Image matters

Riya Sen is looking in vain to break free from her glam-cat image

The irony is apparent. She is looking for an image change but has ended up accepting a role that only perpetuates the stereotype. In Khalid Mohamed's forthcoming film Silsiilay, Riya Sen plays a 20-year-old receptionist who lives life on her own terms. She represents the desires and aspirations of her age group. She wears skimpy clothes, goes to the disco, and does not mind doing kissing scenes. But Riya says: "The problem is that I am stuck with a glam girl image, which is overpowering. Even in a small role in Jhankar Beats, I was a sex symbol."And to shed this image, she waited for two-and-a-half years for the right film to come her way. "To wait all these years for the right role was a conscious decision. But the way the film industry is becoming so competitive, visibility really matters. I was in two minds whether to return to the industry or not when I landed this role in which I had to play a simple middle class girl who works to be economically independent. So I decided to give myself another break," says Riya.

Riya, who's learnt kickboxing and Kathak, took up "acting as a hobby". But when she saw the celebrity status and the money that came with it, she decided to enter filmdom. There are few alternative career options that are as lucrative as films, she says. She is choosing films these days with "caution". She has Shadi Shadi, Rokda, a film by Santosh Sivan apart from a film by a debutante director Sharmila Seth in her kitty.


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