She represents one of the most earthly faces in Bollywood. Known for her sensitive portrayals, Amrita Rao has one of the sought after actresses in town. Of late she has created ripples for being the person behind the much talked about Shahid-Kareena breakup. Basking in the glory of her latest Telegu hit ATHIDI opposite southern super star Mohan Babu, Rao speaks to Ruhail Amin about her life and career.
ATHIDI is doing very well? Yes it's a very good feeling that this romantic comedy has become a super duper hit in Andhra Pradesh. It has grossed more then six and a half crores. We all had worked very hard on this film. When your effort is rewarded like this, it obviously feels great.
Your name is being dragged in the Shahid-Kareena break up? I would not want to comment on a thing as stupid as this. In fact, I am very close to Kareena and she praised my performance in VIVAAH. Even Shahid and I share a great rapport despite what people write about us.
But will this affect your friendship with Shahid? No we both are part of this industry and very well know that links ups go with this profession. Shahid has been really sweet and called me for the premier of JAB WE MET.
You mostly play girl next door roles, besides this, what would you want to experiment with? I want to play a psychotic killer. Out and out action flicks will also be interesting. It would really be nice, if producer made films in which the girl next door was shown to be sexy, hot and intelligent. Have we not seen many such common girls, who have gone on to become big names in various fields?
You are very careful in choosing scripts, no vulgarity for you? Yes I can never do a role in which I am not comfortable. But if you give another item number like DEEWAR, I am game for it. In fact ‘Marhaba’ was beautifully picturized, I believe there is a very thin but distinct line between being sensuous and crass.
None of your characters have been overboard and wild? I always like to play characters which people can easily identity with. Hence Poonam in VIVAAH, Sanjana Bakshi in MAIN HOON NA and Payal in ISHQ VISH. All these portrayals came across as warm and sweet girls.
Coming to VIVAAH, you have called it your best film till date? Yes, it was very tough to play that character, since she hardly ever spoke. So, I had to express all the emotions through my eyes mostly. It was pretty straining, but fulfilling as an actress.
But Vivah has been panned by the critics as being too sweet? For all the critics, my simple answer is that the film is based on a real life incident, which took place just a few years ago. Honestly even I was not sure of the validity of the idea but Suraj ji was confident about the concept and he proved right in the end.
You are also doing a film with Shyam Benegal. How’s it working with him? Shyam Benegal is one of the most sensible filmmakers of this era and the best part is that he does not get driven by the commercial formula but always attempts to address relevant social concerns through his cinema. It’s a matter of great honour for me to be playing part in his upcoming film.
Among the male stars you have worked with, who are you comfortable with on screen? Well actually all. If you act with a very good actor he automatically brings out the best in you as well. SRK in MAIN HOON NA was great to work with. Even Shahid and I always share great screen chemistry. I’m sure the audiences love to see us together.
What new films are you planning? I have two films slated for release. First is Anil Kapoor's home production SHORT CUT, with Akshaye Khanna and Arshad Warsi in which I have an out and out glamourous role. We had a great time doing this film. Next is E Niwas's MY NAME IS ANTHONY GONSALVES, which will hit the marquee around January.
Any messages to your fans on Diwali? Well I wish them a very happy and safe Diwali and hope they keep watching lot of movies in the festive season.