What message did Rahul drive home through Lamhaa?
The message that Rahul Dholakia tried to drive home through the film was that you cannot really grow up in a land which is surrounded by guns, with a feeling of insecurity at the back of your mind. It is just recently after the elections that life has returned to a semblance of normalcy in the valley. The stalemate that is there in Kashmir makes you wake up from your slumber and prod you not to take anything for granted and fight your way till you are able to get the right solution to your problems.
What feedback are you getting for your performance in Lamhaa?
It was a high for me when the New Delhi based All India Achievers Conference chose me to be the recipient for the Arch of Excellence award for being an achiever in my field of acting after Lamhaa was released, though I could not make it for the function which was held in Mumbai because I had prior commitments.
Did you aim for a National Award for your performance in Lamhaa?
As an actress, I just believe in doing my role, whether it is a comedy or a thriller or for that matter a serious film, which is based on a burning issue. Frankly speaking, I have never aspired to win the National Award for the best actress, though I would not mind it if I bag an award for my performance in any film, including the one in Lamhaa. I do not also put in a lot of inputs from my side towards the thought process of the film too; because I just do what the director wants me to do.
What rattles you about the film industry?
It is a big tragedy in India that everyone tries to put a pause to a woman’s career when she turns 30. A woman reaches her peak at 30. Till then she is just a girl. Abroad the actresses radiate at the age of 50 and are glamorous to the core whereas here it is ridiculous that an actress who is 40 plus is relegated to the sidelines, though the fact is that in India women do not even get wrinkles very early unlike women abroad. Why is the media being so harsh to women?
Can you elaborate?
As and when a top hero decides to have a young eighteen year old actress cast opposite him in the romantic lead, so that he can look young on the screen, no one raises his or her eye brow but when I was cast opposite Ranbir Kapoor in Bachna Ae Haseeno and Neil Nitin Mukesh in Aa Dekhe Zara, the media made a big noise as if I had set out to do some big crime. Why this double standards? When a 20 year old actress works with a 40 plus hero, no one is in a mood to complain. Aishwarya Rai is four years older to Abhishek Bachchan. However, it does not mean that she does not make a good pair with Abhishek on-screen.
You do not seem to have many films on hand. Is it a conscious decision on your part not to do too many films at a time?
Right now, I am having two films on hand. They are Akrosh and Dum Maro Dum. I do not want to do too many films. I have different kinds of roles in both the films. I am excited about the way my career has taken shape as of now. I am quite excited about my career, especially after Lamhaa. I have been bombarded with compliments for my performance in Lamhaa.
How happy are you with your growth in films since you made your debut with Ajnabee?
I am more than happy with the fact that since the time I had made my debut in Bollywood with Abbas-Mustan’s Ajnabee, I have made rapid strides as an actress in the last ten years and carved for myself a niche in the industry. It has been a learning process for me from Ajnabee till Lamhaa. I have learnt everything on the job slowly and steadily unlike the new comers today who come prepared even with their first film.
To what extent, do you think you have matured as an actress?
I confess that I have matured with time and become more responsible as an actress. I am glad I could live to see a film of mine celebrating its golden jubilee like Raaz, my second film after Ajnabee. I am not bragging about it but genuinely feel sad that today it is not possible for any actor, including John Abraham to celebrate the jubilee of his or her film, since a stage has come when a film has got to recover its cost in the first three days of its release with films having become a big business with the mushrooming of the multiplexes.
What kind of roles do you want to do now?
Considering the fact that I had never took my career seriously till my second film was released, I think I have indeed come a long way as an actress. I want to work with good directors, I want to sink my teeth into tough and complex roles as an actress. I have always believed that when stagnation sets in you have to break it and make an attempt to go beyond your horizons.
Do you think that you have not been given your due as an actress?
I have not been given my due as an actor though I had given an award winning performance in Corporate because of limitations. I do not belong to any particular camp like some other actresses. It is a well-known fact that I have a boyfriend, which I do not hide in my closet. All said and done, we should not forget the fact that it is a hero oriented film industry and I cannot ask for more than what I am being offered.
- Sampurn Wire