I would have done Billu Barber at any cost: Lara Dutta
Having been away from the screen for over a year, Lara Dutta tells Ritujaay Ghosh why she won’t be typecast.Updated: Feb 07, 2009 17:58 IST
The last year may have raised some doubts in the minds of her fans as to whether she would bag any more big projects ever.
Partner was a hit but Govinda and Salman Khan took home all the accolades, while Jhoom Barabar Jhoom tanked at the box office. There followed a prolonged absence from theatres. But it’s her self-confidence that helps Lara Dutta take the more unconventional route to the top. She has waited for good scripts and author-backed roles to come her way, and is ready to reap the rewards.
Lara’s patience paid off when she received a call from Red Chillies Entertainment, though she did wonder if she could do justice to the role on offer. Once again, her self-confidence came to the rescue. And so she stars alongside Shah Rukh Khan and Irrfan in Priyadarshan’s Billu Barber. “I just wanted to be part of this film because of the story. I would have done this role at any cost, even if it meant being in just one frame,” says Lara.
At the same time, working with SRK and Irrfan “was a bonus”. Also, playing a deglamourised rural woman came quite easily to Lara. “I am more comfortable playing deglamourised roles these days. I do not want to be typecast because I want audiences to watch the character in a film, not just Lara Dutta,” she says.
And for all the ease with which she played it, her new character was challenging. Of course, she played a similar role four years ago in Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost, but Billu Barber demanded greater commitment, more so because the man at the helm was Priyadarshan. “This time, it’s a completely deglamourised role… without even a scrap of make up. My saris were rinsed in tap water to give them the rustic look, so I’m more earthy,” she explains.
Lara believes her hard work and commitment will bring success. Having worked with Priyadar-shan earlier, she knew it wouldn’t be easy for her to carry the role. A bit of research here and there helped but it was her co-stars who helped her gain confidence. “Priyan sir is a hard taskmaster. Having worked with him, I knew as much. He is a one-take director because he thinks too many takes for a scene makes the actor lose spontaneity. And both Irrfan and SRK are flawless,” says Lara.
The story of the film revolves around Billu, played by Irrfan, and Lara plays his wife, but she finds every character in the film equally important. “The character needed me to look like Smita Patil, who fit into these roles so easily. Here, the story was more important. Trust me, playing a mother was not an issue. I would have played a mother of 20,” she laughs.
Understandably, Lara was busy shooting throughout the year and now has four big releases this year. Meanwhile, she has launched her website, which she hopes will help her reach out to fans. “It’s called mylaradutta.com as all the news comes from me. I hope that will put a stop to all the rumours,” she laughs again.
Billu Barber will be her first big release after more than a year (though she had a cameo in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi). She will once again be seen in her glamourous avatar in Anthony D’Souza’s Blue, where she will do underwater stunts, followed by Ravi Chopra’s Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai and David Dhawan’s Do Knot Disturb.
“Both these films are comedies and I am cast opposite Govinda, a long-time friend. In Blue, though the men do most of the action, I really enjoyed the experience of being part of an action film,” she says. All that remains is for audiences to enjoy it too.
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