Tanushree could win it for India: Lara

India at Miss Universe. Well, it has been an incredible journey, not least for Lara Dutta became the most beautiful girl in the Universe in 2000. Four years later, the model-turned-actress feels Miss India-Universe Tanushree Dutta has it in her to reclaim the title. Lara talks about India's chances at the Miss Universe 2004 pageant in a freewheeling chat with HindustanTimes.com.
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Published on May 31, 2004 05:40 PM IST
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PTI | Byhindustantimes.com, New Delhi

Lara Dutta became the most beautiful girl in the Universe in 2000. Four years later, the model-turned-actress feels Miss India-Universe Tanushree Dutta has it in her to reclaim the title. Lara talks about India's chances at the Miss Universe 2004 pageant in a freewheeling chat with HindustanTimes.com.

"I sincerely wish Tanushree can achieve what Sushmita (Sen) and I once did. Although it has been four years since we last won the Miss Universe crown, I have a feeling Tanushree will prove lucky this time around. Besides lots of hard work and concentration, she certainly needs all the good wishes she can get. I want her to know that we are all at her side and confident about her chances. She's a very confident and down-to-earth girl and I'm sure she knows what she has to do.

Having been to the pageant myself, I imagine how tough it would be these days. All the 80 beautiful women from around the world will be putting their best foot forward to try and win. In the end, it will be 80 per cent preparation and 20 per cent luck that ought to make the difference. In 2000, it was a photo finish between Miss Venezuela Claudia Moreno, Miss Spain Helen Lindes and myself. To be honest, I was quite surprised when I won. Though I had been confident when I entered the last five, the uncertainly of the situation always plays on your mind.

Keeping a cool head, being on-the-ball with your answers and loads of confidence mean everything in this contest. You have to have faith in yourself and believe that you are the most beautiful person in the fray, not only in looks but also in every other way.

Personally, it has been a very satisfying experience. I got the opportunity to do a lot of charity work during my tenure as Miss Universe. My stature as a beauty queen helped me do well in modelling as well as films. I made my Bollywood debut with 'Andaaz' and as you know, it became a huge hit. Since then I have worked in films like 'Mumbai se Aaya Mera Dost', 'Masti' and a couple of others and I am happy with the way my career is shaping up. I am here to stay and continue the good work.

After becoming Miss Universe I said I wanted to become a war correspondent because I was very impressed with CNN's coverage. I am sure someday I will get the time to fulfill my other interests in life as well.

List of Indian participants at Miss Universe

Read what former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen has to say about the pageant

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