Bipasha Basu has signed her first ever art-house movie called Pankh. Apparently she will play herself in the film but refuses to use her real name for her character.
She is apprehensive because she fears it will create confusion. The film is to be directed by Shudipto Chattopadhyay.
Bipasha told IANS: "I really need to have a discussion with Shudipto on this. Yes, he's very keen that I be called Bipasha in Pankh. But I'm not at all comfortable with my name being used for any character, even if I'm playing her. I'd rather stick to the character's name Nandini..."
The film is about gender confusion in the life of a child actor who grows up thinking he's a girl because of the female moppets he played as a child. Bipasha plays a Bollywood actress whom the muddled protagonist adores.
"Pankh is very special, and not just because it's my first so-called art film. But the minute I heard the subject I was bowled over. It deals with a very serious problem within the film industry. Let's not trivialise it by speculating whether the character I play is based on me. That's exactly what will happen if my name is Bipasha in 'Pankh'," added Bipasha.
The film's story recalls the case of child actor Ahsaas Channa, who's apparently a girl passed off as a boy in movies like Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna and Vaastu Shastra.
Chattopadhyay has cast a newcomer, Maraddona, in the role of the androgynous boy.
The film is being produced by Sanjay Gupta's production house White Feather, which will branch off into another brand name with Pankh to produce serious offbeat films.
Playing themselves seems a new trend for actors in Bollywood. Bobby Deol plays himself in Samir Karnik's Nanhe Jaisalmer.