No remakes for me: Bhoomika
Having made a splash in southern films, Bhoomika Chawla is now set to make her Bollywood debut with Tere Naam in which she plays the object of Salman Khan's adoration.
The film directed by Satish Kaushik is a remake of a Telugu blockbuster, Sethu, and not a typical launch film for a debutante. "It's a little different from the usual launch films for newcomers. I play a very simple small town girl from a fiercely orthodox family whose life begins and ends with home and college," Bhoomika told IANS.
"No late nights at the disco for her," she says and laughs. The petite and demure actress became an overnight star in Telugu films when she did Surya's Khushi. Kareena Kapoor who did the Hindi remake kept insisting that Bhoomika should've done Khushi in Hindi.
"Coming from her that's a very big compliment. But I've made a very conscious and definite career decision about remakes. It's quite simple. I won't do them. Though Khushi was never offered to me in Hindi, even if it had been I'd have declined.
"I feel you can never repeat a performance, at least not without losing the original favour. I don't mind being in a Hindi remake if I'm not in the original.
"I'm doing the Hindi version of Run with Abhishek Bachchan because I wasn't in the Tamil original with Madhavan. That's going to be my second Hindi release. May be my role in Run isn't as pivotal as my role in Tere Naam.
But then where in Bollywood these days does the leading lady have a wide variety of choices? "Though I've seen some unconventional films like Bhoot, Darna Manaa Hai and Joggers' Park coming out in Hindi, most products have the actresses looking identical. If you put 10 of them in a row it'd be hard to identify them!"
The soft-spoken girl says she would rather be choosy. "That's the way I'm in the south. In four years I've done just nine films. In Bollywood too I'd follow my policy of two films at a time.
"It isn't as if I'd give up my career in the south. If I get good scripts there, why not? I like the working atmosphere in the south." Bhoomika comes from a Sikh family. "I did a few ads in Mumbai. I did get a few offers in Mumbai. But they weren't the kind of films I wanted to do. So when someone called me for a screen test in the south I took the offers in Tamil and Telugu. Now I'm back where I started," she smiles.
"And it isn't as if I've become a south girl. I've remained stationed in Mumbai for the last six years even while pursuing a career in the south. And that's how it will remain. "Right now I'm shooting for a Telugu film called Misama by Neelkantha. It's about a husband, wife and another woman, though not a typical extramarital triangle."
Her face lights up when she speaks about her co-star in Tere Naam. "Salman Khan is a lovely person to work with." Pleased with the way her career has shaped up, Bhoomika says: "I want to do different roles, though not too many of those are going around in Bollywood. Right now I'm focussed on Tere Naam. It being my debut I want to see how audiences react to me.
"I'm open to every kind of role, from Meena Kumari in Sahib Bibi Aur Ghulam to Tabu in Astitva to Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich. I don't mind being sensuous on screen. But I don't want to be a prop."