Lara Dutta is back in town after a month-and-a-half of shooting for Don 2 in Berlin. Quiz her on her stay in Germany and she shivers at the memory: “It would get dark by 4.30 pm and it was freezing. But hopefully, I’ll sizzle on screen.”
Dutta is as excited about playing an “ultra sophisticated mystery miss” in the Farhan Akhtar-directed sequel as she is about Shah Rukh Khan’s spectacular stunts in the thriller. “He’ll give you some ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ moments; I hope I too will,” she says. “Mahesh (fiancé Mahesh Bhupathi) is really kicked about the film, as much for Shah Rukh as for me. He’s a huge SRK fan!”
So, did he and the Bollywood Badshah talk tennis during his flying visit to Berlin? “They chatted, Shah Rukh is pretty knowledgeable about tennis,” she says, adding with a laugh, “Once, when we were in his van, he gave me an impromptu tennis quiz that I flunked.”But of late, ever since the FIFA World Cup in South Africa earlier this year, Khan, she points out, is more into football. After pack-up everyday, he gets together with the boys — Farhan, Ritesh (co-producer Ritesh Sidhwani), Bamzee (Boman Irani) and Kunal (Kapoor) — among others, to play ball.
"They were all hooked on this game called FIFA 2010 and would play for hours. Priyanka (Chopra) and I were reduced to being the cheerleaders," Lara chuckles. There’s been plenty of speculation over the last few weeks about the ‘icy’ vibes between Chopra and Dutta in ‘icy’ Berlin. The amiable actor attributes the buzz to the over-active imagination of some journalist.
She points out that Chopra wasn’t around during her initial stay in Berlin. It was only when she left to come back for five days that Priyanka joined the Don 2 team. “We’ve been together for only a really short time but we had a blast,” Dutta clarifies. “I’ve known Priyanka for far too long, dating back to our modelling days and our debut film Andaz, for our equation to be affected by rumours.”
Dutta insists that Chopra is the one of the most talented actors in the industry today and is warmed by her excitement over Dutta’s engagement. She smiles, “Priyanka was making my plans for me.”