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Shilpa Shetty on matters close to her heart
Syed Firdaus Ashraf | June 30, 2004 17:11 IST
A Shilpa Shetty film has been long in coming. You saw her last as a heroine in a bit role in Darna Manaa Hai. And as a solo heroine in the little known Karz.
Now, she's back with two films: Garv and Phir Milenge. Coincidentally, she stars opposite Salman Khan in both films.
If Garv sees Shilpa at her glamorous, sexy best, Phir Milenge showcases her as someone who is, as she says, "HIV positive."
More on her films in conversation with Senior Associate Editor Syed Firdaus Ashraf:
I play an Muslim orphan. Her name is Jannat. She is a bar dancer. She admires the hero, Salman Khan, because of his integrity. She thinks all men look at her as a body, but this man treats her like a human being.
Not really. This is not very serious role like Tabu's in Chandni Bar. It [Garv] is essentially a cop drama. My character is involved with the hero. We [the makers] have concentrated on that. We have not concentrated on the turmoil that goes on in her life.
I don't believe in following anyone's footsteps. I am doing this film [Garv] because I liked the subject. It is a big budget film and I know it will be presented well. That is the only criterion for me to do Garv. I am not here [in the movie] to make an impact. It is a male-dominated film.
You are working in Phir Milenge, which deals with Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome [AIDS]. Comment.
Anand touched on cancer. Why not a film on HIV positive patients? It is a social stigma in our society. We made this film to highlight this problem.
It is not preachy. It is a very sweet love story. It is the journey of these characters Abhishek [Bachchan], Salman [Khan] and me. In the midst of which the spectre of this HIV positive pops up. I keep emphasising HIV positive because I didn't know the difference between HIV positive and AIDS. AIDS and HIV positive mein zameen aasman ka farak hai [There is a world of a difference between the two].
This film will bring about a social awareness about AIDS in our country. It is high time we talked about this in our society. Remember there was a stigma associated with tuberculosis earlier? But that has changed with time, hasn't it?
It is always great to be glamorous. I have enjoyed the jhatkas-matkas in all my films. I want to balance that with films like Phir Milenge. But there is another problem. If you do serious films, people think you are only open to arty films. I want to strike a balance between the jhatka-matka and serious films.
I am doing Dus because my character is very unconventional. I am playing an anti terrorist squad member. I wear holsters, use guns and my hair is all tied up. I don't look pretty in the film. I look tough. It is a meaty role and has given me the chance to reinvent myself. I am now looking for roles that are different. I want more paradigm shifts in my role.
I would love to work with Mani Ratnam. Also, Shankar and Ram Gopal Varma -- I respect them because they are very different and they take risks in making films.
For Phir Milenge, I was signed first. Then came Abhishek followed by Salman. I could not tell Revathy not to take Salman, could I? I fit those characters and so did Salman. He is a very dear friend of mine. The rapport [we share] is fantastic. He is very helpful. He is not self-serving. If I do something wrong, he tells me where I am going wrong.
What are your future projects?
Do you read books?
How do you keep so fit?