He may have failed to sustain his career as an actor but Uday Chopra, son of the late Yash Chopra, calls himself a “diehard optimist” who refuses to give up. After a series of not so successful attempts as an actor, Uday moved out of his star filmmaker brother Aditya Chopra’s shadow and shifted base to Los Angeles, where he started his own journey as a producer. From a Hindi film actor to a Hollywood producer Uday’s filmi safar has been dramatic.
“I think it was time I took charge of my career. Honestly, I wasn’t too happy with the way my career as an actor was going,” Uday says. The actor-turned-filmmaker admits that being Yash Chopra’s son and Aditya Chopra’s brother is not an easy role to play but he has never shied away from living up to the title. Now that his professional life is back on track, the focus has shifted to his personal life — that non-committal stance on his relationship with rumoured girlfriend Nargis Fakhri.
“Nargis is a beautiful girl. Who wouldn’t be interested in her?” he says, evading the question. We point out his outrageous flirting on social networking websites and Uday says with a laugh,
“That’s my style. I love flirting with her. Look, my priority is my work. I’m very close to Nargis. But right now I’d call it a ‘close friendship’.”
One gets the feel that Uday’s perhaps following his brother Aditya’s example. A decade ago, when the latter’s relationship with his now wife Rani Mukherjee had just started, he never admitted to it. So is it a Chopra strategy?
“As a family we are uncomfortable about putting up our personal live on display. I agree that it’s difficult to keep personal relationships personal but we do try to keep a low profile. More than a strategy, I think it’s a norm that we’ve grown up with. My brother and I believe that too many eyes on a couple make things difficult. You can call it superstition,” Uday says.
Also, how has his equation with the brother changed after the demise of their father? “Adi is just a year-and-a-half elder to me. So we were total brats who’d fight and play together, like any other siblings. When I started working with him he was the boss. I learnt a lot from him. And now he’s my father,” Uday says. He is also ecstatic about his sister-in-law Rani’s entry into the family. From being a co-star to being part of family, one wonders if the dynamics have changed at all.
“From the time I first met her and till today, I address her as ‘Rani-ma’. I can’t recall when and how I started calling her by that name but I’d rather call her ‘Rani-ma’ than ‘bhabi’.”
There is some buzz about Rani joining Yash Raj Films as creative director. “She now has every right to be involved in whatever aspect of filmmaking that interests her. But right now there is no such plan.”
With his brother getting secretly married and ending the suspense once and for all, we wonder if marriage is on the cards for Uday as well? “I have taken a big responsibility of making films in LA. Marriage will happen, but only after I’ve made profits. That could be any time.”