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'I would not go to Mallika Sherawat's extent'

Last updated on: January 28, 2011 15:55 IST

'I would not go to Mallika Sherawat's extent'

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Ankur Pathak in Mumbai

She first appeared in the award-winning film, Lahore, last year. But that didn't really enjoy a good release, and create an impact.

So for Shraddha Das, this week's release -- the romantic comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji -- is just the ticket to significant prominence along with being a more mass-enthusing occasion to flaunt her acting prowess.

In conversation with Ankur Pathak, Shraddha describes the thrill of being in a Madhur Bhandarkar film, the amount of sensuality she'd subscribe to, and also confides that it makes her immensely proud to have penetrated in an industry governed by family lineages.

Who is this hot new face that has the audience look up in rapt attention?

Oh my God! I don't know of this hot new face. But I'm sure people will speak about my performance.

I am a Bengali girl and come from a non-film background. I've done my mass media in journalism. I've also done a film called Lahore, which won two National Awards. During this period, I did around nine films in Telugu and one in Kannada. This helped me gain a lot of acting experience which was of great use while filming Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji.

How were you chosen to play one of the three female leading roles in DTBHJ?

Madhur sir had seen rushes of Lahore. Later, we had a meeting at his office. He told me that I fit the role perfectly.

The other thing was that I speak a lot, and I speak really fast -- something that is required for a radio jockey, which I play. So these were the few reasons why I bagged the role. Two days before the filming commenced, I was told I am a part of the film.

Were you aware that you'd be romancing Omi Vaidya?

Yes. There were more than 10 girls who met him for this particular role, of Gungun Sarkar and I was one of them. I always knew that if I'm doing the film, I'd be paired opposite Omi Vaidya.


Image: Shraddha Das
Photographs: Pradeep Bandekar
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'It was a very hard struggle to get a part in a film'

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How thrilled were you to be a part of a Madhur Bhandarkar film?

I was overwhelmed. When people in the south realised I'm doing a Madhur Bhandarkar film, they were astonished and began asking who my co-star was. 

See for me, someone from a non-film background, it is a very hard struggle to get a part in a film. This is like a dream-break. The film generated even more news because it was Madhur sir who was making a romantic comedy. I just feel tremendously happy and lucky to be a part of it. 

You've done a hard-hitting film like Lahore before. Could you easily pick up a laidback character for DTBHJ?

Instead, I'd say the character in Lahore was more laidback, subtle and subdued whereas Gungun happens to be very, very dynamic.

Lahore didn't create any waves at the box office, why so?

It's a simple reason. The film didn't boast of any big names and the masses in our country are greatly star-driven. Therefore, films like Dabangg, Golmaal-3 and Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai do exceptionally well. Also, these films are heavily promoted.

On the other hand, Lahore is a film that appeals to a niche audience. For a normal man, who spends    250 on a multiplex ticket, he'll have many reasons to watch a film, topping his priority would be the star-cast and the banner.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'Shazahn and I had a minor scuffle over the make-up man'

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A multi-heroine film couldn't go smoothly without any storm taking place on sets. I'm sure the three of you didn't bond like sisters.

Sorry to disappoint you. But the three of us hardly had any scenes together so there was absolutely no scope for cat fights. We appear together only in one song and even in that, we were not in the same frame. Plus, the three of us were pretty secured with our own roles.

And this is not a film where there are two heroines are romancing one hero, which might evoke clashes.

But there were rumours that you didn't get along well with Shazahn Padamsee.

Yes, there was a minor scuffle over the make-up man, during the promotional tour in Hyderabad. But everything is fine now.

Are there any raunchy scenes between you and your co-star?

No, no, there are no raunchy scenes at all. I feel like children can watch this film. But I don't know why -- due to like some 14 scenes -- the Censor Board has given it an A certification.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'Salman Khan is my dream co-star'

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Do you think Bollywood is conservative when it comes to matters of sex?

Eh, no. Since I've worked in Tollywood, I can say Bollywood is way ahead of it. Hollywood, undoubtedly, leads the pack but still our films have scenes they did not have before. But we are not too far behind.

So how open are you to lovemaking scenes if a film requires it?

Well, see, I cannot say. But I'd like to maintain something like what Priyanka Chopra does in her movies, and definitely not go to the extent of Mallika Sherawat.

Out of the current lot, which are the actors you find tremendously hard to resist?

One has to be Ajay Devgn, I find him immensely sexy. He doesn't speak much and has an mysterious aura around him. And Salman Khan. He is hot. As an actor, I find him so natural. He is my dream co-star.

You feature alongside two star-daughters (Shazahn is Sharon Prabhakar-Alec Padamsee's daughter while Shruti Haasan is Kamal Haasan-Sarika's daughter). Do you feel they've come up very conveniently, while you had to struggle a lot?

Yes, yes, that is true. I do feel like that. But at the same time, I feel that I've made it on my own and I'm in the same league as them. In my early days when I would not get work because of the presence of some star-daughter, I would feel very frustrated. But today, I'm proud to have created my place in the same space without the backing of a superstar father.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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'Madhur Bhandarkar has been a great support'

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In the making, did Madhur Bhandarkar play a crucial role?

Yes. He is been a great support and a major mentor. Since he too was an outsider, with no filmi background, I feel he totally understood and gave me my importance in the film, majorly because of my talent.

Okay, among the three of you, who has got the maximum screen space in Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji?

I think we have got equal space in the movie. If you are talking about the importance, that only the audience can decide, as it depends on the character that would impact them more.

What are the other films that have you excited for the year?

As an audience, I think Tanu Weds Manu looks really cute. I'm looking forward for Saat Khoon Maaf, for the performances. Salman Khan's Ready, I've already seen the Tollywood version. I loved No One Killed Jessica and can watch it in theatre again.


Image: A scene from Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji

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