Her recent Bollywood record notwithstanding, you have to hand it to actor Minissha Lamba for being the cynosure of all eyes when she comes calling to Chandigarh Press Club, Sector 27, on Tuesday to announce the launch of her Punjabi film debut—Heer & Hero. Dressed in a blue one-shoulder dress, Minissha, accompanied by the film’s cast and crew, also didn’t mince words while talking about her last film that bombed at the box office.
“It is a matter of pride for me to be a part of Pollywood,” announces the Delhi-born Punjabi girl. “I’m coming back to the place I belong to. What’s better is that the film Heer & Hero is a rom-com in which I play a happy-go-lucky girl, something I hadn’t done for a long time. I was rolling on the floor when I heard the script, it’s so fantastic,” she claims about the film that is due to release on September 13.
Though the actor confesses to not being proficient at speaking Punjabi, she says she understands it and would be tutored on the sets. “My chauffeur who takes me from the sets to the hotel and back will be a local man and therefore my most important tutor. Even during the filming of Well Done Abba, Dakhni was an alien language for me. So, when I landed in Hyderabad for the shoot, my driver became my first tutor,” she smiles.
So excited is Minissha about her Punjabi debut, that she proclaims the Punjabi film industry to have come of age. “The south Indian film industry is very respected, and I have a feeling Pollywood will soon gain the same respect,” feels the actor, who confesses she hasn’t seen any Punjabi films so far. “Hindi and Punjab-speaking audience is the same. They will watch Punjabi films if the movies are well made,” adds she, while ignoring an actor’s invitation to lunch.
Minissha, who soared on the Hindi film scene with her 2005 debut, Yahaan, was later seen in multi-starrers including Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd, Bachna Ae Haseeno and Bheja Fry 2. However, her debacle at the box office was marked by films such as Kidnap and the latest, Zila Ghaziabad. “It was a plot-driven film in which the focus wasn’t on the women. But, I was disappointed after seeing the final cut as it wasn’t similar to what I had expected,” she offers her reason for choosing to do Zila Ghaziabad.
Next, Minissha will be seen in Hindi film Black Currency, which also stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui. “Black Currency is a thriller in which I play the role of an investigating agent. Bollywood has rarely seen women as spies while Hollywood films such as Zero Dark Thirty and TV series Homeland portray women as strong integral characters,” she says, adding in the same breath that Hollywood and Bollywood can’t be compared, because “India is a country where people don’t have electricity, drinking water or proper sanitation, so it requires cinema in which the common man tells his story.” However, Minissha also believes the film industry is no longer conventional, saying, “stepping out of the comfort zone is important.”
In Chandigarh for a month to shoot, Minissha has come prepared with four books, for she loves to read. “I have a mini library at home and when not acting, I read. Be it airport lounges or in transit, I also always carry my laptop and hard drives so that I can watch films. Otherwise, I love swimming, badminton and squash,” signs off the pretty lady who says she hasn’t warmed up to social media yet.