May 17, 2002 
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Bipasha Basu
Desperately seeking Bipasha
Life before, during, after Raaz

Life has been full of unexpected turns for Bipasha Basu.

She intended to become a doctor, but her aversion for dissections made her opt for a career in accountancy. She would have gone on to do a 9 to 5 job, had model Mehr Jessia not spotted her at Kolkata hotel.

Bipasha decided to take part in the Godrej Cinthol Supermodel Contest. She won. A successful stint in modelling followed, as the dusky Bipasha bagged prestigious advertisement campaigns.

She vehemently refused offers from films. But finally, offer from J P Dutta for Abhishek Bachchan's launch in Aakhri Mughal was too good to resist. The film never materialised and she made her debut in the Akshay Kumar-Bobby Deol-Kareena Kapoor starrer Ajnabee.

It was an average success, but it pushed Bipasha into the limelight. The stupendous success of this year's supernatural suspense drama Raaz put her on the priority list of every filmmaker. Raaz broke the myth that only stars can sell films as well as established Bipasha's credentials as an actress and star.

Sukanya Verma and Priyanka Bhattacharya catch up with the current toast of Bollywood:

Did you expect Raaz to do so well at the BO? How has life been since?

Raaz was a boon. My character in Ajnabee had negative shades, so I needed a positive role for my next film.

As for life since, I do not to expect too much from my films. That way if I don't get success, I won't be disheartened. If I do get successful, it will be that much sweeter.

Bipasha Basu Success came pretty soon to you. Is it difficult to keep a straight head on your shoulders?

My head is firmly stuck on my shoulders! What to do, I try so hard to move it, simply doesn't work. *laughs*

Actually, I'm very spoilt at home --- I throw my tantrums there. I can't do it everywhere, so on the sets, I am chilled out.

You had once said that you hope to break your sex symbol image within a year or two. Did you expect it to happen so soon?

I didn't expect to break my sex symbol tag so soon but Raaz did it for me. I am so happy that people accepted me in the role of a devoted housewife.

Bipasha means deep dark desire. Is that true of the real Bipasha?

It is great to be desired by everyone, but I don't know about the deep dark bit. *laughs*

Bipasha Basu You have teamed up with Vikram Bhatt again...

Yes, the film is called Aitbaar. It is all about trust --- trusting your parents, lover etc. I play a woman who in a conflict between her father and her boyfriend. Amitabh Bachchan plays my father while John Abraham is my boyfriend. It is a volatile love story.

How is it working with Vikram Bhatt?

I am very comfortable with him. He is an actor's director. He will tell you exactly what he wants in very simple words. I find it very easy to work with him.

How was it working with the Big B?

I have not yet shot with Amitabh Bachchan. But yes, I am so nervous --- I am sure I will faint when we do the shoot. When we met, he told me everything would be alright. It is really a big thing for me to work opposite Amitabh Bachchan.

You are also doing a cameo in the My Best Friend's Wedding-inspired Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai...

Well, the film is not exactly like My Best Friend's Wedding. It has been adapted to suit the taste of Indian audiences.

I would have loved to play Julia Roberts role but Uday Chopra plays Julia. I play Rupert Everett's role. It's just that my character isn’t a lesbian [Everett played a homosexual in My Best Friend's Wedding]. *laughs*

Bipasha Basu You are being considered to be a lucky mascot in the industry. How does that make you feel?

I didn't know about this! It's great if people think I'm a lucky mascot. I hope people cast me in their films if only for a two-minute role. I would earn a lot of money that way!

Are you still upset with Aankhen producer Gaurang Doshi over-extending your special song appearance to a bit role (the role had slightly negative shades) ?

I am furious with Gaurang. I didn't want anything changed in the film. I just wanted a simple apology. That's all. If you are unethical, at least apologise. I am quite upset with this entire episode. It was very unprofessional.

Are you finally doing Encounter?

I guess I am destined to do Encounter. Initially, when the makers approached me for the film, Aftab Shivdasani was supposed to star in it. He and I are doing a few films together so we both felt the pair would look repetitive. We decided that only one of us would do it, so I dropped out.

It was offered to other people. Later Aftab also dropped out of the film. It was offered to me again, so I signed it without any hesitation. Now, I and Dino Morea are doing the film.

Now that you are two films old, are you a director's actor or do you prefer to do your own thing?

The director states his points of views. I have a big mouth and make my suggestions all the time. But ultimately it is the director's call.

Are there any specific kind of roles you would like to do?

I have no ideal roles in mind. I will do anything if I find it sensible. I have already done a slightly negative character in Ajnabee and a horror film, Raaz.

What are your other forthcoming projects?

I am currently working on Encounter, Chor Machaye Shor, Nehle Pe Dehla, Aitbaar and Daav.

Making waves with Bipasha Basu
Bipasha's license to thrill!
What Bipasha has going for her


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