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Milind Soman does a Mandakini
Gautam Hegde |
March 27, 2003 19:01 IST
"The director is making a Mandakini out of Milind!" someone chortles as he watches Milind Soman, in a white kurta, getting drenched in artificial rain [yesteryear actress Mandakini became famous for a scene in Raj Kapoor's Ram Teri Ganga Maili, which has her bathing under a waterfall wearing just a white sari] on the sets of Crossover Films' latest venture Rules -- Pyaar Ka Superhit Formula. A song sequence is being picturised on Milind and newcomer Meera Vasudevan. The film also stars veteran actress Tanuja and model Namrata Barua.
After many rehearsals and takes, Milind talks about his film. "I play a supermodel who wants to live a simple life with his girl [played by Namrata]. In time, he meets a girl who has had a crush on him for about seven years and wants to get him hooked."
Though a former model himself, Milind claims that he is not playing himself. "I play Vikram Varma, who, unlike me, wants to stay away from films and is eager to start a restaurant."
Barely four films old, Milind was recently nominated for the Star Screen Awards 2002 in the Best Supporting Actor category for Arjun Sajnani's Agnivarsha.
"This nomination is working like a shield to me," he says excitedly. "I do not have to prove anymore the belief that models cannot act. This nomination has shut the mouths of those who throw that cliché at me."
Milind has turned producer with Rules... He claims that this move was not because he was not getting exciting roles, but that production is the next logical step for an actor. He chose the title Rules... because he 'could not think of anything unconventional'. He adds, "Seriously, we wanted people to remember the title of the film and that's why we did not fall for clichés."
Milind is confident about his film. "There's no doubt Rules... will be successful. I have faith in my director [Parvati Rajagopalan]. I have worked with her on the television serial, Margarita. I have faith in the script and screenplay written by Ajitabh Menon. I have seen the film. It is a feel-good film and people will definitely like it."
Menon, who is also assistant director of the film, arrives and asks Milind to get ready for the next shot.
Remind Menon that the theme of a young girl falling for her star idol is reminiscent of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Guddi and he says defensively, "The treatment makes this film different. It is a youthful, romantic film with an element of humour."
Debutante director Parvati, who had assisted Ketan Mehta on Maya Memsaab and Oh Darling! Yeh Hai India, is Milind's partner in his production company. She says, "Our company aims at novelty. For certain stories, you need a bigger canvas. That is why we have ventured into filmmaking." e-Motions has produced many serials (Margarita, Hip Hip Hurray, Chhota Mooh Aur Badi Baat, Hubahu), some of which were directed by Parvati.
Meera has a lot to talk about her Hindi film debut. "I had done a promotional advertisement for Sony Entertainment Television. Do you remember the Om Cricketaya Namaha ad? That was me! The filmmakers of Rules... saw me and called me for a screen test. I passed. And now, I am working with my real-life crush Milind Soman!
"I remember my first day and scene vividly. I had many questions in mind, but the unit members put me at ease. My first shot required me to talk to my grandmother, played by Tanuja. She made me feel so comfortable that, at the end of the day, I felt like giving her a big hug, as if she were my real grandmother!" she grins.
Meera believes in the character she is essaying. "I play a simple girl anyone can relate to. She has a crush on this man, but does not know how to make him fall in love with her. So her grandmother gives her a set of rules to be followed to win a man's heart."
Her Telugu film Golmaal opposite Chakravarthy was released on February 21, 2003. This 21-year-old is working on two more regional films.
Rules... is expected to release on June 20, 2003.