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The Rediff Interview

'I cannot do what Neha Dhupia did in Julie'

Vickey Lalwani | August 06, 2004

 Ayesha TakiaWho says girls shaking butt in remix numbers have it easy?

Ask Ayesha Takia, the girl in Shake it Daddy.

Her first film Kabhi Socha Na Tha got stalled and she was replaced in her second film, Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na.

Finally, she gets to make her debut in Abbas-Mustan's Taarzan -- The Wonder Car, opposite Vatsal Seth.

Did she always want to be an actress? Or did her parents push her into becoming one?

"I have been doing ads since I was four years old. I must have done 60 ads by now. Ever since I was five, I had told my relatives I wanted to be an actress. My first music video was Falguni Pathak's Meri Chunar when I was 15. Then came Shake It Daddy, which brought me a lot of recognition."

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"In Taarzan, I play a London-based girl who comes to India to study. Of course, Vatsal and I fall in love. I have been strictly told not to reveal anything more. My producer and directors will be furious if I start telling the public what they should expect in the film. I think many films do not fare well even in the initial stages, simply because the publicity gives it all away. Thank God, we have carefully guarded it. Taarzan is a very clean film which can be seen with your family. You will not squirm in your seats like you did in some recent films."

Taarzan is about a car that can swim, fly and 'everything that a hero can' according to co-star Vatsal Seth.

Taarzan even has a kiss, but Ayesha shrugs it off. "Oh, that's quite a silly kiss. It happens in the car. You can't compare what Vatsal and I have done to what some youngsters have done in recent films," she says.

But today, sex does sell. Look at films like Hawas, Murder and Julie, which have done well only due to their erotic content. Would Ayesha have preferred to make her first splash by raising testosterone? She might have made a greater impact then.

"I don't agree," she shoots back. "Firstly, I cannot do what Meghna Naidu, Mallika Sherawat or Neha Dhupia did in Hawas, Murder, and Julie respectively. Neither can I do a Girlfriend. Yes, I can wear short tops and minis but I would be uncomfortable wearing a bikini. And don't forget Bhagyashree and Juhi Chawla never did any bold and brazen stuff in their first ventures to get noticed. Taarzan will get noticed, and then, so will Vatsal and me."

Let us rewind.

Her Kabhi Socha Na Tha, opposite Sunny Deol's cousin Abhay Deol, still has not seen the light of day. Has it been shelved? Ayesha says a determined 'no.' "A bit of the climax remains to be shot. It was stalled, but as far as I know, things should be looking up again. You know, I went through a depression. I did not get out of the house for nearly six months. I am lucky I started young. Otherwise, I would have been hit harder."

Ayesha TakiaAccording to rumours, Ayesha was asked to leave Main Hoon Na, starring Shah Rukh Khan, Sushmita Sen and Zayed Khan due to an attitude problem. "I don't want to say anything on this," she says quickly.

Before we can ask her more, she moves to Taarzan. "Bobby Deol worked with Abbas-Mustan [in Humraaz] and they are good friends. I was in his home production, and so he told them about me. Abbas-Mustan thought Kabhi Socha Na Tha will release first and were hence reluctant to cast me. But a few days later, they called me and told me I was in Taarzan."

Wasn't she under a contract that she cannot sign a film until Kabhi Socha Na Tha releases? "I was," she answers. "But a contract cannot span over three to four years. The contract became null when I signed for Taarzan."

The actress claims her chemistry with Vatsal is great on the sets and off the sets. But "Please don't put two and two equal to five. Vatsal is cute but I had a boyfriend during the making of Taarzan. There was no chance of getting those kind of feelings for Vatsal."

The boyfriend she is referring to is Siddharth Koirala, Manisha's brother. "Actually we had broken up for a while. But when the film was being made, we patched up. We are not together anymore. We tried to give each other another chance but our differences were getting too much to handle," she explains.

Next, Ayesha will be seen in Anant Mahadevan's Dil Maange More, co-starring Shahid Kapoor, Soha Ali Khan and Tulip Joshi. "It's a very sweet film where a guy gets sandwiched between three girls." Is she the lucky girl who gets Shahid in the end? "Am I crazy to tell you that?" she laughs.

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