Sajid gave me my biggest hit: Jackie

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Jacqueline Fernandez, who established herself as a sex symbol with Murder 2, changed tracks and opted for a more sober image in Housefull 2. The actress who has been in an on-off relationship with filmmaker Sajid Khan, sat down with us to discuss movies and more:

From sex symbol to girl-next-door, what fuelled the change?
I played a bold girl in Murder 2. The film worked and I’m still very proud of it. But it was Housefull 2 that changed the perception. From children to youngsters to even the elderly — everyone started recognising me. That film made me feel accepted by the audience.

Mahesh Bhatt accused Sajid Khan of controlling your career, and that caused your subsequent ouster from the Bhatt camp…
That’s not true. I have a mind of my own. I can take my own decisions. I don’t consult or rely on Sajid for advice. Sajid is responsible for giving me one of the biggest and most memorable films of my career, but I wouldn’t allow anyone to make decisions on my behalf.

There were reports that you broke up with Sajid because he didn’t cast you in the remake of Himmatwala.
Yes, even I read that piece. Do I look the type who would pressurise my directors to cast me? Every filmmaker has his own vision. Himmatwala is a big film and I’d have loved to be a part of it. But Sajid thought that I didn’t look the part. That was completely his call. To set the record straight, no showdown happened between us over Himmatwala. By the grace of God, I’m offered good work and it keeps me going.

Were you heartbroken that he didn’t cast you in the film?
Whatever I say at this point will get blown out of proportion. So I’d rather not answer that question.

Does Sajid Khan continue to be the special person in your life?
I think everyone I’ve worked with is special to me. From Sujoy Ghosh, to Sajid and my Race 2 co-star Saif Ali Khan, they’re all special to me. I’m not based in India nor do I hail from a film background. So, everyone I meet and work with, I learn from them.

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Mumbai

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