Elegance — that’s the first word that comes to mind when you see Soha Ali Khan. Even if she’s in jeans and a casual white top. On Monday afternoon, in her room at a city hotel, we came across a very affable Soha.
“How is Kolkata? How was Durga Puja?” she asks. Photo session over, it’s time for a chat.
She’s looking amazing in the posters of Sudhir Mishra’s Khoya Khoya Chaand. “Thank you,” she replies and adds without a blink, “No, I am not playing Waheeda Rehman.” That clears the air on reports that KKC is based on the love story between Guru Dutt and Waheeda.
“The character is a fictional one which is inspired by so many beautiful heroines of the ’50s, a period Sudhir is a huge fan of. Nikhat (her character’s name) has a bit of Meena Kumari, Madhubala, Nargis and Waheedaji, who worked in that period.”
KKC, she says, is the story of a heroine, her ambition, conflicts in love and relationships. “In one sense it is a very honest film and a positive one from Sudhir. It talks about the celebration of cinema with a message,” she says.
But comparisons are bound to creep in with past prima donnas of the silver screen. Soha stays cool as she adjusts the recorder.
<b1>“When you are playing a legendary actor from the ’50s, the fear is that you will be compared to people of that time period because the get up is the same. The effort is not to imitate them…but to try and capture a time period. And you have to trust your director,” she says, adding, “I feel I was up to the challenge.”
There was a shot where she Sudhir said that she looked like her amma, Sharmila Tagore, too. “My mother was a fashion icon in the ’60s. And there are so many get-ups of mine in the film. When we shot the ’60s portion of the film, there will be certain features we have in common because she is my mother.”
Soha is busy with good scripts — UTV’s Mumbai Meri Jaan, based on the Mumbai train blast last year, a horror film with UTV, a comedy with Shree Ashtavinayak Cine Vision Ltd and then there’s Sudhir’s next, Tera Kya Hoga Johnny.
She has never shied away from taking up challenges, be it, Crossroads, Ahista Ahista or her debut film, Iti Srikanto. “It’s all about good scripts and let me make it very clear that I am not in films for money or fame. The idea is to enjoy work and make an impact.” Yet banners are important since “packaging and marketing a film is important”.
There is another side to Soha. She is a very popular brand ambassador. We ask her about that. “The products that I choose have to be marketed well. I have to like the campaign, the way the ads are shot and so on.” She reaches her destination and we have to part ways.