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`Promos are misleading'

From "Paap" to "Zeher", it's a complete role reversal for model-turned-actress Udita Goswami


IT IS a complete role reversal — from a young, religious girl in Pooja Bhatt's Paap, who suppresses her worldly desires to become a monk, to a married woman accessible to a man other than her husband in Bhatt's Zeher. For the model-turned actress Udita Goswami, it is a conscious effort to change her image.

"My first film (Paap) labelled me a sidhi-sadhi girl, which needed to be changed, though in my personal life, I am simple. I don't go to parties, don't socialise, don't hire a public relation office to promote me. So, there is no way people can know me and see the changes in my appearance. Take for example, people saw me in short hair and dark skin in Paap. Now they don't know that I have grown my hair, put on weight and look different. But I want to be seen. This film is just a medium for that," she says.

This is also a medium to promote skin shows, a trend now increasingly used with a variety of veiled excuses only to pull cinemagoers to theatres.

Sweetness of success

And if promos are an indicator to go by, then Udita surely will experience sweet success with Zeher. After all, she gets to go beyond just an ephemeral swimsuit number. But is this the only way to get noticed?

"That's what I want to tell you. The film is not about explicit scenes as the promos are showing. I request people not to go by the promos. They are misleading. Just as in Paap. It fell flat because some people went to watch the film only because of those titillating promos and came back disappointed. And those who prefer to watch a neat, clean film did not go to watch Paap, again because of the promos. And the rest who went, I believe were not the ones who like watching an aesthetically beautiful film. This time I have requested the producer not to promote the film with those misleading advertisements. I am really apprehensive about the fate of the film now," she says.

Ironically, she adds even having a "problem working in a film of this kind." Moreover, she had "major date problems" as she was shooting for Amar Joshi Shaheed Ho Gaya. "But Pooja (Bhatt) was insistent, saying it has a nice story," says Udita.

As you continue conversing with her, Udita actually comes across as the girl next-door, accessible, and one who beams with pride when you compliment her.

"For career reasons, I had to shift my base to Mumbai. I miss Delhi, my modelling days, my friends, my driver, the big home and four dogs. Mumbai houses are so small. With such surroundings, I feel incomplete," adds the soft beauty from Dehra Dun, who spent all her modelling days here.

Proving her mettle

Udita while talking about what it took to prove her mettle as an actor recalls, "In Zeher, I was too casual in the way I delivered the dialogue. Mahesh Bhatt (producer) and Mohit Suri (director) told me `you are playing a married woman who is bashed up by her uncaring husband. You have to look as if you are in intense pain.' So I changed my style accordingly and tried to infuse more emotion into the role."

"In Veer Zaara," she continues, "a friend rightly observed that none of the characters were speaking proper Urdu, though it was a film that was set in pre-Partition India against a Muslim backdrop. I realised how actors are noticed by cinemagoers."

Talking about film offers, she says she has Kisse Pyar Karoon and an untitled film in her kitty. "Kisse Pyar Karoon is a David Dhawan-kind-of-film by Ajay Chandok.

RANA SIDDIQUI

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