Anupam Kher gave in to public pressures and opted out of playing the Nazi commander-in-chief in Dear Friend Hitler. Raghuveer Yadav has replaced him and Neha Dhupia insists he makes a perfect Hitler.
"I respect Anupam Kher, he’s a brilliant actor. But Raghuveer is a one-man show on the sets," insists Dhupia, who essays the part of Eva Braun, Hitler’s close companion whom he reportedly shot before turning the gun on himself. "History has its own interpretations of what happened in that underground bunker. I can’t say much without giving away the story. Wait, watch and see if you approve."
Unlike Kher, Dhupia had no second thoughts about being a part of a controversial film. "I’m a Leo, I don’t feel any pressure," she laughs. She adds that she was instantly drawn to the interesting script revolving around the last 10 days in the life of the great dictator. The two letters written by Mahatma Gandhi addressed to ‘My friend Hitler’ advocating peace at the time of war, offered a new take on history. "And then there was the fiery red hair. It took some time getting used to but when the film was over, I was sad to lose Eva. I’m going to miss her and her red hair," says Dhupia.
The actor rates Mithya, Ek Challis Ki Last Local and Dasvidaniya among her favourite films. Last year was a revelation in the small budget Phas Gaya Re Obama that got her rave reviews and earned its money, while Action Replayy got the thumbs down with a lot of her scenes left out on the editing table.
"What can you do? You are so helpless," she sighs, pointing out that in 2010, despite all the hype, it was not the biggies but the smaller films like LSD, Peepli (Live), Band Baaja Baraat, Udaan, Tere Bin Laden and Phas Gaye Re Obama that made an impression.
That’s the reason Neha has now decided to pick and choose her roles with care. "It’s been a seven-year struggle and the hardest part was that I was all by myself. But now I’m in a great place where there are no expectations from me personally and professionally," she points out, adding that at 30 she’s never been more relaxed, more content or felt more beautiful.
"I’m just back from a three-week holiday and today, it takes a lot to get me out of the bed and into the studio. It’s not that I’m lazy, there’s just so much more to keep me happy." How can she be happy when she’s broken up with her long-time steady, squash champ, Ritwick Bhattacharya? She retorts, "We may not be in a relationship but that doesn’t mean our friendship has ended."