Almost two years back, the extremely sizzling Urvashi Sharma scorched the big screen with her debut film Naqaab opposite Bobby Deol and Akshaye Khanna.
So much so, that she was touted as the next big thing not only because of her drop-dead-gorgeous looks but also because of the confidence she exuded on screen.
What held her back was a severe contract with Tips and after the recent fallout between her and the production company, Urvashi is raring to go again -- and this time, she's bagged films with the likes of Sanjay Dutt, Govinda, Shabana Azmi, Revathy and Jaya Bachchan. The only difference between then and now is Urvashi's sexy makeover -- she's all out to make a mark.
As I enter Hotel Sun N' Sand in Juhu, Mumbai, where the photo-shoot for this feature is taking place, I am quite taken aback when I see this beauty.
Flaunting her perfectly sculpted figure into different coloured bikinis, Urvashi makes it look like the outfits are custom-made for her. I watch her as she gently moulds her into this radiant, confident woman who has no qualms in showing off the best of herself by being outrageously sexy. Urvashi has always had this very different charisma about her.
Urvashi always wanted to be a part of this glamour world and she has absolutely no qualms in admitting it.
"I really enjoy being on the stage. You know, when I was in school, I used to perform and do everything to stay away from studies; be it sports, singing, dancing or whatever. I used to love the fact that I was on stage and everybody was looking at me. It gave me a different kind of a high. Plus, I am also a very good looking girl so I always got that extra attention. And it was this extra importance that has got me where I am today," she beams.
Not many know that Urvashi did print and television modelling for quite a while before joining films but she never really got down to walking on the ramp.
As she explains, "There is a very strong reason why I never did ramp modelling. I used to get Rs 10000 for a one day's show and was called for the rehearsals, dress fittings and all two days continuously. So, it was like working for two days and getting paid for one day, that too peanuts. When I did TV ads, I used to get about a lakh after which I used to sit at home and enjoy life for a month. It always made more sense for me to do television ads and not ramp work. But whatever said and done, modelling was like a stepping stone for me. It's my passion and it's what got me the recognition I have today."
It was also because of these modelling assignments that she was spotted and approached for Naqaab.
Urvashi smiles as she speaks, "Kumarji (Taurani) saw a lot of my ads and contacted me. He saw me at the time when there were five commercials of mine on air. First I did the 'Something Something' video with Mika for Tips, then I did another video for them called Doorie with Atif Aslam, which was such a super duper hit that they decided to do a film with me. I think it was the best launch I could ever ask for and all of it happened very quickly."
Text: Raedita Tandan Courtesy: Stardust
'After doing Naqaab, I didn't want to be seen in a stupid film'
Urvashi undoubtedly got a dream debut for someone who didn't come from a film family. And at the time she did, she was also said to have signed a contract with Tips that prohibited her from working with any other production house.
However, things seemed to have come to a standstill for her as Tips went on and gave a super hit in the form of Race while she was left with no work. What went wrong there?
"All this just happened; I didn't do anything purposely," she says assertively almost like she desperately wants to clear the air.
"I had a contract with Tips and a lot of people thought I was not allowed to work outside, something like what is happening with Anushka Sharma today. Although Anushka's contract clearly states that she cannot work outside, my contract was flexible but everybody ended up thinking that I was with Tips only and I was too busy. That's the reason a lot of people didn't approach me. Some were even scared to approach other producers. It's a big ego thing you know. A lot of people have egos and they don't want to deal with other producers for a new girl. So, after my debut movie, I did just one Telugu film called Three. I agree I got a lot of appreciation for that but one year passed by and I realised that this was not working for me. I spoke to Kumarji and told him that they weren't good to me and I wasn't good for them. I asked him to set me free," she maintains.
Then, taking a breather, she continues. "In fact, the casting of Race was done much before Naqaab; it had nothing to do with me. Naqaab materialised when Abbas-Mustan's film with Sanjay Dutt stopped as he got trapped in all the court cases. They had two months of time on their hands and it was within those two months that Naqaab was made. In one week, I met the directors, designers and the next thing I knew was that the shooting had started."
But didn't she feel the need to ask the Tauranis for a reason as to why they weren't making a movie with her?
