As 2006 ends, so do Neha Dhupia's current film commitments. “Only Sanjay Gupta's Dus Kahaniyaan remains to be shot. But since it's a short story, filming will be over in a few days,” she says, en route to Pune on Monday to “catch up with friends.”
But before the curtains come down on 2006, Dhupia will be performing at Country Club, Mumbai on New Year's Eve. “I've yet to finalise the tracks which I'll be dancing on,” she says about her act which will be choreographed by duo Pappu-Maalu. Ask her if such performances compromise a star's exclusivity and she disagrees, “Stars have been performing at shows for a long time. Besides, you get instant reactions from your audience.”
Revealing her own New Year plans, she says, “All my friends will be there to see me perform and after the show, I'll be bringing in the new year at a private bash.” The teetotaler's message for New Year revellers: “Do not drink and drive. It's most important to exercise restraint because you could be putting both your and others' lives in danger.”
After her ‘Only Shah Rukh Khan and sex sell' declaration, Dhupia's current stance is to “Do roles with substance and films that make a complete package.” So would she wear a bikini if she were offered a film like Dhoom 2? “Dhoom 2 is a good, slick film. The scenes of the actresses were shot aesthetically so I wouldn't have any qualms about wearing a bikini for something like that.”
Surprising, because one thought she had grown out of her sex symbol image of Qayamat, Julie and Sheesha and was working towards earning recognition as an actress. “Agreed, but let's not forget that wherever I am today is because of those films. If I hadn't done them, then I wouldn't have been here,” she says, adding, “I neither regret them nor am I ashamed of them.
But at the same time, I wouldn't do a bikini scene just for the sake of it. The scene has to justify wearing it.” She has films like Shootout At Lokhandwala, Mithiya and Delhi Heights lined up for release in the next year.
Before signing off, we mention squash player Ritwik Bhattacharya. “I won't deny that he's a good friend. But that's about it,” she says.
Email author: hiren.kotwani@ hindustantimes.com