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Koena Mitra: taking flight

Bollywood actress Koena Mitra speaks to Roshmila Bhattacharya on Karna, kick-boxing and a kick-ass cop movie.
Hindustan Times | By Roshmila Bhattacharya, Mumbai
UPDATED ON OCT 01, 2007 07:13 PM IST

You're all set to take on Krrish?
May be not Krrish but my supergirl has plenty of jaadu-power of her own. Even before Karna I'd got two Hollywood offers. One scared me off because it was on lesbians.. the other didn't have much meat. Karna's perfect because the role's challenging and I'd worked with PNC before.

We've heard that you had to go through an eight-day screen-test. What tilted the scales?
They wanted an Asian face...dusky skin, big eyes, long hair and a toned body. Fortunately, since my supermodel days, I've been into fitness. And despite being a big girl I've lead a very boring life.

No late nights or missing workouts. I've been told often that I'm too thin but I have continued with my weight training, kick-boxing and running. I wanted a lean, toned body. Not because that's what is ‘in' and what men like, but because that's what I like.

Has the exercise regime doubled now?
No, I've only changed my diet and am working towards bringing down the fat percentage so the muscles underneath show.

You've been training in Tai Chi too?
Yeah and it's cured me of vertigo. When you're strapped into a harness and you're on the wire, you can't be afraid of heights!

You're looking international... like a Vogue model?
Don't say that or my Indian makers will run away. People have already tagged me a sex symbol. I have no problems with that though I don't try to hard to be glamorous. At the end of the day I'm a simple Bengali girl whose heart is in Bollywood. This is where I want to succeed with roles that go beyond the wife and girlfriend mould. Thank God our makers have got into the experimental mode now, and are beginning to look beyond the fair, lighteyed, girl-next-door prototype.

Then why aren't you doing more Hindi movies? There's been only the fleeting Heyy Babyy after Apna Sapna Money Money?
You can do 10 films a year, prove that you're a star and rake in the moolah. Or you could wait and sign on projects that won't get washed away on day one.

I'm doing two more films with Subhashji (Ghai), Karna and Sanjay Gupta has promised to get back with the right project. I'd rather do one performance-oriented Anamika than a dozen singing-dancing roles.

It's taken me beyond get-ups, make-up and glam-glam item videos. There are two other films with new directors. One is an Archie comic comedy and I'm a drama queen a la Veronica. In the other I'm a kick-ass cop.. the only girl in the film.

Your favourite fantasy figure?
Spiderman. I wouldn't mind being his girl. We could breakfast in Italy, lunch in Kolkata and fly to London for dinner. And thanks to his costume, no one would know his real identity.

What's with the tattoo?
I used to wear a belly chain but it was a bother. So I got a chain with a pendant tattooed low down on my waist. It was very painful. No more tattoos for me.

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