June 21, 2002 
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Manisha Koirala
Manisha: destination Cannes
Indifferent to threats, the actress has international plans

Subhash K Jha

A headline in a news daily claimed there was an attempt on actress Manisha Koirala's life.

When contacted on the sets of theTamil film Baba (costarring Rajnikanth), in Chennai, the Nepali beauty seems far from threatened.

"Where is the threat? I got to know about it only through newspapers. Why would anyone want to kidnap me?" she chortles.

"Actually, there was a threat. But that was almost a month ago in Mumbai. When I heard about it, I contacted the Mumbai police. They said they knew nothing about it. I asked them to check with the Chennai police who said there is a threat, so there had to be some basis to it," she explains.

The Chennai police seems to be convinced there is a serious threat to Manisha's life. "When I arrived at the Chennai airport last month to shoot for Baba, there were at least 15 policemen waiting for me. I was aghast. Would I be arrested or what? Now what had I done?" she jokes aloud.

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Manisha muses, "Why would anyone want to kidnap me?"

However, she shrugs off speculation: "I have no cops with me any longer. I was threatened a month ago. I do not know why the newspapers have woken up to it now. But I am not scared or nervous. The only thing is, I have to be cautious now. Earlier, I used to be quite a bindaas (daredevil) girl.

"Nowadays, threats bother me," the actress adds.

Manisha Koirala Speaking on her new Tamil film Baba, Koirala says, "It is a nice role. I have never played such a role before. But it is Rajnikanth's film all the way." The film releases August.

The actress plans to turn into a film producer some time this year. "My first film will be a comedy thriller about two working girls trying to survive in the concrete jungle of Mumbai. It is quite an interesting subject. A bright young former assistant to Mani Ratnam named Sreenivas will direct my film. My executive producer is going to talk to Sushmita Sen to essay one of the characters. The role has been written with her in mind. I will play the other girl.

"Next year, I want to expand on the production, so we can make many small, meaningful films. I want to make films that can go to Cannes. I want to be internationally known for my cinema."


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