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Isha says adieu to item numbers

Isha Koppikar says Shabri and Don mark a new phase in her career.

india Updated: Apr 29, 2006 17:10 IST
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style
Hiren Kotwani/ HT Style

Marie Curie once said, "Life is not easy for any of us. We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained."

This seems to have become the stunning Ishaa Koppikar’s mantra as she gears up for two of the biggest films of her career – Ram Gopal Varma's Shabri  and Farhan Akhtar’s Don – The Chase Begins Again. Even after chartbusters like Khallas (Company) and Ishq Samundar (Kaante), she waited till she got her due. And that came in the role of a paan-chewing cop in Kya Kool Hain Hum, which showcased her super comic timing.

In Shabri, by debutante director Lalit Marathe, she plays a female don. "Shabri  is a gangster. You’ll see a complete metamorphosis of her character and how she changes along the journey," she explains, adding, "Shabri is very rural, sari-clad and with a gun in her hand."

Her look is already the talk of town, what with stories of unit guys unable to recognise her and not letting her on the set. She says, "It has happened quite a few times. Once I was talking to the director and this guy tried to shoo me away, thinking I was an extra asking for work. On one hand it feels great and at the same time I’m like 'Don’t you know I'm Ishaa Koppikar, the heroine of the film?"

Isha is ready for two of the biggest films of her career – Ram Gopal Varma's Shabri  and Farhan Akhtar’sDon – The Chase Begins Again.

Coming from a non-film background, Koppikar has "struggled a lot for a decent role in a good film. Initially Ramu


wasn’t convinced I could play Shabri but Lalit was adamant. I believe Ramu


was pleased when he later saw some stills of the film," she says with pride.

From being a supporting part in most films to being the protagonist in Shabri, does she feel the burden of carrying the film on her shoulders? She says, "Not really. The story is fantastic and I’ve given everything to this role. No one can predict How the audience will respond."

From playing a gangster in one film to a moll in Don, where she plays Aparna Chaudhary’s character in the original Amitabh Bachchan film. What scope does she have in a film, which also has Priyanka Chopra and Kareena Kapoor? "Just like how Shabri is about a female protagonist, Don is Shah Rukh Khan’s film. But the screenplay and the characters are very contemporary. I know Priyanka and Kareena’s roles and my role are well etched compared to the original," she informs.

So is it goodbye to item songs? "It’s certainly goodbye for now. Initially too I didn’t want to do it but because I have no godfather to back me, I had to struggle to reach a position where I can pick and choose,” she says.

Any regrets? "A lot of my friends asked me why I did Maine Pyaar Kyun Kiya. Kya Kool Hain Hum had released before that and was a box-office hit. My performance was appreciated in it. I’m optimistic Shabri  and Don will give me my my due."

About a sequel to Kya Kool Hain Hum, nothing seems to have come after the initial announcement. “We’d like to surpass the original. I believe work on the script is on and that it’s supposed to roll in 2007,” she signs off adding that it’s Shabri, which she’s pin ning all her hopes on. “Trust me, two more months and when it releases it will be all worth it.”