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REEMA SEN CHATS WITH DHARANI

`Expectations scare me'

"Dhool" is the only film you've done with me — Reema


When Metroplus made a long-distance call to actress Reema Sen requesting her to pair up with director Dharani for Take Two, she readily agreed. "You want me to do Take Two with Dharani," she asked, delight evident in her tone. "You know what? We are a riot box together." Only when our reporter Prince Frederick met the two at GRT Grand, did we know what she meant. The two stars traded insults and charges, hurling "choice epithets" at each other. But then, that's how best friends are expected to be...

Reema: "Dhool" is the only film you have done with me...

Dharani: That's because you work with precious people only once (laughs uncontrollably). In fact, none of my other films had a role that would suit you. I would have asked you to play the heroine in "Gilli" if the storyline required her (the heroine) to put the knife to Prakash Raj's neck.

Reema: (She growls and threatens to claw him) Shut up, Dharu (She laughs and turns to the reporter) You know something? He'll do just about anything for his film. His professional commitment comes before everything else, even friendship. (Giving Dharani an I-am-proud-of-you-buddy look) I'll always be happy for him if his films do well, irrespective of whether I am acting in them or not.

Dharani: I am glad that I met you, Dodo (Dharani's nickname for Reema). In the industry, you can find many actors and actresses, but not many friends. I thank my stars for having found a friend in you.

Reema: It is easy to be your friend. On the sets, you have all the actors and actresses eating out of your hand. I suppose the fact that you invite suggestions from them goes well with them. (Turning to the reporter, and speaking in a hushed tone) He has been taking lessons (on directing) from me.

Dharani: True! And whatever I have learnt from her I tried out a couple of times in `Gilli'. They did not work!

Reema: (Pretending not to have heard him) As I was telling you, his openness to suggestions quite compensates for his demanding nature. You know, he is quite a taskmaster

Dharani: Dodo, you liar! (His anger spurs her on)

Reema: I have to say this. Once, when "Dhool" was being made, I had a tough day at Mumbai. I called him on the phone at two in the morning and told him that I would be a bit late to the sets. He blew a fuse. He yelled, "Dodo, you ARE on the sets at 7 a.m." It so happened that Kenny (Vikram) could not turn up for the shoot that day. Dharu would from time to time tell me that Kenny would be on the sets "in another 20 minutes." When he said the same thing at six in the evening, I lost my cool. I flung my cell phone down and walked out on him in a huff. I could hear Dharu angrily shouting "Pack Up!" (Reema doubles up with laughter) The next day, we would not look at each other. This cold war lasted some 30 minutes after which we smiled at each other.

Dharani: When you have two heroines, you can expect rumblings of discontent. "Dhool" had two top heroines in the cast - Jo (Jyotika) and Dodo - but still no problems. In fact, all of us had a whale of a time. Kenny, Jo, Dodo and I were as close-knit as college friends.

Reema: The pleasant atmosphere on the sets could be attributed to your adaptability. You are at ease with just about everyone. If you have to interact with a five-year-old, you have no problem bringing yourself down to his level. If a woman is prim and proper, you too respond similarly. If someone is rambunctious, you can match such behaviour with your own. But the one thing that I like the most about you is that you never take advantage of somebody's friendship.

(Just then, the landline rings. Reema answers the call. "What! This is not room service," she says, in a befuddled tone.)

Dharani: (Rumbling with laughter) Hey, Dodo, you did not tell me that you are on a part-time job!

Reema: (She looks fiery. Turns to the reporter) I'll tell you something about Dharu. On the sets, he would look like something the cat brought in. His hair would be a mess. ( Dharani grits his teeth and mutters, "Enough! Enough!" But ignoring him, Reema continues) And we would all conjecture that he had not been under the shower for days. (She laughs).

Dharani: It is true that I do not look in the mirror when I am on the sets. But what she says is an exaggeration!

Reema: (In a it-is-only-fair-we-give-it-to-the-poor-devil tone) Dharu is a professional, first and last. When he takes charge at the sets you can see huge walls coming down on his personal life. And he resembles a madman when his film nears its release date. He will not take calls. He will shut himself off. Hey Dharu, you have managed three super-duper hits on a trot. You are riding the crest of a wave. How does it feel to be Numero Uno?

Dharani: Scary! Now, I have to live up to expectations. Tell me about your next film, "Chellame." I am interested in this film for two reasons. One, because you are acting in it. And two, because in "Gilli" Prakash Raj calls Trisha "Chellame." Aided by his excellent intonation, it has captured the viewers' hearts. Now tell me about your next film.

(Reema seems reluctant to speak about it).

Reema: It will surprise you... Dharu, you know that I was enthused by "Dhool" when you related the story to me. I intuitively sensed that it will rock the cinemas. I have the same feeling about "Chellame." But, it is just that I do not want to say it.

Dharani: Don't worry. As always, your intuition will be right this time too.

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