Hearing my question, she thinks for a few seconds before answering it. "I don't know what was there in their minds. But after a point, I realised that they either they didn't want to work with me or they were not comfortable working with me. So, I very honestly told Kumarji to leave me. I didn't ask them the reason, to be very honest. You know, I got a lot of appreciation for Naqaab and Three. My whole funda is that I know I am good so if they don't want to work with me that's their problem. There was no way I was going to go and ask them why they weren't working with me," she ponders and adds.
"There was no point in being in a contract that was not working for any of us so he agreed and now the contract has been called off. I am completely out of Tips now. I believe any contract is like a marriage; you have to be honest and work towards it. Even if one or two things go wrong, it doesn't work and I think that's what happened in my case so we amicably parted ways," says a relieved Urvashi.
She might not have done a movie in the past two years but she created quite a splash in first season of Akshay Kumar's reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi.
Urvashi reveals why she took up the show. "After my contract with Tips was nullified, I wanted to be seen in a good manner. After doing Naqaab, I didn't want to be seen in a stupid film. So, I thought the show was a very different concept and I knew I would be the best on the show -- that's why I did it. I faced the camera after a year, which made me a little bit nervous and I hadn't done stunts like these before but my career was at stake and I knew I had to perform. If I hadn't performed, I knew my career would be finished so I gave in my best and it turned out to be good."
Furthermore, it was also during Naqaab that Urvashi was linked to her on-screen lover, Akshaye Khanna. They were said to be having a torrid affair, which ended badly but Urvashi rubbishes this piece of news.
"The best part about these rumours is that no one ever saw me go for dinners with him, meet him or even go to his house for that matter. We hardly even met at social gatherings. You won't believe the last time I met him was before Naqaab released. It was for a promotional event, which was ironically the first and the last time we were seen in public together. It's been two years that I haven't met him now. I am in touch with him on and off. Once a month, I do call him or he calls me but that's it. We keep making plans to meet up but it's been two years and that's never happened," she smiles.
'I will never hug, kiss or touch in public'
Till quite a while back there were also strong rumours about her supposed romance with Kumar Taurani. What does she have to say about that?
"Well," she immediately answers without flinching for even a second. "If I were having an affair with him, I wouldn't have done only one film with them, right? I would have got more films with them. We just shared a friendly professional relationship. We're still friends; I still call him and go to his office and meet him. There is no bitterness between us as we broke the contract cordially. He didn't want to harm my career and allowed me to go work outside. That's that," she says.
Well, Akshaye and Kumar may be link-ups of the past. Right now, Urvashi is said to be totally smitten by Harman Baweja. They've even been spotted together on many occasions. Urvashi seems more comfortable facing this one.
"I won't deny that Harman and I are friends. We're friends on Facebook because I recently got addicted to this site and so I always tell the people I know to add me on it. We've become friends and we talk sometimes. We met at a party at a nightclub through common friends."
So, if there is nothing between the two, what about those reports of her cosying up with him in a club?
"That's all bullshit. All I'll do is hold hands because I can't see in a club as it's too dark and too crowded. If that's being cosy, so be it but I know my limits. I will never hug, kiss or touch in public. I don't believe in public display of affection because all that is very personal. And Harman and I go partying together because of our common friends," she states categorically. "I mean, this is so funny, you know. I was linked with Aditya Datt a few months back, and then when I went to a party with Aditya where I met Harman and then I was linked with Harman."
But there's no denying that what she shares with Harman is something special. "It's because I like him. That's why he's my friend. Otherwise Harman would be like other guys who meet me at a party and then go away. We became friends because we like each other. But I don't know Harman that well to be seeing him. We've met a couple of times; he's a friendly boy with a good sense of humour but that's it. I have to know him better than this to be in a relationship with him. I don't want to fall in love blindly and then later realise what I have gotten into," she says boldly.
"Also, I'd like to add, as far as talking to him or commenting on his Facebook wall, well, I write on all my friends' walls, I change my status everyday, comment on my friends' photographs. So what's the big deal?"
So does that mean Urvashi is still single despite being one of the hottest girls we have today? Or is it that she is just too discreet about the men in her life?
