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Chat Milind Soman on what makes him tick

Bemusement tinted with mockery shines through his dark shades. And why is he looking so amused? Actor-model Milind Soman replies, “It’s better than crying.” He might be discomfited at the scuffle and chaos, but he uses humour to save the situation.

In Delhi recently the actor, with his carefully unkempt appearance, scans the room for posters of his forthcoming movie “Brahm”.

“Our system gives us mediocrity. There are very few people I can say who actually care about their work,” he asserts. Clearly, Soman is not worried about raising a few eyebrows and ruffling more feathers. Having worked in two foreign productions, this actor feels that productions across the border tend to be more efficient. Milind’s foreign films include the French production “Valley of Flowers” and the Swedish film “Arn—The Knight Templar.”

But he elaborates in a more balanced mode. “Different cultures work differently and that’s always an educative process.” Abroad he finds that there is one person for every job, whereas in India there is one person for ten. The pitfall abroad is that problems on-set take long to resolve, as people don’t understand each other’s work. But multi-tasking in India often results in inefficiency.

Are there any other foreign productions in hand? “One needs to be there in person. One needs to have an agent,” he admits.

Brahm

“Brahm” he says, is based on an incident in the past. Different people look at the same incident differently. He found it thrilling to work with director Pawan Kaul, who was always full of ideas. With repeated patience he says, “I play the character of Dewendra Rawal. He is an orphan, but also a confident businessman. He has brought up his brother. What is the truth lies between two bhram (illusion).” Well known actress Simone Singh plays his love interest while Dino Morea plays the younger brother who has another model-turned actress Sheetal Menon cast opposite him.

Is his unkempt look an attempt to create an illusion? Dismissing the new look, saying he wanted to try something new, the actor adds devilishly, “Maybe somewhere deep down I wanted to look ugly.” With his overgrown visage he feels he no longer looks like a model!

While he has been pursuing foreign projects, he was recently seen in a brief appearance in “Bheja Fry” and “Say Salaam India”. Not known for doing many roles in a year, he says he prefers to be choosy. “I don’t like to repeat characters. I wouldn’t want to keep playing a rich boy falling in love with a poor girl. I need to experiment with the new.”

Soman is also diversifying from cinema. He is involved in a production house, Face Entertainment and in an event management company, Maximus. He is quick to support “Gateway” on Sony Pix, which has been produced by Face Entertainment, “It brings talent from behind the curtain to the fore. We are looking for that great director to send to Hollywood.”

With these different projects in hand he feels that whatever he is doing at that time is the most interesting. He is unwilling to favour one over the other.

NANDINI NAIR

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