Faraway girl comes home

SHE'S VERY touchy about how her name is spelt. It's not R-I-N-K- E. And there's no numerology connection to it. Just that she's so used to seeing her name spelt with an `E', that unless she sees her name spelt that way, she does not realise that the reference is to her. ``If it does not have the `E', I think it's somebody else''.

And she does have more than an eye for names. In fact, it was she who came up with the name for the family candle business, `Faraway Tree'. Rinke Khanna got that straight out of the book, for she grew up reading Enid Blyton.

She was in Chennai, for the launch of the audio release of Cee (I) TV's `Majnu'. She plays Prashanth's `Laila' in the film. We caught up with her to ask her all about it and more.

``Dr. Murali Manohar (the producer) was looking for a heroine. A common friend in Mumbai suggested that I would suit the role for the character he had in mind,'' she reveals.

Rinke had no qualms about doing a project down South. ``I really hadn't made any fixed decision. The role was very challenging. There was a lot to do for me. So I took it up,'' she says.

We saw her first in `Pyar Main Kabhi Kabhi', then in `Jis Desh Main Ganga Rehta Hai' and even recently in `Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai' where she played the hero's sister, something very few heroines who are starting out, would dare to do.

``Those kind of roles are equally important. It was a role where you get to act. I wanted to show that I am open to doing different things,'' she says.

``See, you take up a role because of two reasons. One looking at it from the actress' point of view, and two because of the visibility you would get from that project,'' Rinke explains.

Rinke apart from `Majnu' will soon be seen in a couple of Hindi projects - Ramgopal Varma's `Company' and Mammootty starrer `Shapaq', directed by Bappa Aditya Roy. We ask her to tell us about it. ``Well, in `Company', I'm doing a role which is not like me at all. So it's a lot more work,'' reveals Rinke. Does she have a meaty part in it or is it one of those usual male- centric films?

``Come on, let's be honest. Almost every film is male- centric. But about `Company' what I can say is that I play an important role, a character who is responsible for the conflict,'' she says. And `Shapaq'? ``Well, I'm not supposed to talk much about it. All I can tell you is that it does not belong to a particular genre,'' says Rinke.

Does it help if you have an industry-based family background to make it big? ``It can just give you a first break. After that, you have to be on your own,'' she admits.

And there is no competition between the sisters, she says. Is it because they are striving towards different `screen images'? ``No, at least it's not consciously done. It's just the way we look which gives us different `images'. That's not a conscious effort''.

``There are particular roles I would suit, and there are roles which she would like to do. I, would love to do different kinds of roles. I would love to do negative characters... not somewhere far away. I would love to do that NOW,'' she explains. ``When I signed `Mujhe Kuch Kehna Hai', I knew very well what it was like: I'm going to do what I want to do. That was an interesting character, I play the bossy sister who gives advice to the hero. It was a good role for me,'' says Rinke.

Ask her about the role she plays in the family candle business and you find out that giving advice is something she has been good at. ``I give my mother advice on the business,'' she says. ``Don't forget that it was a company started by me and my sister. So she seeks my advice on business and strategy. My mother talks to me about a lot more things for advice,'' says Rinke.

``But when it comes to films, mother's advice is always useful and I do seek her advice as well,'' she adds. But most of her decisions till date have been her own.

That's one of today's strong minded individualistic independent woman of substance for you. Rinke Khanna.

By Sudhish Kamath