"You know, for me right now, it's not a matter of situation; it's a matter of choice. I am not discreet or anything; it's just that I don't want to be in a relationship because I feel initially everything is very rosy but in a few months, it's a mess. And right now, I don't want to get into a mess. I have seen so many friends with so many guys and realised that after a point, guys seem to change. For example, if they like your dressing sense initially, they won't like it after a while. All this is not worth it," she introspects a little and says. "I think if you like the person, you like them entirely for who they are. I am not purposely trying to stay away from a relationship but I just haven't found anyone genuine enough. If things have to happen, they will eventually happen and I just like to believe that. Right now, I am single and I am very happy. Except for my mother, I am not answerable to anybody," she replies seeming deep in thought.
'As long as I don't look cheap, I am open to skin show'
Clearly, a relationship might be a burden for her at present but what's the harm in casual dating?
"I don't believe in dating," she answers. "I am not that kind of a girl who'll date somebody for some time and see how it is. I'll start a relationship if I am comfortable with the person and his family. I'll accept the person for whatever he is; I'll accept his plus and minus points. Nobody's perfect and I certainly am not perfect. So if he's ready to accept me the way I am, I will do the same."
In that case, how would Urvashi react if her boyfriend were to ask her to shed this sexy image? Would she dump him or would she dump the image?
"I would rather dump him because I have worked very hard to reach where I have today and he hasn't helped me out at all," she says strongly opinionated on that one.
"He came into my life much later so he's nobody to tell me what I should or shouldn't do. It's my career. I have worked hard towards it. I am not going to make any compromises as far as my work is concerned. I would expect him to understand. Who the hell would he be to tell me what to do and what not to? If I'll ask a guy to discontinue something, do you think he'll ever do it?"
Urvashi has always looked extremely comfortable in her own skin. She'd rather wear skimpy clothes and be brazen about her body. Was she always like that?
"As long as I don't look cheap, I am open to skin show. Even if I am wearing a swimsuit, it should look sexy; it shouldn't look vulgar. My whole point is to look good whether it's sensual, sexy or glamorous. Nobody should say I am looking bad. I have been like that since always because I know I can carry it off. I am comfortable in this kind of skin show because I know I look good in it. In fact I look good in everything I wear," she giggles.
The fact remains that she is being regarded as one of the sexiest new girls in the industry. How does that make her feel?
"I've never been called a sex symbol before; people have only called me very pretty and beautiful. I sometimes have a doubt about that because people tell me I look classy, elegant, and pretty but not hot. So, it gets me thinking that maybe I'm not hot," she laughs.
But, being such a hot woman, she must have got a lot of propositions from men of all kinds -- the industry is full of them. Urvashi lets out a secret, "I remember this one bad proposition I got once. I went to a party and a guy was telling me how he went to jail and how depressed he was. He was trying to gain sympathy by telling me about his drug habit and how he was disowned by his parents. Listening to all that, I really didn't know how to react because he was talking like this to me at our first meeting when in fact he should have told me all the good things about him and not the bad. But I guess he was one of those guys who have this misconception that girls like only bad boys. I think he was too drunk or doped because that was a very stupid move to make on a first meeting."
Urvashi is also of the opinion that men always have sex on their minds and that rankles her no end.
"I think when a man is looking at a woman all he is thinking about is sex. At least most of them are. You can see it in their eyes. Of course I have encountered it. When they look at you, they are stripping you completely. There are some men who are so cheap and irritating that when they look at you while they are sitting, they'll start shaking their legs. It's disgusting. What's on their mind is on their faces and you can make out," she states wincingly.
With a hot new look, Urvashi now also has some prime projects in her kitty. "I am doing a film with Sanjay Dutt, Suneil Shetty, Vinod Khanna and Shabana Azmi called Mukti. Then there's Chai Garam, which has Suneil Shetty and Govinda. Then there is this slightly offbeat film I am doing with a new boy and Revathy's film with Raveena Tandon, Ayesha Takia and Jaya Bachchan. There is quite a lot of work, touchwood," she says.
To sum it up, what are the limits she has set for herself?
"Nobody can predict or decide where they want to reach in a time period. I know that I want to be more successful, more experienced and have more money but I don't know how it will work out. I had never thought that after Naqaab, I would have to sit at home for one year but it happened. I was appreciated so much in the film. If you read the reviews, all of them said that I was the best thing about the film. Kumarji kept telling me that he is starting a film and he didn't let me do anything. But anyway, all that's in the past now. At present, I am just hoping for the best and putting in my best," she ends with a smile.
Even as she leaves the location clad in a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, Urvashi is still making heads turn. This is a new beginning for her -- and it's already taken such a scintillating start.