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Making SENse

A challenging new role could redefine Sushmita Sen's film career



Cinema is about imitationg life: sushmitta Sen. Pic. by G.P. Sampath Kumar

AS A raunchy number plays in the background, a spirited woman draped in red with oily plaits and gaudy get up, dances seductively to the music. Surprise! It is Sushmita Sen! Well, Sushmita fans will now see her in a new avatar. After the sexy Chandani in Main Hoon Na, she plays a prostitute in Kalpana Lajmi's Chingari. With many substantial roles coming her way, it seems like Sushmita will soon join the league of acclaimed actresses in the film industry.

Chingari is the story of an alcoholic father who sells his 16-year-old daughter. Sushmita says it's the journey of a girl who after meeting various people in her life grows up. Talking about her role in the movie, she says, "I am playing a prostitute who leads the women of a small village in Bihar in their revolt against male oppression and help create awareness about the importance of education in the village. For the first time, I have tried to speak Bihari in a film; it was difficult for me. It's the most challenging role I have ever done. I cried a lot during the shoots, as some of the scenes are very touching. Somewhere that girl Basanti exists in me... she is very much my kind of woman. Basanti has shades of Kali and Durga. And I worship both." Difficult role

Playing the role of a prostitute was not easy, admits the actress. "I found it difficult to use abusive language. But I always wanted to do this kind of a role." For Sushmita, the director and the script should work for each other and both are equally important. "Kalpana Lajmi is known to make meaningful films so I was sure Chingariwould be different. There are a lot of films on prostitution, which go into unnecessary details. But this one is short and crisp and, at the same time, gives you a real picture."

Talking about actors turning brand ambassadors, Sushmita says, "Celebrity endorsements is not a new concept, it has been happening for years. But these days, both the actors and the companies have become selective, which is good. The endorsement offers should be personality based and should not be influenced by an actor's box office success."

Endorsing brands

Suhmita is also excited about her latest release, Harry Baweja's Main Aisa Hi Hoon, based on I Am Sam. "I am playing a lawyer and for the first time you will find me wearing Tag Heuer watch all through the movie." Somebody who believes cinema is about imitating life, Sushmita says though she is not comfortable about endorsing a brand in movies, she does not mind doing so if it gels with the character.

Adds the actress, "Ajay Devgan is impressive in the film. I play the character of Michelle Fiver. The Indian version is a thousand times better than the Hollywood original."

BHAWNA SATSANGI

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