After a long hiatus, Indian actress Amisha Patel tells Jyothi Venkatesh about her feud with her family and about being impressed with Aamir Khan.

What is your role in Mangal Pandey?

I play the role of a Bengali widow called Jwala. It is for the first time that I am playing a Bengali character with many shades. Jwala is married to an old zamindar.

Gulf News File Photo
In her latest film, Patel plays a deglamourised role and did not have to bother about make-up.

A British officer rescues Jwala when she is about to commit sati after the death of her old husband and she falls in love with him.

It is a very challenging role. For the first time in my career, I play a deglamourised role and I did not have to bother about my make-up and eyelashes.

It was quite scary for an actress like me who had done glamorous roles in the past. Especially since I am not a Tabu, at home with parallel cinema.

What was it like, working with Aamir Khan for the first time?

I have a couple of scenes with Aamir. He is the best friend of the British officer with whom I am in love. I now have the experience of working with an institution like Aamir Khan.

There is no one to beat him as far as discipline and professionalism are concerned. He has taught me these.

It has been a great privilege for me to work with a guy who has not taken his stardom for granted.

Did the fact that your role had earlier been offered to Aishwarya deter you?

I had stepped into the shoes of Kareena Kapoor in my very first film — Kaho Na Pyar Hai. In any case, as far as Jwala's role is concerned, I was glad to be stepping into the shoes of someone as illustrious as Aishwarya Rai.

I do not expect to be the first choice of every director. What I can give to a role, some one else cannot. And what some one else can give to a role, I cannot.

You have been linked to Adnan Sami ...

The rumours, which linked me to Adnan, were very cute. Adnan himself is very cute. To tell you the truth, I was not disturbed by the rumours but amused by them since there was not even an iota of truth.

Is it true that you have married Vikram Bhatt?

I am not married to Vikram Bhatt. I wish I were. In any case, let me tell you that I am the type who will be ready to shout from the rooftops if I were to get married.

It is said that Lara Dutta felt that her scenes were cut in Elaan because you goaded Vikram to increase your role.

This is very funny. Actually, I should have felt bad about Vikram giving Lara a better role in not only Elaan but also Jurm in which he cast her and not me.

Jokes apart, Vikram is a thorough professional who will do what he wants, irrespective of what any actress may want.

Is it true that you are in the process of reconciliation with your parents with your brother Ashmit Patel playing the truce-maker?

It is wishful thinking that I am reconciling with my parents. Whatever damage has been done cannot be undone.

I do not think I would ever go back to my parents or patch up with them. Ashmit did meet me at a party my friends had hosted for me the other day. I had not invited him. It was by sheer accident that we happened to be at the same place that day.


Reel reflects the real

Nothing is beneath Bollywood. The latest inspiration comes from the Karisma Kapoor-Sanjay Kapur split.

At first, producer Raj Gandhi refused to talk about his project but went on to reluctantly admit that Nilesh Mulye, who will debut as a director with this film, is working on the script.

"My film has been tentatively titled Glamour. It has been inspired by the recent high-profile marriages and divorces. It will be a social film which will set out at length to tackle the issue of marriage, often conducted in haste."

Nilesh Mulye is excited about his project which, according to him, is an out and out love story.

He isn't worried about any opposition from the Kapoors or the Bachchans.

"My idea is not to show either Sanjay Kapur or for that matter Karisma Kapoor in a negative light."

"I have just been inspired by the love story of Abhishek Bachchan and Karisma Kapoor, their break-up, Karisma's marriage on the rebound to Sanjay Kapur, their hurried honeymoon, the subsequent split, the demand for alimony etc but it is not my intention at all to paint any celebrity in black."

Mulye has signed Saakshi Shivanand and her sister Shilpa to play the roles of two star sisters like Karisma Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor.

A new actor called Kabier Sawhney has been roped in to play the role of the rich industrialist who is a divorcee.

Nilesh says he is on the lookout for an actor who looks like Abhishek Bachchan to play the fiancé of Saakshi Shivanand.

Raj Gandhi is confident that he will be able to launch his film by the end of August and shoot it in a non-stop single shooting schedule in and around Mumbai.

"The film will show how richie rich industrialists get married to glamour girls from tinsel town and are later unable to cope up with reality."

And the film's USP? "There is no vamp or villain," he says.

Dead man calling

It's easy to play a dead man in films. Satish Shah did it in his own film Dhoondthe Reh Jaaoge. Kamal Haasan has done it in his yet-to-be-released Ladies Only.

But playing a person pretending to be dead? That's far more difficult. And Om Puri is all set to play just such a character in Percept's next film to be launched by September this year.

Priyadarshan will direct the character-driven film, which will star Kareena Kapoor, Shahid Kapoor, Om Puri and Paresh Rawal.

A remake of a Malayalam hit earlier directed by Priyadarshan himself, the film will be a laugh riot, which will revolve around a lottery ticket. The film will have a village as the backdrop.

Says Om Puri, "It is a very challenging role that I am playing in Priyadarshan's film. I play a milkman. Paresh plays the lottery seller. A guy who buys the lottery ticket from Paresh dies and somehow or the other I manage to snatch the winning lottery ticket from the dead man's hand and pretend to be a dead man."