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Samita bags a role opposite Madhavan

By Subhash K. Jha, IANS

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"Shaadi Ka Ladoo" has proved lucky for model-turned-actress Samita Bangargi.

The film had barely got into the theatres when Samita - who says she will never compromise on her principles for a role - bagged a plum role as Madhavan's better half in his new Hindi film.

"And the funny part is I play a Londoner in both 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo' and Madhavan's film," Samita told IANS.

"I'm lucky because I love London. In fact, I stayed 10 days before and 10 days after the schedule for 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo' just to chill out. Now Madhavan will give me another chance to visit my favourite city in the world."

It was Madhavan's wife Sarita who suggested Samita's name.

"I was very excited because I've seen all his Tamil films. I'm half-south Indian. When he narrated the script in a Bihari accent I fell off laughing. Maddy (Madhavan) is such an experienced actor. I'll learn so much from him."

A lot of Bollywood's 20-something girls were auditioned for the role. How come Samita was chosen? "Lucky, I guess. He must have seen something in me.

"My first film was Hansal Mehta's 'Yeh Kya Ho Raha Hai'. I played the girl next door. I guess the role went unnoticed. But I've done lots of modelling.

"Right now I'm in the Lux campaign. Being a known face was an advantage. I won't say doors opened in Bollywood. But my face was on hoardings, so I was known. When I was offered a film by Hansal I was taken aback. What happened to the struggle that all newcomers are supposed to go through?

"I kept getting offers after 'Yeh Kya...', but nothing really great. I wanted to wait rather than do any old thing. 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo' happened almost a year later."

But her patience has paid off.

"I have just the role I was looking for. I play Namita, a part-time waitress in London, in 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo'. The director, Raj Kaushal, and his wife, Mandira Bedi, are friends.

"My character is very starry-eyed, believes in love and marriage. I'm not as na´ve as my character. But, yes, she's quite like me.

"Like her I'm ambitious, but also very firm on my principles. I was offered Rahul Rawail's 'Jo Bole So Nihal'. But it had big-time smooches and bikinis. Wearing any kind of clothes isn't a problem. But I have to be convinced why I'm doing what I've to do."

Samita is firm on the kissing issue.

"I just don't feel comfortable about it. I don't mind kissing my own boyfriend, Ashish Chowdhary, on screen. But I don't see the point. I guess I have a block about it."

Samita loved working with her true-life boyfriend in "Shaadi Ka Laddoo".

"We've worked together in ads and a music video. Unlike some other real-life couples, we're very comfortable on camera. In one scene, I had to slap him. Because we're together in real life I could slap him harder. I loved it. What I couldn't do in six years of our togetherness I was able to do in this film!" she bursts into laughter.

Marriage seems distant right now.

"Each year we have kept postponing it. And now, with me starting a career in movies, I can't contemplate marriage. For guys, marriage isn't a problem. But it's a different ballgame for actresses. So for now our marriage plans are on hold.

"But we aren't insecure about each other. Ashish has always been encouraging. He prodded me to do my first film. I'm glad to have him around in the film industry. I feel protected and quite comfortable."


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