Take some of her goals - designing multi-media packages for dog owners, a doctorate in Developmental Economics and a career in media. It doesn't stop there. As she says, the possibilities are endless. Former Miss India-Universe 1999, Gul Panag made shades of sunshine in Dhoop, and after the critically acclaimed Dor she is back with another film called Anubhav, so here's sharing her anubhavs with IndiaFM.
Do you think Dor has added a lot of credibility to your acting prowess?
I don't know about the credibility, but it has definitely opened a lot of doors literally. Even when I did my first film which was called Dhoop it was critically well received. So I don't think credibility was lacking, what was lacking was having worked in a well-known name and the film having received well. I think those are the things that really made the difference. I think Nageesh is a very good director, he is what is called a happening director and that combination is why Dor clicked, commercially and critically.
How did Anubhav happen?
I had heard of Rajeev Nath he had won the award for Janani. One generally reads about these things in the paper about who got national award for what. And then I got a call from Anubhav directly saying that we are making a film and we have got Sanjay Suri already cast in and we are looking for someone opposite him. Sanjay and I have already worked earlier in Dhoop and we share a great relationship. I heard the story, it was on the surface it was very simple character to play yet there was so much conflict there Whenever there is conflict in the character it is very interesting to play it. I liked the idea of the story and more importantly I wanted to work with Rajeev and Famous studios who are very credible producers.
Tell us something about your character Meera in the film Anubhav?
Meera is a girl who comes from a very wealthy family and meets Anubhav who is played by Sanjay. She falls in love with him, so strong is her faith in love for her man that she leaves everything and marries a man who can't even provide her with two square meals a day and how their romance blossoms and like every romance it has a twist that comes into it is something that is to be watched.
Were you able to relate with the character of Meera?
Of course I think at every level you have to become the character. Whether I relate to the character or not is something which is really important, when I become the character then everything becomes related.
Tell us about working with Sanjay Suri?
Sanjay is a very dear friend and we have a great time working together. I would like to call him Aamir Khan part 2 .He is so involved from the word go till the end ,he wants everything to be great. He gives you suggestions you wouldn't think of and they work out to be marvellous. Working with him is an experience which every actor should cherish.
How is Rajeev Nath as a director?
Rajeev is a breed apart; he gives you much freedom as an actor but yet keeps you under check which you don't even know, exits. He knows what is actually happening while you think that you are in control, which I think is the greatest thing for an actor to loose all inhibition.
Writer-actor Anoop Menon said that the climax of the film having you and Sanjay Suri is something that has not been attempted till now in world cinema. What' so special about the climax? Can you tell us something about that?
The climax is what makes the film, yes it is very interesting, but I can't talk about it right now you need to go watch the movie.
How do you think the Indian audience will react to a movie on male prostitution?
These things have been happening in our society for hundreds of years but have been told only for the last 2-3 hundred years. Because of the foreign rule by which I mean Mughal and British rule. We have kind of become very prudish as a society. Pre that if we look at Kamasutra it originated in India and has always been openly advertised in India. Ever since we have had foreign invasions we have been imposed with immorality which does not necessarily belong to us. However that's not the point here; the point is that all these things have been going on behind closed doors and what the film has done is talked about something that everyone is aware of just do not discuss it. After all people prostitution is happening at all levels, it's the oldest profession of the world then why do we shy away from it.
With movies like Dor and Anubhav , you have been doing a lot of meaningful cinema. What other genres do you aspire to do - like comedy or action?
Comedy would be interesting to do, but my whole approach to cinema is that it has to be believable. Otherwise why do classics like Mother India work, they do because people relate to Nargis doing what she was doing, if she would be clad in a chiffon saree with full make-up, the film wouldn't have worked. There are certain big stars that can pull of unrealistic cinema but even those big stars are today moving towards cinema which showcases and projects realism. Because at the end of the day you have to respect the audience.
Any role in 2006 that you would have loved to have played?
I would have loved to play Aamir's role in Rang De Basanti
What's the status of your movie Phir Zindagi being produced by Milind Soman?
We have wrapped that film finally. The producers will be in a better position to talk about it
Tell us about your upcoming projects like Manorama Six Feet Under, Alibaug and Hello
I am doing Manorama Six Feet Under with Abhay Deol and again it is a noel comedy. But its treatment is what is different, it is very realistic. When you go and watch it you will say yes this is how someone cleaning the house will look like and not with a blow dried and make-up look. The plot is fantastic and the director is very good. Alibaug is a film I am doing with Sanjay Gupta and features Sanjay Dutt. I always wanted to work with Sanjay Dutt and I am very excited about the film. Hello is directed by Atul Agnihotri and is based on the bestseller by Chetan Bhagats called one night at the call centre.
But the clincher in all the films I am doing is that I as a member of the audience is never going to feel bloody hell what are they trying to do here, we don't talk like this, we don't do things like this ,its that element of realism. All my films are hardcore commercials but what is important is to respect the intelligence of the Indian audience. I am doing six films and all of those keep that important sensibility in mind.
Any other projects you are working on?
I am doing a film in which I play the role of a medical student. At this moment I cannot reveal much about the film. But it is a very interesting.
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