It pays to be the director's wife, especially if you happen to be as spirited as Pakhi Tyrewala, who makes her debut as a leading lady in Abbas Tyrewala's Jhootha Hi Sahi. Pakhi's character enters the narrative after more than 30 minutes of playing time. The debutante actress felt that was way too long to wait to be seen.
She has now convinced her director-husband to let the audience see her in a song sequence that comes much before her character was supposed to enter the plot. Candid and unfussy, Pakhi explains, "It isn't as if a new song had been added to the narrative for my sake. The song was there all along. It was just repositioned in the narrative to come in earlier than scheduled."
Pakhi is aware she's getting a dream launch in her husband's film, though not a conventional launch.
Says Pakhi, "I don't enter the film in slow motion. Nor do I get into a costume change in every frame. I play a normal girl. And yes I am not the central character in Jhootha Hi Sahi. John Abraham's character is far more central to the plot. I should know. I wrote the script."
Not that Pakhi sees herself in every film she writes. Priyanka Chopra, an actress Pakhi admires, would be ideal in the next script. "I am not here to write films only for myself. After Jhootha Hi Sahi, I'd be hopefully noticed by other scriptwriters and directors and be cast in their films."
Pakhi is very clear about making a career in acting. "I'm here to stay. At least that's the intention. I'm aware Jhootha Hi Sahi is not the kind of launch that would make audiences go nuts about me. There aren't too many stand-alone shots for me. During a large part of the narrative I am part of an ensemble."
Folklore has it that Pakhi wrote Jhootha Hi Sahi only so she could share screen space with her college crush John Abraham. The spunky aspirant doesn't deny she had a thing about John. "When I met him for the first time we exchanged pleasantries and then I walked straight into a French window. Luckily nothing got broken. But my crush did get crushed."
There are intimate moments between John and Pakhi. And it must have been awkward to be directed in them by her husband.
Says Pakhi, "At the end of the day we were all professionals. And really, how much passion can you squeeze out of a love scene when you're shooting in restricted areas of London where you have exactly 25 seconds before the director, who happens to be your husband, calls cut before we run off to avoid traffic?"
Oh, and Pakhi is Size 00P, which in fashion parlance is a lot thinner than Size 0.
"It comes from being petite in frame and hitting the gym really hard to stay paper-thin," says Pakhi who stays in a large family that takes care of her home while she pursues her acting aspirations.
Abbas and Pakhi are to move into their new home soon. "That got sinfully delayed because of Jhootha Hi Sahi. The film has taken three years of our life. Maybe now we can go back to doing what normal couples do," ends Pakhi.