We bring to you the heartfelt interview of Lara Dutta, who celebrates her birthday today! A candid Lara speaks about how she ended up watching Maine Pyaar Kiya a whopping 16 times, her tryst with The Matrix and much more, including the never-before told secret about her tattoo! All this and much, much more. Read on to discover the real Lara Dutta!
Was there any time in your life, when you encountered a Housefull board for the film that you madly wanted to see? If yes, what did you do? Did you resort to buying tickets in black?
Many, many times. My sister, who is much older to me, was dating someone (her current husband) when I was in my fifth standard. And all thanks to her, I landed up seeing the film Maine Pyaar Kiya a whopping 16 times! And it was for this film, when I saw the Housefull board many times. As far as me buying any ticket in black, there are only very few films whose tickets I have bought myself!
Past-ghost rumours have it that you were offered a role in by-now-cult Hollywood blockbuster The Matrix and that you turned it down? If true, then why?
Let's face it that it will only require a fool's brains to be turning down the role because of the script. But the fact is that it is true, I was offered a role in The Matrix. But this happened during my 'Miss Universe' days. I turned it down as my mother fell really sick during that time (December 2001, to be precise) and I very badly wanted to come back home and be with her.
Talking about Hollywood, will you ever say yes to a role of a Bond's girl?
I don't mind being a Bond girl, but, at the end of the day, I do have my reservations. I don't think that I am comfortable enough taking off my clothes for the screen. So, it obviously has to be a role that doesn't entitle that.
A very stark observation that two of your superhit films Andaaz and No Entry had your name as Kajal. Did you ever 'recommend' that name to any of your producer?
I have never recommended the Kajal name to my directors saying that, "Yeh picture mein mera naam Kajal rakho, picture superhit hoga". I do agree that Kajal was indeed a lucky name for me. As a matter of fact, my name was Kajal even in Dosti, if I am not wrong!
What's the status of Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai?
Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai is releasing this year. And yes, I am eagerly looking forward to my role in the film. And for the records, Banda Ye Bindaas Hai is not entirely an adaptation of My Cousin Vinny. This is adapted to the Indian audience's sensibility. As you rightly said, it is indeed a very special film for me.
What about the sequel to Partner?
Nothing as of now. At this point in time, it's still in the development stages. I don't think that any final decision has been taken in that regards.
Having spoken about the 'present' and 'future', let's get a bit nostalgic…straight into your Miss Universe days. Your introduction as Miss India on stage said that "You want to direct documentaries on wildlife, do white water rafting and check the Himalayas." How much of these aspirations have seen the face of reality? Or do they still exist in your 'to-do' things?
I have done white water rafting. I haven't checked the Himalayas as yet. I do still want to direct a film, as I feel that it's the but-obvious natural transition of where I will eventually head. For the records, I am NOT directing a film as was reported in a leading daily. I don't think that I am equipped to direct a film right now as I still am learning at every point. And when I want to go behind the camera, I will make sure that I am well versed to do so.
Now, for the last of the 'nostalgic' questions from your Miss Universe days. Are you in touch with your 'Angels' Suzy, James and Christen, and Tony and Minda, your friend, philosopher and guide?
Yes. I am in touch with some of the girls and a lot of people from the Miss Universe organization.
Can you touch upon what's the habit of '8 @ 8' that you religiously follow?
I am on twitter and it really becomes very difficult to answer people individually. So, I noticed that most questions have a pattern and that many of them are repetitive. So, I decided that the easiest way to really interact with your fans who are sincerely following you on twitter is to do a session called '8 @ 8'. Under this, I religiously answer 8 questions at 8 pm every night. Let me confess that I haven't done '8 @ 8' for a while now as I have been extensively traveling. I have been in the US for almost a month. But, I will be back soon, restarting the '8 @ 8'.
In an industry, where there are no permanent enemies and friends, is there anyone whom you can term as your '3 am friend'?
I do have my 3 am friend but not from the industry. They are from outside the industry.
Now for a question that every fan of yours must have been dying to ask, but didn't know how to ask. So, here it is. What is the significance behind the rose tattoo that's on the ankle of your right leg?
The tattoo that I have is a rose with a twine. While the rose signifies fragility, the twine signifies strength. Both of these form my personality!
Give us three reasons as to why Housefull is a good watch?
Firstly, if you don't go, you will miss the biggest entertainer of the year. Second is that if you want to watch Riteish, Akshay and me crawling around with our hands and knees before the tiger that's sitting in the living room of our house, then, you should go and watch this film. And the last reason is that it's an incredibly fabulous looking cat performing some incredibly fabulous looking comedy in an incredibly fabulous house! (laughs)
Amongst all this, does Lara Dutta form the icing on the cake?