“Gossip Comes With Territory”
Amrita Rao talks about village dialects, cross border love-and MF-Hussian!
Pretty bubbly Amrita Rao’s back to the movie circuit in the challenging role of a village wife in Shyam Benegal’s Welcome To Sajjanpur. We catch up with MF Hussian’s latest muse.
Your role as a villager who longs for her absent husband is a difficult one. How did you prepare for the part?
I’ve observed many people. I met maid who come to the city without their husbands. I looked at the way they talk, their mannerisms and body language so that I could emulate them. I tried to identify their concerns.
You had to use a typical village dialect in Welcome…
It was certainly challenging I was working with actors like Yashpal Sharma, Ravi Kissen and Ila Arun, and most of them were comfortable with the dialect, since they came from the north. For me, it was the first time trying to speak the dialect. I had to sit with the dialogue writer Ashok Mishra, every day and work extra hard at delivering the words right.
This movie is sync sound, meaning there is no dubbing later. Did that put you under pressure?
I think I prefer sync sound it’s good to do movies where you finish it then and there, because it is very hard to recreate the ambience, and those small natural instincts, standing in the cold dubbing studio months later.
You have been part of many hit projects. Are you lucky?
I have been absolutely blessed to be a part of good projects with good directors. I have had the opportunity to act out some great characters, and the best part has been that the roles have all been so different from each other.
What are your next movies?
I have Anil Kapoor’s Short Cut coming up next and then Victory. In Short Cut I am working with Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Waris. I play a girl from the glamour world. In Victory, I’m acting with Harman Beweja, playing a medical student from Jaisalmer.
Your cross-border ishq story has hit the media. What do you think of the speculations?
Well, it came as news to me when I read it in the papers one morning. In this industry, gossip comes with the territory. I don’t react to it. I don’t have to prove myself to anybody.
That was a very diplomatic answer. What is the truth?
(Laughs) What should I say? First I read I was dating Farhaan from Jaal. Then I read it was Gohaar, from the same band! I think the gossip kings themselves have to decide who they want me to date.
Maqbool Fida Husian is also fida over you. How did you catch his eye?
I think it was Poonam, the role I played in Vivah. It was that simplicity of the girl-next-door in a small town the attracted him, and he decided I would be his muse. That has been one of my biggest compliments, and I’d like to thank Sooraj Barjatya for it.
When a world-renowned personality like MF Husian showers his attention on you, it must change your image?
MF Husian has always had an eye for creativity, beauty and art, and these are essential qualities in an actress. His art is worth zillions and the fact that he chose to immortalise me did make many art lovers and film directors sit up and take notice.
It was a cherry on the cake to the Vivah image that I had left behind on the minds of people
Has he been in touch with you?
Yes, he has. Husian happened to here one of my interviews on the radio and he called me to express his desire to watch Welcome to Sajjanpur. He has already heard a lot about the film, even sitting in Dubai.
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