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'Guns and security dilute the beauty of Kashmir'

Last updated on: July 12, 2010 10:15 IST

'Guns and security dilute the beauty of Kashmir'

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Syed Firdaus Ashraf in Mumbai

Bipasha Basu seems to have come full circle within the first decade of her film career itself. The actress started her career with a glamourous role in Jism, and went on to star in all kinds of films including thrillers (Race), actioners (Dhoom 2), comedies (All The Best, No Entry) and dramas (Omkara).

This Friday, we will get to see the actress in a serious deglam role in Lamhaa, which is directed by acclaimed Parzania director Rahul Dholakia. The film also stars Sanjay Dutt and Kunal Kapoor.

Bipasha tells Syed Firdaus Ashraf what to expect from Lamhaa.

What was your first reaction when Lamhaa was offered to you?

My first reaction was, are they sure they want me to play a Kashmiri girl? Because I have such a Bengali face! But after speaking to Rahul Dholakia, I was confident that I could do the role.

Tell us about the film.

Lamhaa has a strong story. It talks about the sentiments of the Kashmiri locals. It is like an international film, on the lines of Bourne Ultimatum. Not even one frame of Lamhaa is typical. It is shot like an international film. The songs are very good too.

My character Aziza is working in a political party. To get her message across, she even kills people, and engages in hand-to-hand combat. She is a fiery person, fighting for the freedom of Kashmir.


Image: A scene from Lamhaa

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'It would be appreciated if politics is kept away from the entertainment industry'

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Did you always want to do roles like this?

Yes. An actor does not get too many chances like this. I was definitely waiting for something like this. I hope I continue to get such kind of films.

Were you apprehensive doing a film that is so politically sensitive?

No. Because politics does exist. We form the creative business of films. It would be appreciated if politics is kept away from the entertainment industry.

What does your character have to say about the present Kashmir situation?

I play Aziza, a Kashmiri girl, who is born and brought up in Kashmir. She thinks that whatever she has been taught as a little girl is right. She is fighting for the freedom of Kashmir. She wants peace in the valley through their ways.

In the course of the film, she realises that some things are manipulated. So there is a kind of transformation in her character.


Image: A scene from Lamhaa

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'The fact that Kashmir is unpredictable makes you nervous'

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What is your earliest memory of Kashmir?

I went to Kashmir when I was five years old. I have pictures and memories of me in Gulmarg, Pahalgam and Dal Lake.

When I went this time (to shoot for Lamhaa), everything still looks the same. Only, now there are too many guns and security. That disturbs and dilutes the beauty of Kashmir.

Did that scare you?

No. But the fact that it's such an unpredictable place makes you nervous.

What was your interaction with Kashmiris like?

We interacted with kids. It was good. But we didn't get much time and freedom to meet many everyone.


Image: A scene from Lamhaa

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'I work sincerely, no matter how frivolous it might seem'

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You have done movies with leading actresses like Aishwarya Rai (Dhoom 2) and Katrina Kaif (Race). But you still manage to make your presence felt. How do you do that?

Tough question (laughs). I don't know. It's just me, I guess. Whatever job I get, I work sincerely -- no matter how frivolous it might seem to you.

So I like to do it well -- be it Dhoom 2 or Race. I have to get into the shoe of the characters. The film industry gives you a chance to be various people. And I enjoy that.


Image: A scene from Dhoom 2

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'Acting is very fulfilling profession'

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It has been nine years since you joined the film industry.

It doesn't feel like nine years. Everyday is new for me. People are new, there is so much freshness. I really don't feel that I have been here for nine years.

What do you love about being an actress?

Acting is very fulfilling profession. You get a lot of fame and money. You get a lot of love from strangers all over the world. It gives you the power to speak out and push the causes you support. It gives you a platform.

Today, you say Bipasha is bringing out these health DVDs, does it mean her acting career is getting over? I believe that is a stupid discussion. For me, I have just realised that this is amazing platform so why not benefit people and do things that I am passionate about.


Image: Bipasha Basu

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