Their tight schedules haven’t left them with much time for each other in the two weeks since they tied the knot, but Lara Dutta has no complaints. Mention the Goa wedding and a smile lights up her face. “It was beautiful… Mahesh (husband Mahesh Bhupathi) and I wrote our own vows and he danced the first waltz of his life with me,” says Lara.
Her tennis ace husband is her partner, both personally and professionally. His Big Daddy Productions has joined hands with Eros International and Dutta’s Bheegi Basanti Production for a road movie, Chalo Dilli that was wrapped up in 33 days and is eyeing an April 29 release.
The actor reasons she’d rather take on cricket than risk her little big film getting lost amongst all the big films that will release post IPL. “We Indians love going to the movies and the first edit of Chalo Dilli looks wonderful,” she says, admitting that plans are underway for Production No. 2.
She’s quick to add that she doesn’t want to get too ambitious too soon. “I’d rather stick to small budget entertainers presently, but Mahesh wants to get bigger and better. He’s been involved with Chalo Dilli, right from the scripting and filming to the editing and music. He’s an astute businessman, but just because we’re married now doesn’t mean we have to constantly produce films together,” she adds.
The former Miss Universe has one big release coming up later this year. Farhan Akhtar’s much-hyped Don sequel has been testing endurance levels of the actors, particularly Shah Rukh Khan’s, given that he’s been simultaneously shooting two action films, RA.One and Don 2. “I don’t know how he does it, after Blue (2008) I can’t think of doing another physically demanding film for at least two years. It takes great mental resolve to push your body through another hard day’s work every morning. It’s easier to look glam and mysterious,” she laughs.
Dutta is in prime physical condition, having just come out with her second fitness DVD. After triggering off a lifestyle change with Yoga: Recovery and Rejuvenation, she’s moved to the next level of fitness with Power Play. Brought out under the brand H.E.A.L. (Health, Exercise and Longevity), the 40-minute exercise routine uses strength and cardio to bring about weight loss and build muscle tone.
“There are different routines for different body types,” informs the actor, who will soon launch a line of shoes too. “Shoes are my weakness, no matter what the price. No, don’t ask me how many pairs I own. I’ll be dubbed the next Imelda Marcos, who supposedly owned 3,000 pairs.”
Ask her when she’ll partner Bhupathi on court and Dutta says, “I played tennis when I was younger, but movies don’t leave you with much time for anything else. But now that I will be travelling with Mahesh, I hope to play more. And till I get better at the game, I can always distract him with my short skirts.”