Your marriage to Deepika (Padukone) has created a huge buzz… How ready are you to be a husband?
(Smiles) I’ve been ready for a while. I was just waiting for Deepika to be ready. It would happen whenever she had decided. I was fully ready and raring to go.
Why Lake Como in Italy? Do you believe in fairy-tales?
Whatever she wished, I wanted her to have it. That’s the first step in being the husband of the millennium. Whatever her vision of getting married, I wanted her to realise it. Whatever she wanted, it was done exactly in that manner. She deserves every bit of it. I too deserve happiness and my happiness comes from her happiness. It’s that simple.
When did you realise that she is the girl?
Six months into the relationship, I knew she was the one. I nurtured the relationship accordingly. It’s been six years now. She’s too good, too lovely. She’s a force of nature. I understood that almost immediately.
She’s lucky to have you…
I don’t think about these things. I’m lucky to have her. This is the woman who would become the mother of my children. I’ve been thinking about marriage seriously for almost three years now. I was just waiting, I told her the minute you say so, we’ll do it.
Both of you are at the top of your game. Is this the right time to be distracted by marriage?
I believe when the feeling is right, it’s the right time. I’ve been feeling it’s right for a long time. This could have happened three years back as well. Now that she’s also feeling right about it, it’s perhaps the right time now. When two people feel right about it, it’s the right time.
Now, the perception attached to married actors has also changed…
Oh yeah. It reflects the evolution of our society, of our audience. It’s applause-worthy. I’m a huge fan of Deepika as an actor. As a fan of hers, I’d like her to keep on doing some great movies. The emotional depth that she has as an actor, well, only the surface has been scratched so far. She’s an unexplored actor still. She’s selective about her films. She wasn’t committing to any project for the last two years. But now that she has, she has selected one of the highest order (Meghna Gulzar’s biopic on acid attack survivor Laxmi Agarwal). She’s going to pour her heart and soul into it. She wanted to be sure if it was worth it. I respect her for taking her own time to take that decision. I was so happy and relieved that she finally liked something. I’m excited that she’ll be working on a new project soon after our marriage.
What changes are you expecting in life now?
Now it will be more regulated, more streamlined. I’ll wake up earlier; I’ll reach work on time and return on time. She’ll add a certain discipline in me that will help me as a professional. I’ve been waiting for it because discipline is one department where I lack. I don’t wake up early enough. I don’t reach on time, though I’m not a horror story like some actors. But I can do better. I want to have a work-life balance. I want to be done by evening and spend time with family.
Marriage is going to demand a lot too…
Yes, things will be different, there’ll be demands on my time. Marriage takes some work and effort. (Smiles) I’ve not been married before. So, I don’t know what’s coming my way. I’ll figure it out along the way like I did with acting. But I believe it’s going to be a blast. We’re going to be living together officially. I’ve been wanting to shift gear into becoming a family man for a while now. Over time, my friend circle has become smaller and smaller. There are few people, who I want to spend time with. From 18 to 28 I wasn’t connected with my family so much. Now, I want to spend more time with them. I want to go on family holidays, I want to come back home to my family. Deepika is also a family-oriented person. That’s another thing I love about her.
How has she changed you?
She’s someone who demands authenticity of character. That’s the biggest influence. She’s a real person and demands that you keep it real too. If you want to be her friend, her partner or part of her life, you have to engage with her in an authentic manner. She has anchored me. I could have got carried away with my name and fame. But she grounded me. Before she had her blockbuster year, we’d already started dating. I’ve seen her deal with failure and success. She’s one hell of a person; she runs her whole show herself. I can’t say that for myself. I’ve got support. My family’s based in Mumbai. She’s the CEO of her world in the truest sense. There’s a lot to admire, respect and learn from her. She has the discipline of a sportsperson ingrained in her. I hope it will rub off on me. She has good habits. She’s an early riser, eats well, sleeps well, she doesn’t procrastinate, she’s meticulous. This is a good influence on an undisciplined person like me.
But you’ve been a giver in the relationship too. Right?
Yes, I have. I’m a giver in a relationship. I’m happy to do that as that’s being true to who I am. We’re different people and it’s great that we’re so compatible. She finds something in me that’s not in her. I find something in her that’s not in me. We have different sensibilities, different aesthetics, different tastes, but similar interests and core values. We complete each other.
Do you believe you’ll be a good husband?
Husband of the millennium! I’ve always said I am the best boyfriend ever. Now it’s time to be the best husband.