Friday, September 19, 2008

"I'd say I was glamorous in Vivah and Main Hoon Na" - Amrita Rao

You recently shot a special song with Sanjay Dutt and Anil Kapoor.
It's not an item song, as people seem to think. They both made me immensely comfortable. They have their own unique dancing style. Since both are legendary actors, I didn't know whom to match steps with. So, I just decided to be myself and do my own thing. I must say, all of us in Shortcut were overwhelmed by Mr Dutt's gesture. He came down to Mumbai only to shoot the song with us.

You recently did a rather bold cover for Verve. What brought that on?
It wasn't a conscious decision to be bold or anything. It all depends on how different artistes envision me. If Sooraj (Barjatya) could see me as this simple docile small-town girl in Vivah, then another person saw me the way I am on the mag cover. And if Farah Khan hadn't seen me as the grungy rebellious babe in Main Hoon Na after Ishq Vishq, I wouldn't have undergone such a change of image.

But the sweet girl next door's image stays with you?
And I'm very proud of that image. But when I did the Verve cover, people woke up to another side of me. I wouldn't say this is a more glamorous side of me. I'd say I was glamorous in Vivah and Main Hoon Na as well, though in an ethnic way. I hope I'm able to carry off all kinds of looks. At the moment I'm doing three films. In Shyam Benegal's Welcome To Sajjanpur, I'm an illiterate villager. In Anees Bazmee's Victory, I'm a Jaisalmer girl. But at the same time she's a medical student. So I play a small-town but modern girl. I like such roles. But in Neeraj Vora's Shortcut, I'm a completely glamorous girl. It's set in the film industry.

Why aren't you in Sooraj Barjatya's Ek Vivaah Aisa Bhi?
I wasn't offered that. I'd love to be in anything that Sooraj-ji does. I consider my association with the Barjatyas to be very special. Recently, when Sooraj-ji was watching the rushes of Ek Vivaah…he sent me a very sweet message saying he remembered my character from Vivah. So maybe I was being missed. I like that thought.

You seem to be a very petite fragile girl. How do you withstand all the negativity in the film industry?
I don't think I'd have been able to be what I am if it wasn't for my mother. I started in the industry very young. I needed my mom to look into every aspect of my career. Today I'm working with both Neeraj Vora and Shyam Benegal. Both unique in their own way.

You're the inspiration for M F Husain's latest paintings?
I think he has immortalized me. When a senior journalist informed me I was Husain Saab's latest muse and that he was painting me, I was overwhelmed. It took time for that sink in. I think it was Sooraj Barjatya's character in Vivah that convinced Husain Saab.


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