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Lara Dutta Insights

lara-dutta-6From a Miss Universe to a top star and a comic female actor to a brand ambassador for The Art of Living, Lara Dutta’s packed a lot into her eight years of fame and five years in cinema.  After packing a punch in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and Partner, she’s now ready with a few surprises like doing her own action stunts for Blue and more.

What are the other films that you are doing?
I have just signed Shree Asthavinayak Cine Vision’s Blue¸ an action drama revolving around water-sports. Anthony D’Souza makes his directorial debut and Sanjay Dutt, Akshay Kumar, and Zayed Khan are my co-stars. Then there is Sudhir Mishra’s Aur Devdas and two films with David Dhawan, of which the only thing I can reveal is that one is with Govinda. I may also be doing a film with Priyadarshan.

Is the other David film the one written by Rensil D’Silva?
I cannot answer that.

Till a few years ago, stars would openly talk about their films to come. Today everything is confidential. Is this a good trend?
I think that it is good not to speak out until everything is in place. This is the era of bound scripts and we usually accept films after hearing the first narration or draft. So it’s better to wait till everything is concrete as it helps avoid controversies.

Apart from the heroes, are you too doing some action in Blue?
Yes, I am. In fact, Blue is the first indian film to revolve around water-based sports. We will be shooting in the Bahamas among other locations and for over a month now, Akshay, Zayed, and I have been training for the action sequences.

Blue is the first Indian film to revolve around water-based sports.

lara-dutta-4Bhagam Bhaag, Partner, Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai and the other David Dhawan film – you seem to be doing a lot of films with Govinda.
Yes, but Banda… is a bit different, because in that comedy we are meant to be an odd pair!

You are also doing a lot of comedies.
I am very happy to be known as a comic actor. In the last five years all the great comedies have done well, and five of the best and most successful – Masti, No Entry, Phir Hera Pheri, Bhagam Bhag and Partner – have been mine. I am honored to have been thought of, for these films by directors who are the kings of codemy.  It’s also great that David and Priyan are coming back to me. I think that no other heroine has had such a streak as a comic actor in such a variety of comedies.

In India, however, comic actors are not rated highly though comedy is the most difficult part of acting.
I agree that comedy is tougher to do than anything else. But it’s great to know that perceptions are changing. A few years ago, it was drama but now the success ratio of comedies is much more. Now some of the best actors are comic actors, and I have been lucky to work with actors who are brilliant at comedy, from Govinda to Akshay Kumar, Salman Khan and Paresh Rawal. Pareshji in particular has taught and guided me a lot.

I agree that comedy is tougher to do than anything else. But it’s great to know that perceptions are changing.

How would you compare David Dhawan and Priyadarshan?
They are both so good yet so different. With David, a lot of work is done on the sets, on-the-spot improvisations rule, and that means in the performance too. Priyan, on the other hand, knows exactly what he wants from the scene, and so everything is canned in one or two takes.

But as an actor, I have to be very alert with both. Everything about comedy boils down to timing and improvisation and one look or glance and a slight change in your dialogue delivery can actually turn the whole character around.

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Actors from ramps or pageants fit into two categories – those who accept offers after their wins and turn serious actors only later, or those who use this route as a passport to films. What about you?
I knew that I wanted to be an actor since I was 13. But since I lived in Bangalore, faraway Mumbai was just a dream. When I ended up winning the Miss Universe contest, I got offers straightaway and I thought that I should not look a gift-horse in the mouth! But you cannot blame the industry and the audience for slotting a girl from the glamour world. It is up to the actor to get the identification with her work and establish a link that goes beyond the Miss Universe tag by doing different, normal roles.

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And was Andaaz the right debut?
Of course it was! Unless I could have got a debut vehicle like Deepika Padukone did in Om Shanti Om!

Are there any films you regretted doing?
There were, but at least they taught me lessons early, so that I do not make mistakes now. I am very happy with what I have achieved and am in no hurry, I am not into the numbers game and I want to have fun. I am growing as an actor and I don’t obsess about a big film being made without me!

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Lara Dutta

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