love Story 2050. She talks to Lounge about her forthcoming films and her style in each of them. Edited excerpts:

Red hair, huh?

Red alert: In Love Story 2050

You’ve done some action scenes in your upcoming film Drona. Do you have a dream action role?

I never thought I could do action, but after I finished Drona, I realized I could. I’ve never thought about my dream action role, but some of the stuff I’ve done in Drona is like a dream. In some scenes, I can’t believe it’s me. I guess adrenalin makes you do a lot more than you think you can.

I loved every minute of it. I was fighting on top of a moving train going at like 60km an hour with the wind blowing. When I saw some of it, I thought people are going to think it’s a double, but I haven’t used a double at all. In fact, I tore my ab muscle doing somersaults. I had no idea you had to warm up before attempting it.

How did you prepare for Drona?

This is a sword and kirpan fighting, Indian martial arts kind of action. I trained in gatka (a Sikh martial art) and kirpan fighting. It’s important to warm up before you do these kind of scenes and I didn’t do that, which is why I tore my muscle. I’ve been doing splits and somersaults since I was 9. I wanted to be a gymnast or a trapeze artist.

What costumes does an Indian female action star wear?

Future perfect: Chopra plays a pop star in her latest movie and a bodyguard in her next.

I’m wearing pants which stretch. They’re tight, they’re almost painted on me, but they stretch. So, when I kick, or I’m moving or running, they don’t restrict me. It’s very important to have pants made with stretch fabric, otherwise they’ll keep tearing. That would be a bit embarrassing.

I wore boots with 4-5-inch heels, but they’re platforms and were very comfortable. They were tight on my feet, so I could run. The top is like a tunic, it’s flowy and gives the character’s look a touch of Indian-ness. I’m also wearing a turban on my head. It’s pretty cool.

Ever worn a catsuit?

I have, but I don’t particularly like catsuits. I think they’re kind of vulgar. Maybe, if they were made with a thicker fabric like denim, which doesn’t bunch up in certain places. Just not spandex and lycra. That looks terrible. I always recommend wearing heels with catsuits because they show the real length of your legs and will always extend (the length of) your legs a bit more.

Do you have a look you fantasize about trying out for an action role?

Whether it looks good or not, it better be comfortable. The clothes have to contour the body in a good way and they have to move well. As a girl, if you‘re wearing something fluid, it accentuates your movements, and you look graceful, but still strong. I think that would be really nice.

You’re a superhero in a new Virgin comic as well.

Virgin has worked on comics with a lot of interesting people such as Shekhar Kapur, John Woo, Quentin Tarantino, Nicolas Cage and Sachin Tendulkar.

I used to make comics when I was a kid. I used to draw stories and stuff. So I really wanted to create a character. I believe in fairy tales, so she’s not just a fighting machine, but endearing as well.

So is she a superhero?

Well, she doesn’t know she is, but (voice drops) she kinda is.

Ever been in a real fight?

I was in one in school in America, on the basketball court, when I was 15. I broke a girl’s nose, actually. She was being really nasty to me; character assassination to the hilt. Then she got racist and I got really pissed off. I still have scars on my knees from that fight. She scratched my face, which pissed me off even more. I was like, ‘not the face!’ She was quite short, so that helped. Afterwards, I felt so bad; I couldn’t believe I broke her nose, even though inside I felt really cool and strong. The next day, when I walked into school, I was the dude.

In the superhero context, what do you think of black, heels and leather?

It’s dark and mysterious if you wear black as a superhero; it makes you slick. I love colour but I don’t particularly like Superman’s outfit. Wearing underwear over spandex tights isn’t very superhero-ish. But he’s Superman, and we love him.

I love heels on women; I think I was born with heels. Without them, I feel very short and not confident enough. I’m five feet-six-and-a-half inches. Please don’t forget that half, it’s very important. But when I wear heels I feel fabulously tall.

I like leather to a point. An entire outfit is trying too hard. A jacket is great, but don’t wear leather pants or boots with it. I love the way stretch leather fits. If you wear stretch leather pants with a nice top, it always looks great.

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Updated: 02 Aug 2008, 12:16 AM IST
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