Thinking man's eye candy and Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen lets her guard down on life, relationships and movies
Former Miss Universe and actress Sushmita Sen may have relinquished her diamond-encrusted tiara in 1995, but she continues to reign as the most radical queen of Bollywood.
Over the years, this spunky star has thwarted the established Bollywood order by making a series of anti-conformist decisions such as becoming a twenty-something unmarried mother to an adopted child and candidly confessing about her live-in relationships.
Even though her career graph is less turbulent and registers none of the drama in her personal life, tabloid! was surprised to catch Sen in a Zen frame of mind.
“There was a time when I was affected by the criticisms and praises that came my way. But over the years, I have realised that success and failure are transient. The labels attached are given by people who think they know the real me. They are just perceptions and nothing more," says Sen.
Fondly known as the thinking man's eye candy, Sen, 33, attributes her newfound tranquillity to her daughter Renee. “Adopting Renee is by far the best decision that I have made in my life. And believe me, I have made some disastrous ones … She brought stability into my life. Without her, I would have continued to make random and impulsive choices," says Sen.
Standing testimony to her last statement is her sagging career that is dotted with dozens of insipid films. Barring hits such as Biwi No 1 (1999) and Main Hoon Na (2004), Sen is yet to strike gold in her 12-year career span.
“I don't regret any of my choices. I believe in learning from the mistakes and making new ones in the future. In my defence, I do not have the gift of foresight either," says Sen.
But why does Sen continue to make bad decisions? Case in point is her recent decision to act in a David-Dhawan comedy Do Knot Disturb with the ageing star Govinda in the lead.
“I accepted this movie for David Dhawan and frankly I could never say no to him. Many may feel he churns out movies that make you want to leave your brains at home, but such genres are important and I don't see any harm in acting in them," says Sen.
A classic case of emotions marring objectivity, Sen hardly paints a picture of a ruthless businesswoman. But that's precisely where she is heading. After having turned entrepreneur with ventures including lifestyle company Sensazione and film production house Tantra Entertainment Private Ltd, Sen extends her live-by-your-own-rules philosophy to her business too.
“Making it big in business is all about people management. If you know how to handle people, the numbers and economics will soon follow," says Sen.
Her next ambitious project a period drama based on the life of the legendary warrior princess Rani Laxmi Bhai could be the ultimate test.
“For the last one and half years, I have been working hard on this project. I will be directing, producing and playing the lead title role. So you can imagine the stress. So far the screenplay is complete and two of the 16 actors have been finalised," says Sen.
Despite her gruelling schedule, rumours about her alleged affair with filmmaker Mudassar Aziz continues to make its rounds.
“I have been so busy with my schedule that I barely have time for these so-called affairs. If there's something like a relationship between us, I will surely be open about it."
Quickfire with Sen
Name three directors who would make excellent actors.
Anurag Basu, Farah Khan and Imtiaz Ali.
Directors that you would love to work with?
Aamir Khan and Guru Dutt.
What's your best role?
My role as ACP Malvika Chauhan in the movie Samay: When Time Strikes (2003). Playing the role of a tough lady cop convincingly was not an easy one to pull off.
The on-screen character that you most identified with?
Chandini (a sensuous sari-clad teacher) in Main Hoon Na.
Who is your pillar of support?
My parents who are great human beings and who have stood behind every decision I have made.
What are your pet peeves?
Super-sensitive and a foul temper to match. But, I am working on it.