She's unpredictable.. but if her mood swings are legendary.. so is her warmth and her gift for lacerating performances. And of course, her liaisons continue to be ideal grist for the gossip mills. Here’s Sushmita Sen in dialogue with Adeeb Hafiz
Her classy penthouse in Pali Hill is her paradise.. she has created a world for herself.. with her books, music and a computer on which she often writes poetry At this very moment, she’s in a convivial mood, and I ask:
Why have you been hibernating of late?
Hibernating by someone else’s definition! I don’t do the socially doable things. But I have the busiest life in the world. I run three companies, I’ve been fighting litigation cases for the past 16 months. I’m endorsing five brands. I shoot for my films and I’m a mother. I don’t have time for the rest of the world. I like the other side of 30.
It’s joked that you’ve become a Greta Garbo.
(Laughs) I’m a people’s person. Still, I don’t mind being called Garbo. I’m leading my life just the way I want to..
<b1>Recently Ashley Judd and you visited the red-light area of Kamathipura. What was the experience like?
It was an eye-opener. Ashley Judd is very committed to the cause. In India, we work for any cause as long as we can do our bit. I believe that’s the best way to live. You can’t say the AIDs awareness cause is more important than working for the Thalessmia society or a children’s orphanage.
To come to your career, haven’t you made some wrong choices?
I’ve done a few wrong things in my life but they are not career choices.. in terms of movies or money. Sure, some choices haven’t been the smartest moves but I do what I can to the best of my ability .
You regret doing any films?
Mujhse regret nahin hota. I may have regretted getting myself into a situation but doing a film, “Never!” But sometimes, the people involved with the film I am in..are well aheemmmm.
What have happened to your plans to produce Rani Lakshmibai?
It’s happening at its own pace. It’s the only film I’m interested in producing right now..and I want to do it without any pressures.The research work is over, there are files and files to go through. As I see it, we will go into production by August 2008 and the film should release by the end of 2009.
I’ve passed the age where I go looking for a film. If I really want to do a film or a role, I’ll make it happen for myself.
Are you satisfied with your career?
I’m thrilled. I’m working with the people I want to. No reason, no logic. Honestly I’m just as talented or not talented as any other person in the business. In fact, most of the time I feel others are far more talented than I am. I came from nowhere..for me to come this far is an achievement.
Do you lack ambition?
Yeah. I’m not ambitious. I had an age for that. Now I inspire.. I don’t get ambitious. I’m a Scorpio.. so you should know for me, envy soon turns to pride.
Now, how have you reacted to the teasers of Karma Confessions and Holi that have a kissing shot of Randeep Hooda and you?
I didn’t like this one bit and I’ve let them know that. Actually, I don’t get surprised at anything anymore, I expect the worst from anything. This is not my family.
This is show business which will do whatever they can to make their product sell. I’m not shocked, I’m angry. Mercifully, the producers are now taking the teaser off and showing a new promo. The new management understands and appreciates that it’s sleazy to market a film like this.
Were you upset when a magazine wrote that you are going the Parveen Babi way?
I’m someone who came into this business years ago.. with articles 10 times worse than this one. There is nothing anyone can say about me that will shake my ground. For me, it’s another article that came and went.
However, I did take an immense amount of offence..how can it be said that I’m going the Parveen Babi way? She had a medical condition. She probably had an extremely hard life behind walls and curtains.. yet she went ahead and entertained the country for eons. When you remember her, you remember her with respect. There is no concept like “Parveen Babi”, irrespective of whom you are talking about.
I was very offended by the fact that they were turning her into a species. Forget me, I’m alive and kicking. I don’t give a damn about this. But hey, is this how you remember someone after she is gone? I won’t allow that with my name next to it for sure. That’s the only thing that bothers me about, it nothing else.
Apparently the staff whom you had sacked, provided information for the article.
The fact that I lived with them for seven to ten years is already giving them way too much importance. Even a line about them in this interview will be an insulting to me.
<b3>Do you like people on first sight?
My mother says, “When it comes to trusting people, my daughter does that with her eyes wide open.” I appreciate my mother’s concern but I also appreciate the fact that I can make mistakes.I never dislike anyone at fist sight..
You liked Aishwarya Rai on first sight?
Yes. I thought she was gorgeous. I said OOH-WOW!!
Are you planning to raise more babies?
Inshaallah many more. When you start raising one, you realise what it takes. I want to be little more settled before bringing up more babies. I don’t want to be running from studio to studio and raising children.
Your men never seem to get over you?
(Smiles) Is that right?
Vikram Bhatt made Ankahee based on you.
(Laughs) Oh that’s right. Actually that’s one example.. I wish some men would get over me. In any case, why should anyone have to get over anyone else? Everyone should just cherish the time they existed for each other in their lives. And it doesn’t have to be forever.
Do you forgive people?
I really forget. I have a very short memory.
Now that you have a production company do you plan to make a movie on Vikram Bhatt?
Do you really think I would give him that much importance?
Any marriage plans?
I’ve had this plan but dil maanna chahiye na. The point is I’ve fallen in love before. I’ve lived in before, I’ve had relationships before. But I have never married. To get married there has to be a strong feeling of knowing. Till I don’t get that feeling, I I won’t.
How do you react rumours of a split between Manav Menon and you?
If it makes anyone happy, so be it. Sometimes when they cross a line of decency, I step up.
Randeep Hooda talks about you in interviews..Vikram Bhatt makes a movie about you. Do men use you to gain mileage?
These are people I’ve loved. I can’t look at them as people who’re getting mileage from me. If they choose to talk about me, well they have earned it. (Laughs) I don’t know how the journos have earned it but they keep writing about me.