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"Ever since I joined the film industry, I have been associated by the audience with a glamorous image. I don't think there is anything wrong with it after all," said Neha and added "I cannot help looking the way I do." Talking to UNI here, Neha, who made headlines a few years ago with her famous quote "only Shahrukh and sex sells", said she was not averse to doing roles which required her to expose or look glamorous.
"I will not shy away from doing a film just because it requires me to expose or look glamorous. But yes, it should all be for a purpose," Neha said. Lately though, one has seen the actress in many a realistic film where her role was far from glamorous. "I took up films like 'Delhi Heights', 'Dus Kahaniyan','Chup Chup Ke' and 'Mithya' because I felt doing these films would help me realise my potential as an actor," she said.
For example, in her latest film 'Mithya', where she features alongside accomplished actors like Naseeruddin Shah, Ranvir Shourey and Vinay Pathak, Neha plays a role far removed from the glamorous roles one associates her with. "In 'Mithya', I play Sonam, a gangster's moll. The character of Sonam is far removed from the glamorous portrayals I have done till now. The role did not require me to look glamorous,"Neha said.
Neha said 'Mithya' featured in an interesting romantic track with Naseer and Ranvir. For someone who has just been a few years in the industry, how was it sharing screen pace with such an accomplished actor as Naseeruddin Shah?
"The first day I was shooting with Naseer, I was very awed. The same was the case when I was shooting with Ranvir and Vinay who are actors with some calibre having been associated with great cinema. However, all the nervousness soon got eased as all of them were very helpful. I found all of them very nice, humble people. Infact, after 'Mithya', I have done three more films with them," she says.
Neha said working with such accomplished actors, some amount of nervousness initially was but natural. What also put her at ease was the absence of any starry air in any of the actors comprising the film's cast.
"On the sets of 'Mithya' everybody was an actor. Nobody went in as a star," the actor said. For Neha working in films like 'Ek Chalis ki Last local', 'Dus Kahaaniyan' and 'Mithya' has been an altogether different experience from her glamorous portrayals in many of her earlier films.
"Working in realistic films like 'Mithya' is quite a challenging task. For example, in 'Mithya' just watching actors like Naseer, Ranvir and Vinay tought me a lot about acting. Working alongside these actors and a director like Rajat Kapoor, I realized that acting is just about focusing on your performance. Everything else does not matter," she says.
"I used to come from a school of thought that you do things this way or that way. But now I know you do not need to worry about things that are not important. The only thing an actors needs to worry about is his performance," Neha adds.
She is specially full of praise for Rajat Kapoor, the director of 'Mithya'.
"When Rajat narrated the script to me I found it very beautiful and interesting. I had earlier liked his work in 'Mixed Doubles'.
However, after working with him in 'Mithya', I have developed greater respect for him as a director and human being," remarked Neha.
"Infact, watching 'Mithya' recently I realized that Rajat as director had surpassed everyone's expectations and done such a wonderful work," Neha said.
Among her forthcoming films Planman Films' 'I am 24' with Ranvir as her co-star, 'Maharathi' (where she acts alongside Paresh Rawal and Naseer), 'Raat Gayi Baat Gayi' (directed by Rajat Kapoor) and Vipul Shah's 'Singh Is King'.