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Bend it like Nam

Namrata Shirodkar is sitting pretty with interesting roles in `Charas' and Gurinder Chadha's `Bride and Prejudice'

NAMRATA SHIRODKAR describes herself as a "director's actor." The pretty model turned actress who was in town to promote Tigmannshu Dhulia's Charas continues along the path less travelled with Gurinder (Bend it Like Beckham) Chadha's Bride and Prejudice.

"Tigmannshu was very clear about how he wanted me to play Piya Benegal - my character in Charas. He said `no one knows Piya better than I do." Namrata, however, did not find this kind of detailing, "restricting. There is a lot of give and take. Finally it is the director's vision and as actors we are just extensions of that. Tigmannshu did not cramp my space. There were inputs all the way, which made my job easier."

Taking about her character, Piya, Namrata said, "My character is very driven. She believes in taking risks and putting herself in dangerous situations." And what about the smoking? Was that supposed to be in character of the junkie she played in the movie?

"I cannot say anything as it would ruin the suspense. Let's just leave it as nothing is as it seems shall we?" Shooting was "memorable. We were like family and the crazy weather conditions ensured that we were not able to shoot even one scene continuously. The light would go or it would start to rain and then we would shoot some other scene to accommodate the change in light. Charas will remain an unforgettable experience."

Bride and Prejudice, which is a Bollywood take on the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice, (where the Bennetts are transformed into the Bakshis) has Namrata playing Aishwarya Rai's sister. Describing the experience as "amazing," Namrata said "It was very professional right from the casting process where everybody read lines - starting from the minor roles to Ash, Anupam Kher, Nadira Babbar and me."

Namrata loves "India too much" to run down the Bollywood system of functioning. "My country has given me so much. Everything I am is because of the love and trust placed in me. I have worked in both systems and cannot say one is better than the other. The West is more organised and they work according to a plan. That is one way of functioning and I mean no disrespect to my country because the way Bollywood functions works fine within our perimeters. I have not seen the bad side of either system."

The Bride and Prejudice experience was marked by a lot of "give and take as far as expressions and dialogue went." Former Miss India, Namrata, who scorched the screen in Telugu movies like the graphic-laden Chiranjeevi-starrer Anji will not be seen in Telugu films any time soon "as interesting scripts are not forthcoming. I do not want to do the regular heroine roles anymore. I am looking at working with good directors on interesting projects."

Till then we can look forward to this lovely Aquarian as the tripped out Piya and as Ash's younger sister, Maya Bakshi in the mother of all crossover films.


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