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Tuesday, Dec 10, 2019

'My only priority in life right now is work'

Lara Dutta has been making waves in the Bahamas. And the buzz is that she looks spectacular in a bikini. Roshmila Bhattacharya speaks to the actress.

entertainment Updated: Jul 15, 2008 12:25 IST
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Roshmila Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times

She’s been making waves in the Bahamas.And the buzz is that she looks spectacular in a bikini. But with this lady it’s not all body, never mind that it’s a perfect 10. Known for her razor sharp intelligence, she wowed an international jury and walked away with the Miss Universe crown. She’s hard to stump. But

Roshmila Bhattacharya

fires a volley of questions anyway. Lara Dutta takes them head on. Do read between the lines.

So how were the Bahamas? You were there for the last two months filming



The Bahamas is one of the most beautiful places in the world I have been to. It is sunny and has a great energy.The sea is every shade of blue. <b1>

You learnt to swim only after you signed this film?

Yeah, I learnt swimming only in February this year from a national level competitive coach.. Till I signed


, I was terrified of water. I almost drowned on my 15th birthday and ever since I’ve steered clear of the pool. This film has been the most physically challenging project of my career.

Did you go scuba diving?What’s the biggest thrill about being in the sea?

I am a certified scuba diver now.. and a professional free diver too. So yes, I spent a lot of time in the sea. Diving with the sharks has been my biggest thrill so far.

You’ve been working out a lot for the role. We’re told you were put on a strict regimen of diet and exercise.

I work out six days a week. Zarina Watson, my fitness trainer, and I worked on a special muscle toning programme. The producers gave us five months to whip ourselves into shape and it was hardwork. <b2>

Apparently you will be wearing a bikini in the film.

Why should I answer that and spoil the fun? Watch the film and you’ll know.

The title Blue is going to invite a lot of puns


People have already started saying that you’re doing a blue film.. that a sequel of


is underway.

People will perceive things the way their minds function. I see the colours of the sea, the calm of the water and its depths when I hear the word ‘blue’.

Deepika Padukone was the original choice for the role. It was only because she didn’t have the dates that you were confirmed.

I have no idea about that. But I’m pretty sure that there are very few actresses who could or would have done what was required. The film brings back the


team of Akshay Kumar, Priyanka Chopra and Lara Dutta.

How did it feel to be with the co-stars of your debut films and realise how far you’ve come in the years since?

Priyanka is no longer doing the film, it’s Katrina (Kaif) now. Akshay hasn’t changed one bit since


. On this schedule he was constantly egging me on to push myself physically.

The gossip mills have been buzzing that Sanjay Dutt was the one who had recommended you for the role. Didn’t that create problems with his wife Manyata who was on location too?

Sanjay Dutt is a fine actor and a very nice human being. But he certainly wasn’t the reason for me bagging the movie. No one except the director (Tony), and the producer (Dhilin Mehta of Ashtavinayak) recommended me for the role.

Ravi Chopra’s

Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai

is supposedly a desi adaptation of the Hollywood hit,

My Cousin Vinny

. How close is the resemblance toMona Lisa Vito, played by Marissa Tomei in the original.

It’s actually very similar but the plot has been adapted to strike a chord with the Indian audiences.

There was a fire on the sets of

Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai

recently. Did that throw the schedule into a tizzy?

No, Ravi Chopra and BR Films are a very organised. They had things quickly under control. <b3>

You’ve been paired with Govinda for the first time? Is he still a



He is fabulous. Period.

Your other co-star from


, Salman Khan, is also making a special appearance in

Banda Yeh Bindaas Hai


(Smiles) Yes.

Salman is hosting a TV show

Dus ka Dum

.Will you appear on it as one of the special guests?

Of course, I had one of the biggest hits of last year (Partner) with him.

You’ve said that you always had that comic streak in you. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever done?

I’m called the female Jim Carrey by my family and friends. Does that answer your question?

You’re playing Irrfan Khan’s wife in

Billoo Barber

, a role nixed by Tabu, Amisha Patel and Juhi Chawla. Amisha in fact, has gone on record to say that it’s an insubstantial role. Did you take it up only because it is a Shah Rukh Khan production?

Biloo Barber

is a wonderful film. And sometimes a film in its totality is worth more than a role. <b4>

Without being diplomatic which of the two Khans do you prefer.. Shah Rukh or Irrfan?

I know SRK better, so I prefer him.

The Tamil film


with Rajnikant will come out before

Biloo Barber

which is a remake of the same Malayalam film. Won’t that affect the prospects of your film?

No, I don’t think it will make a difference.

How much did

Mission Ustad

do for the UNESCO cause?

Will you do any more TV shows?

Mission Ustad

was a show which highlighted several significant issues in a fun way. But no more TV for the present. I have some great films lined up, back-to-back this year.

And what about your personal life? After 15 years has Dino Morea turned from friend to ‘good friend’. And is Kelly Dorje still a friend?

My only priority in life right now is my work.

What did you think of Kelly’s

Don No 1..

and Dino’s

Sex on the Beach

in the

Dus Kahaniyan


I don’t reflect on anybody else’s careers.. only mine.