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At her gracious best

The courteous and shy Gracy Singh is now looking for variety



Gracy Singh makes her foray into the thriller genre — Photo: V. Sudershan

IT DOES not take much effort to make out that Gracy Singh's screen image of that of a shy introvert matches fully with her personality. She does not lack in warmth but words. Her one-line answers, reluctant gestures and reserved demeanour are enough for one to stop persuading her to be more forthcoming. Yet a very gracious Gracy opens up, provided a swelling crowd doesn't envelop her. "I am trying to open up. I have learned some skills on the sets of Wajahh where the producer was very unhappy with me. He asked me, `What is this, Gracy, you come on the sets and without greeting anybody walk straight into the green room? At least say hello to them.' I realised my mistake. From next day, I made it sure that I would say hello to all 60 people present here; from the star cast to the spot boy. A boy came to call me as the shot was ready and the director was waiting for me but I said, no I will come only after greeting everyone here. Now I have made it a regular feature. I say hello to everyone on sets. But by the time I retire to the make-up room, I am totally exhausted because such a gesture does not come naturally to me. I have to make extra efforts but a smile on people's face after the greeting satisfies me too," reveals Gracy.

That was her Wajahh for not being forthcoming but she had all reasons to do this film. "So far, I haven't tried a suspense thriller. But this role has taken so much of energy out of me. I am constantly running and falling and given beatings by almost everybody. Is film main mujhe har koi marta hi rahta hai. Bahut pitai hui hai. The only relief was a romantic song at the marriage anniversary party."

She plays the wife of a doctor (Arbaaz Khan). An astrologer tells her her husband would kill her one day. So she starts getting hallucinations and is handled by different people in different ways. Interestingly, 90 per cent of shots were done without any retakes, she informs. "And those were most difficult shots of my life."

For Gracy, Bollywood hasn't been much of a comfort zone and an avenue for endless opportunities despite her debut in Lagaan. "This film proved to be almost counterproductive for my career because it had a great period role. It raised me to such a high platform that people stopped approaching me. And I couldn't have waited for such a great film to come again as such films are made only once in 20 years! Moreover, I never tried for stardom. I was quite satisfied doing television but when I started getting meaningful roles, I took them one by one."

And the reason for not being seen in many films is her "laidback attitude, "lack of variety" and her own reservations over exposing skin. "My secretary Joshiji, who has been in the film world for 40 years and who chooses scripts for me, says that I was born in the wrong era. The kinds of roles I'm looking for were etched long back," she laughs. And in the same breath she adds that she is fed up of doing those homey girl roles. "I want variety," she declares. And for a variety would she mind following Mallika Sherawat's footsteps? She neatly manages to parry the query. "I don't know why people ask me this question everywhere. It is a question of attitude. She is doing it because she is comfortable with it. Why compare her with everyone?"

What next?

"Choodiyan, a family drama" and Dhool by Guddu Dhanua in which I play an activist type village girl."

RANA SIDDIQUI

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