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Say Bipasha Basu, and the immediate mental image is of a sultry seductress. But, as Raja Sen finds out, the real Bips is more about letting her parents know of her relationship than pouting and batting her eyelids "like a cat."

In a freewheeling chat on the eve of her latest film Apaharan hitting the marquee, Bipasha speaks about working with director Prakash Jha, how Ajay Devgan is "totally mad" and more. Excerpts:

Was Prakash Jha's style very different from other directors you've worked with?

Every director has his unique style. This is his [Jha's] forte -- small town, political issues. I'm a director's actress, so I understood exactly what he wanted from my character.

He gives you a free hand. He will just control your language a bit because it is a small town, so he is corrective in that way, and your physical appearance is something that he will tell you how you're supposed to handle.

How is Ajay Devgan as a co-star?

He is totally mad! He looks so serious and he is such a good performer, but when it comes to shooting with him, you're giggling all the time! He has great energy on the sets, and he's joking around with everybody, right from the light man to the actress and the hairdresser.

One day, he spread a story that a mad dog is on the loose, and two of the unit members have been bitten and taken to hospital. I knew this was all hogwash, and I knew there was going to be some sort of strange attack on me. Suddenly, he came running from the back, held my leg and started barking! At that second, you react before you look down. So he did things like this all the time, silly things!

He once mixed bhang with the Pedas for the whole unit, and everyone was drunk!

As an actor, is he good to work with?

Why not? Ajay Devgan has been around for a long time, and won National Awards -- that's not for nothing. Every time he performs, he is a different person -- sober, calm, and does his job effortlessly. That's what I like about him. I'm a very switch-on, switch-off type. I'm not the kind to just get into my character and be like that for the day. I'm very comfortable switching roles.

Design: Uday Kuckian

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