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I hate being called an item girl - Koena

Koena Mitra
"I know I have an image of being a glamour girl. But this is what has made me what I am. However, I hate being called an item girl. It"s derogatory. Why should we be reduced to items? A male actor doing something similar is said to be making a guest appearance," argues Koena Mitra, the hottie who promises a sizzling dance number in K.V. Anand's soon-to-release Ayan.

She's been around for quite some time now, but we don't see her that often on screen. "I know the media have gone to town saying I have been paid a bomb for my role in Ayan. Let"s just say I got what I asked for. This is not to say that Bollywood is bereft of directors who understand my worth and don"t flinch from paying the price I command, but there have been a few bad experiences, and I am more circumspect now. I have the luxury to refuse if I feel I am being short-changed." Her part in Ayan is restricted, and given that she had declared she was going to stay off the single song appearence, it's quite surprising she has agreed to do just that in Ayan. "It wasn"t that I had banned myself from doing the one-song-and-dance routine," she clarifies. "K.V. Anand sir was a dream to work with. The concept was wonderful and I was given complete creative freedom. Everything fell neatly into place," she explains.

What about a role that requires more than a skin show? "I am proud to be thought of as someone who"s beautiful and sexy. If I get into so-called de-glam roles, it"s because I love to give myself these little challenges that expand my frontiers. It is certainly not about me wanting an image makeover," she says. We've already seen her in Dhool with Vikram, and now Surya. "For sure, I'd like to do more substantial roles in Tamil. It"s sad that nothing has materialized so far. I did receive a few offers to act, but for a variety of reasons – story, script, my role, dates, and sometimes the money factor – nothing came of them." Maybe after Ayan?

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