By: Joginder Tuteja, IndiaFM
Sunday, November 05, 2006
Well, one may not really hear that in 'Ram Gopal Verma Ke Sholay' but something on the tune of 'Chal Meri Laila' may soon be a cheer that would be heard loud and clear next summer when RGV's dream project releases. And the one mouthing this line would be none other than Nisha Kothari who has bagged the prestigious project amidst competition from numerous other female leads. Over to the tough girl Nisha who believes in 'never say die' spirit and wants to move on in life regardless of the not-so-great response to her films in recent past.
So Nisha, how did the project finally get into your kitty?
There had been talks happening with Ramuji for quite a while for the role of 'Basanti' in the film but it was only 2 weeks back when he confirmed me for the role. He had been auditioning other girls too and in the meanwhile I too went through a couple of photo shoots. Apart from this since 'Dhanno' has been replaced by 'Laila' here, which is the auto rickshaw I ride, I had to take auto driving lessons. Fortunately everything worked out well and I was chosen for the role.
But did you have to go through an audition too apart from the photo shoot?
No no, there wasn't any audition required. I have worked with Ramuji in a number of films now and he knows my strengths and weaknesses. We were mainly discussing about the look and once that seemed fit for the role, I was on. The shooting starts for me on 3rd November and I would be required for 4-5 days. Later after a gap I would be required to be on the sets again for completing my remaining portions.
Much has been said about RGV's version of Sholay going through a change. So how is Basanti different here?
Well, first of all she is no more Basanti and is instead called Ghunghroo. There are similarities as well as distinct facets to Ghunghroo's personality here when compared to Basanti. Ghunghroo is quite bold, fresh, smart and makes her livelihood by driving an auto across the streets of Mumbai. She is quite lively with loads of attitude. Since she is on a job like this where she is required to interact an entire day with men folk, she wants to be treated as a man from one and all. She wants people to believe that she is a hard nut to crack though the fact is that she is quite soft and innocent from her inner self. All of this comes from the fact that she has seen a lot in her life and wears a protection circle around her.
So how does the entire manly persona become visible with Ghunghroo?
She bears a tapori look throughout and even her mannerisms are quite tomboyish and rough. The way she dresses up would be another highlight as she wears a shirt with a 'ganji' in which is normally associated with men, Then there are some chains that she has on her along with a bandana on head, leather shoes and works. Her language too is a little unique, as you must have noticed with Mumbai rickshaw-wallahs. She speaks a mix of Hindi and Marathi and sometimes also gets into English.
And what happens to the love of her life 'Dhanno'?
Well, 'Dhanno' is now called 'Laila' and it is one auto rickshaw that is certainly going to freak you out. It is going to be one of a kind, what with disco lights, perfumes, movie stars posters, music system and the works. Watch out for it since it is going to be a lot of fun.
Basanti, oops Ghunghroo, is incomplete without a 'mausi'. What happens to that character here?
As I said, this Sholay is going to be quite different from the original. So here you would see 'mausi' being replaced by my parents. My father is shown as a fisherman in the film though I would know later about the actors who would enact my parents.
Ajay Devgan plays 'Veeru' in the film. Doesn't it look like a very unique combination to be paired opposite him?
But what's wrong in that? I believe it is good to have unique and untested pairs on screen. He is a fantastic actor and it's a great opportunity to be with him on the same frame. Am I nervous to be working with him? Yes, but then I am excited as well. I am sure that there would be a lot of things to learn from him during the shoot. And let me add on that he is one of my most favorite actors so it only adds on to the fun.
And how about Mohit Ahlawat? It would be 4th film where you would be seen with him.
Yes, he plays Jai and I do have a few scenes with him. Just like in Sholay, here too the two of them do not click with each other. This is because he too plays a character who has ton loads of attitude while the same holds good for Ghunghroo. The two meet at the beginning of the film itself and it is quite obvious that both would have a trouble with each other [Laughs]!
One can't help but ask this. Are you dancing on shattered glass in Amitabh Bachchan's den to the tune of 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan'?
[Laughs again] No, I don't know anything about that yet and I am not even talking about that currently.
On a serious note Nisha, you seem to be quickly moving on from one project to another with hardly a breather in spite of James, The Killer and Shiva not making much ripples at the box office. Isn't a blessing since it doesn't really give much time for you to think much about lack of success?
True, and I think I am quite lucky to be getting work to keep me busy. See, when I came to the industry it was mainly for doing work rather than just fooling around. Isliye agar koyi film nahi chalti to main sar pakad ke nahi baith sakti. Instead I move on with further determination because that is life. There are moments that make you low but then you can't continue to keep thinking about them and instead spoil what's in store for you in future. It happened in case of 'The Killer' when I was upset for a couple of days but I moved on. Ditto for Shiva when I was impacted for a couple of days but then it was back to work and preparation again. One has to listen to people and improve on your work.
And what did you listen after Shiva on which you plan to improve?
My diction and dialogue delivery! I am thankful to my critics who have pointed this flaw and made me realize that this is one area of improvement on which I need to act fast. This is the reason why I have started taking diction and dialogue delivery classes and am concentrating a lot on my Hindi pronunciations. I can promise that I will be much better, if not best, in my next film.
You come with a strong family support. What did your parents have to say about Shiva?
My parents are simple people and do not really appreciate violence. Hence the initial sequences itself made my mother look the other way since the violence became too much for her. She didn't say anything much though since she is my mother and she would say nothing that would hurt me. But in comparison my father was quite straight forward. He was honest enough to tell me that the movie was OK and I needed to improve further.
Great, so what's happening beyond Sholay?
I have signed a Telugu film with Balakrishna who is a very big star down South. I am happy about the film since the heroine's character is quite important in the plot rather than being just run of the mill. The film is being directed by YVS Chaudhary who is again a known name there. And no, I am no more being called Amoha there, as was in the case of my earlier stint with South cinema. No name changes for me anymore. I believe that one's work should speak rather than a name.
Anything more on the parting note?
Want to say only one thing that I want everyone to love me and keep watching me so that am also encouraged to work more. I love you all!