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Romancing Rajeev Khandelwal

Last updated on: July 24, 2009 

Romancing Rajeev Khandelwal

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Rajeev Khandelwal's big screen debut, Aamir, didn't have a leading lady. But he's all set to romance a lady in his second movie, Peter Gaya Kaam Se.

The lady in question is Lekha Washington, who is part Maharashtrian, part Burmese and part Italian. Not only is she multi-lingual, she is also multi-talented -- having done theatre, directed documentary films, dabbled as a sculptor, veejaying and hosting the first season of the Indian Premier League. She has also acted in Tamil film Jayam Kondaan and Telugu film, Vedam.

Patcy N spoke to Lekha for more on her Bollywood debut.


Image: Lekha Washington

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'I was an awkward looking kid'

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Tell us about yourself.

I was raised in Chennai. My mother is Maharashtrian and my father is half Burmese and half Italian.

I studied in Chennai and later went to Ahmedabad to study filmmaking from the National Institute of Designing. I have shot 12 short documentary films.

When did you think of acting as a career?

Since I was eight. I took part in school plays and was always interested in acting. But I was an awkward looking kid -- a tomboy. Plus my parents were not keen on me becoming an actress. So after completing my education I took up various jobs. I love sculpting and am a professional sculptor.

After that, I became a veejay for a Tamil based music show called PCO and Connect. I got a chance to host IPL soon after and met the right people here which was when I started getting Bollywood offers.


Image: Lekha Washington

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'I had to do a lot of fitness training'

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Did you train yourself in acting?

No. As a trained director, I thought my ability to emote is better

How did you get Peter Gaya Kaam Se?

I went for the audition and was shortlisted. I gave two more auditions -- one with Rajeev Khandelwal to see our screen presence. I was selected. I had to do three scenes during the audition to see how well I can emote and look good as well.

How did you prepare for the role?

There was a two-month workshop where we went through all the scenes and dialogues over and over again. We rehearsed and enacted all the scenes. Plus, I had to do a lot of fitness training. I learnt kick boxing and now I am pretty decent in it.


Image: Lekha Washington

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'Rajeev Khandelwal is fun to work with'

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What is Peter Gaya Kaam Se about?

It is about two people in Goa on a bike ride. I play a tourist in Goa who hires a bike from Rajeev Khandelwal. It's a romantic thriller.

How was it working with Rajeev Khandelwal?

Rajeev is fun to work with. He has a good sense of humour and is a thorough professional.

What about director John Owen?

He is a fabulous director. I think this is his first film. He was with Channel [V] before this.


Image: Lekha Washington

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'Shooting in Goa was fabulous'

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What was the most difficult scene?

It was a scene where I had to fall on a pile of fish, a counter and finally on the ground. I kept falling and there was no safety at all. I was worried that I would land on my head. I was really petrified before doing the scene.

What is the one memory that you will always remember?

Since most of the scenes were on a bike I burnt my leg on exhaust pipe. I will remember that always. Plus shooting in Goa was fabulous. I was there for six months.


Image: Lekha Washington

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'I want to stick to acting now'

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What is the thing that you look for in a film before you sign up?

I look at my role -- whether it is substantial or not, whether there is depth and soul to it or not. Then I look at who is directing and producing it.

What is the difference between working in South movies and Bollywood?

Bollywood is vast and totally organised. Plus, I think there are more experimental films being made here now.

What are your forthcoming films? What do you plan to do in future?

I am doing a Telugu film Vedam which is directed by Krish. I star opposite Manoj. I also have a few Bollywood offers but I haven't signed any. For now I want to stick to acting. In future I want to turn to direction.


Image: Lekha Washington

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