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Who needs the fattest pay cheque in the world, says Neha Dhupia

Bollywood actress Neha Dhupia tells Roshmila Bhattacharya that she won’t spend her time and energy on a project unless it’s worth it.
Hindustan Times | By Roshmila Bhattacharya, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAY 27, 2008 12:54 PM IST

Neha Dhupia on all that a girl could want today..quizzed by Roshmila Bhattacharya

What are you doing in Goa?
(Laughs) I’m working on my tan, and I mean it. A year ago, I bought a bungalow here. It’s finally ready.

Is it on the beach?
No, it’s off the beach but I have a pool. I love the water.

Is that why you accepted a soap ad?
I accepted it because it’s not just another commercial. It tells a story. You’ve seen nothing like this before. It took us five days to shoot.

Where did you shoot it?
In Bangkok. (Laughs) I went with one suitcase and returned with five. I picked up clothes, shoes, bags.. all those girly things.

First it was Vinod Khanna, then Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan. And now you’re in an ad with Saif Ali Khan. What do you feel about men in a woman’s soap world?
(Laughs) He’s one guy but he’s outnumbered. Priyanka (Chopra) and I are there.. so women are still in the majority. Even in the Lux ad, Shah Rukh was surrounded by a bevy of beauties. So I don’t really see the guys encroaching on our territory.

What’s happening on the film front?
(Excitedly) I have this really interesting film coming up, Shivam Nair’s Maharathi (it’s been retitled Chala Murari Murder Karne) in which I play Naseer’s young wife who’s interested in a lot more than just him.

Working with actors like Naseeruddin Shah must be a high.
It’s not important whom I’m performing with, I just want to be acknowledged as a good actress. I’ve been around for five years. I know I’m talented and come with the package of looks too. Even if it takes me another five years, I won’t quit till I have proved myself as an actress. This New Year, I made a resolution that I won’t spend my time and energy on a project unless it’s worth it.. not even for the fattest pay cheque in the world. I’d rather laze in bed till noon.

So why are you doing a film called Hot?
I’m not. I’m sure you read that on my ‘official’ web site. Well, first let me tell you that it’s not been put up by me. I’m not doing any of the films mentioned on it—Hot, Kabhi Pyar Na Karna and Kuch Love Kuch Drama.

But you do feature in

Raat Gaye Baat Gaye

. Rajat Kapoor has been working out for an intimate moment with you in the film where he has to drop the towel, literally.

(Laughs) Rajat is a liar. I don’t think he’s visited a gym even once in his life. He’s blessed with a lean physique.

Raat Gaye

.. is a fun film about a beautiful woman who drives everyone crazy. (With a laugh) I’ve been in situations like that before. By the way, I’m sure Rajat will look great in a towel.

There’s also

Singh is Kingg

in which, we’re told, you’ve done your own stunts.

Yeah, I pop out of a limousine top and go bang-bang at the guy on a bike in front of me. It made me feel really powerful. It wouldn’t have been a big deal if it had been a guy but a woman in an evening gown drew a round of applause on the streets of Australia.

Why haven’t we seen you cheering for an IPL team?
I was approached but I was out of the country. I just got back from London.

You contracted mumps during your stay there.
Yes, can you believe it at my age? It was so painful. I couldn’t talk or eat. I was popping eight painkillers a day. Worse, I was alone.. no maid..even my mom couldn’t fly over because of visa problems.

Thank God, I was on a holiday, so I wasn’t jeopardising some filmmaker’s time. (With a laugh) I have this knack of catching childhood diseases. Two years ago, I had chicken pox. But I’ve always believed that you need to fall ill once in awhile. It helps get rid of the negativity in your system... and leaves you feeling great and looking gorgeous.

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