Meghna Naidu kicked off in the entertainment world through her sizzling album Kaliyon Ka Chaman. Her ravishing looks and acting talent took her to films. She made her debut with the sleaze flick Hawas and subsequently moved on to the South film industry. Meghna's forthcoming film Rivaaz is much against her sex-symbol image and deals with a more social issue of prostitution within a family, where she will be seen in deglamorised look.
Meghna shares her experience of working on her film Rivaaz
You are not seen in movies off late.
There was no reason as such but I was busy in south films so didn't want to mix up a lot of things together. Once I finish my work there I can concentrate here and hence Rivaaz is happening.
Isn't Rivaaz a film about the exploitation of women?
Yes. Initially when the producer-director of the film Ashok Nanda narrated me the story of Rivaaz, it was a big decision for me because the character offered to me was something I couldn't even think about enacting. But I really liked the story and Ashok was very confident that I could pull it off very well. So basically Rivaaz is the story of a village where they have the "Rivaaz" that men of the village push their daughters into prostitution and make a living out of it.
So what was your reaction when you heard the script?
The story came as a shock to me because I didn't know that such kind of phenomenon still exists in India. My director did a lot of research work which he showed me and I was convinced that it was true. Hence I decided to play the role.
So what character do you play in Rivaaz?
I am playing one of the girls who are forced into prostitution by her family. However, my character of Chanda can't make a living because she is not very good looking. She never attracts any customers and there's nothing nice about this girl. So she can't earn for her family members and this is why they trouble her.
Your character is not good looking in the film! Isn't that against what you are in real life?
My look in the film is very simple. I have no make up at all in the film. It's not because the non made-up look was required for the role, but my character herself is not at all interested in all that. She doesn't wear make up. She is a village girl.
Weren't you apprehensive playing Chanda?
Yes, I was a bit apprehensive before accepting this role because I thought people will not accept me in this role as they have always seen me in glamorous roles. But you can't do the same thing all the time; you have to take a risk at some point of time. You need some changes in life and finally I got something that is different. It was basically a big risk that my director took but he doesn't regret it nor do I.
You began your career with music videos and then you did Hawas. After having such glamorous image do you think people will accept you in deglamorised image?
I hope they will. I think it's a risk that we are taking and I feel it's a good risk.
What do you personally feel about the issue of prostitution in family?
It's a major issue. I wasn't aware of this issue till I actually did this film. I really think these kinds of traditions should be abolished. Somebody has to stand up and take an action. After doing this film we realized that this is not a very small community but it's a very large one. It's happening in around 353 districts of India. In the south they are called Devdasis and the practice is on the same lines. These kinds of things are happening since 100 years and when the director got to know about it he decided to make a film based on it.
Rivaaz has also been chosen for the New York Film Festival.
It feels great that the film has been selected for the NY film festival in the parallel film category. I am really happy for the film. At least people have taken notice and seen the film. I just hope it goes places. It's releasing in August.
Are you getting interesting offers from South?
I had taken a break from Bollywood as I was doing South Indian films and I wanted to do something different. I did so much work there that I needed a break. So after finishing all my commitments there I am back here.
Do you find any difference in their working style?
I did three south films. There is no difference as I feel the working styles are the same. They are really more professional as far as punctuality is concerned but otherwise I think everything is the same. Though I am getting more offers there, I want to concentrate on my career here now.