Technically speaking she is supposed to be the Junior Tigress as everyone alike fondly calls her illustrious father Tiger. Her eyes speak the volumes of love and warmth bundled into one and her forehead resembles the white spotless crescent moon. Maybe that"s what prompted the ace director, Sudhir Mishra to cast her as the lead actress in his forthcoming period film, Khoya Khoya Chand. We are indeed talking about the svelte actress, Soha Ali Khan, the daughter of the yesteryear actress, Sharmila Tagore and ace cricketer 'Tiger" Pataudi. BBC caught up with this actress in an exclusive chat session, excerpts of which are being brought to you exclusively.
Khoya Khoya Chand is a trip down memory lane, will you get people going to reminiscing about the golden years.
We hope so, that"s the plan, we plan to take back people in time to what was an definitely an era, a golden era of film making in India. I think we have done both through the visuals as well as through a fantastic audio.
Tell us something about your role in the film?
Well, I am playing an actress from the 1950"s. In fact, when the film starts in 1953, I am pretty much a junior artist, an extra on the sets. The film traces my rise to super stardom and sort of the various crises that happen in my personal and professional life so it"s almost a biopic aspect it"s not based on any particular actor.
Shiney says you are very natural as Nikita, was it role easy for you to do?
No, I think today in of 2007, I am also an actor and I am also from Muslim background So I share that with my character but I think that"s where the comparisons ends. And as you know, in 1950"s when you think of actresses from that time period they were really quote unquote heroines. They were so accomplished, they sang for themselves, they danced for themselves, they did action, tragedy, romance and comedy and everything. We think of Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Vyjayanthimala, Nargis, and Nutan and we know that people would line up to go and see Meena Kumari"s films. I can"t think of a single female actor who has that kind of stature today. Really nobody goes to see, it"s all about the hero, which is sad because you don"t get that kind of roles that used to get in 50"s as well. What I"m saying is I had to learn a lot because today you have characters in the films so today even if you can"t dance there is place in the industry. Even if you are not completely conventionally beautiful you have a place in the industry so I think we are lot more forgiving today than they were in 50"s and to sort of try and play that was very challenging.
Your character is that of an actress from 50"s and 60"s. Is there any particular character that you would like to do like your mom, Waheeda Rehman and Meena Kumari and likes?
I think I would be setting myself for a barrage of criticism, if I say yes. Because to imitate any one of them is impossible, so I would say that she was perhaps a professional colleague of Waheeda Rehman. She was sort of existed, she was one other star among stars of that time period. So she definitely had colors, she is definitely inspired by Waheeda Rehman, Meena Kumari, and Madhubala etc. but she is not any of them.
Now it is quite different for you, as it was quite a different kind of role from what you played in Rang De Basanti, how would you compare the two roles?
Rang De Basanti did not involve a lot of acting. Of course, the circumstances that happened in the lives of these characters were unusual. Moreover, I haven"t faced anything remotely like that kind of personal tragedy, but the character was very much like what I"m - a bit of a tom boy and hanging out with these guys and going out for drive and drinking and just doing things which normal college people do. Speaking in a very contemporary way and wearing normal clothes like Kurtis and Jeans and just very new to life and somebody you meet when you go to college in India. Whereas obviously the character that I am playing in Khoya Khoya Chand is something very removed from real life, it"s something larger than life in many ways. But of course it is human and see the human side to her. What we try to show in the film is sort of behind the screen story. What happens when actress goes home and takes of her make-up and how she relate with her mother and her father and her relationship and her personal life and competitors at work.
Tell us what your brother Saif thinks of your role?
I think he is just nervous for me and he always is actually. And I"m quite intrigue to know what he thinks of it and my mother cause neither of them has seen the film yet but of course he"s opinion means lot to me and we had worked briefly and have done a couple of ads together and he"s been great. And he always stays behind for me or otherwise he"s happy to run off the sets but he stays back, if he feels I need another take, he always watches me on the monitor more than he watches himself. So it"s really good to have people who love you and who want to see you successful, who have so much advice to give you because they are from the industry.
So he is involved then in terms of you career?
He is quite involved but he is hugely busy and I think he just does not have enough time to do so many things that is close to him. He"s got his children, his own family and so many other commitments and he"s traveling so much, for example right now he is in Bangkok shooting for his film and he will be gone till New Year. So, its difficult for him, but whenever he gets time of course have a good session together.
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