Monday, July 30, 2007

A few understand silence, Sushmita Sen

Susmita Sen's quite moments are not so quite after all.

For someone as restless in spirit and body as Sushmita Sen, the deathly stillness of her character in Ram Gopal Varma’s Ramgopal Varma ki Aag was a revelation.

“I virtually had to tie myself down. It’s not that I don’t speak in the film. But, I say whatever I’ve to through my eyes. I’ve more still moments in this film than in any other cinema that I’ve done. It’s the quietest character I’ve ever played,” said Sushmita.

“It’s not that my character, Durga, doesn’t speak. It’s that inner tranquillity. And, hats off to Ramu for signing someone with a strong image like me to play someone like Durga ... it requires guts and hindsight. Ramu has both,” she adds.

Sushmita rewinds to Jaya Bachchan who played Radha in Ramesh Sippy’s Sholay. “It was one of the most difficult roles in Sholay. Jayaji was fabulous. Very few people in our cinema understand the sounds of silence. But, let me tell you, she played Radha, I play Durga. She was very passive. I’m very aggressive,” the actress said.

The Bollywood diva is a huge fan of Malayalam superstar Mohanlal and is elated about sharing screen space with him. “I’ve stood in the same frame as Mohanlal. I’m honoured. To watch him perform is to watch a whole textbook on Indian cinema unfold in front of your eyes. He’s that brilliant.”

The film had to be renamed as Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag as Sasha Sippy, the grandson of G P Sippy who produced the 1970s hit, had problems with Varma releasing his film with the word Sholay in its title.

Sushmita is all praise for her co-star Prashant Raj. “He’s very good. In his very first film he has to stand next to stalwarts like Amitabh Bachchan, Mohanlal and Ajay Devgan. That isn’t easy.” Tell her she has a head-start of at least seven years over Prashant, and Sushmita laughs, “Trust me he looks really nice with me.”

However, she has no scenes with Amitabh Bachchan who plays dacoit Babban Singh in the film. “Not this time. But, we had lots of scenes together in two films we did earlier — Hindustan Ki Kasam and Aankhen. In Ramgopal Varma ki Aag, we don’t come face to face at all.”

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