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    Neha moves from bikinis to bindis

    By Staff

    By: Screen Weekly, IndiaFM
    Friday, December 29, 2006
    Bikinis or bindis - she's comfortable in either. It's all about whatever the role demands, asserts the daring as well as demure damsel...

    How has the year been for you? You haven't had many releases this year - wasn't Chup Chup Ke your last release?
    Indeed Chup Chup Ke was my last outing at the theatres, but I have had an excellent year. I have been working on four diverse projects. From shootout At Lokhandwala opposite Sanjay Dutt, Mithya with Naseeruddin Shah and Delhi Heights opposite Jimmy Sheirgill to Ek Chalis Ki Last Local with Abhay Deol - it's been a fulfilling year for me.

    What role are you essaying with Sanjay Dutt and how was the experience of shooting with him?
    I play his wife in Shootout ...and the role demands that I be clad in sarees and salwar-kameez. In a way I am moving from bikini to bindi with this film, I am comfortable in either. I was on top of the world when I first learnt that I shall be sharing screen space with Sanjay Dutt. I have shot only for a couple of days with him. But as the first day of the shoot approached, I developed cold feet. Sanju has an uncanny way of sensing anybody's discomfort and he enquired if everything was fine with me. When I told him that I was nervous about 'acting' in front of an actor of his seniority and caliber he just laughed and waved off my apprehensions saying, "What is there to be nervous about?" he is so humble that he doesn't realize how big a star he is! I enjoyed working with him thoroughly.

    Is this daring-to-demure transition a part of your career strategy?
    The whole idea is to be a bigger and better actor. You never know which of your projects will do well and earn you recognition. You just live and learn. So there is no strategy really. The idea is to pitch in your best.

    By virtue of being ex-Miss India and a film star you have been in the public eye for a while. Have you got used to the adulation by now?
    Oh no, I can never get used to it! I was recently in Gwalior for an event and enthusiastic fans created such a pandemonium that it scared the wits out of me. But once I as in the car driving away, I realized how privileged I am to be a part of the Indian film industry which has such a huge mass appeal. I was really touched to see the fervour of fans. They go to any lengths just to catch one glimpse of their favourite star!

    Besides showbiz, what is the secret passion of your life?
    Travel! I will compromise and even change three flights to reach an exotic location! The most mind-blowing destination in the southern hemisphere is New Zealand. In Africa, I found Zambia absolutely unbelievable. And there are plenty more places for me to visit.

    You aren't endorsing too many products unlike other beauty queens?
    I am very choosy, I endorse Police watches in India, and mind you, their international brand ambassador is none less than David Beckham.

    You are rather fond of sportspersons aren't you? Especially of squash champion Ritwik Bhattacharya.
    I love watching sports. I admire sportspersons not for who and what they want, I never denied that Ritwik is a good friend.

    What are you doing on New Year's Eve, going to Goa?
    Nope! I am very much in Mumbai performing at the Country Club at their New Year's show. What better way to bring in the New Year? I enjoy the energy rush at public performances, I am performing two items of 15 minutes each and I am told they will be over 5000 revelers that night! I am gonna be in a gala celebratory mode.

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