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    Doing ''Kaal Purush'' for love of acting: Sameera

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Monday, December 13, 2004
    Sameera Reddy says she was shocked to read that Bipasha Basu expected to be paid to work in a renowned Bengali director''s film.

    "A film like this has to be done for the love of acting," Sameera told IANS in an interview referring to "Kaal Purush" by director Buddhadeb Dasgupta.

    Another experience that has got Sameera really excited is a "cultural swap" with former Spice Girl Emma Bunton. Excerpts:

    Q: How''s it working in Bengali film "Kaal Purush" with Buddhadeb Dasgupta?

    A: Simply out of this world. I can''t believe I''m actually doing a Bengali film, and neither can all the people around me. I was in a state of shock when I was offered the role. Every line, every word and pronunciation was alien to me.

    The first take had 11 lines - can you believe it? Then I got a hang of it. Every night I''ve sat and gone over the lines. After I did my first shot, the director said I reminded him of Smita. I was like, ''Smita who?'' When he said ''Patil'', I freaked out. Imagine being compared with her! Working with Buddhadeb Dasgupta is such a mind-blowing experience.

    I was shocked to read that Bipasha Basu expected to be paid money for "Kaal Purush". A film like this has to be done for the love of acting. You can make your money working in Bollywood.

    You seem excited.

    What really was a pleasure to me was that "Kaal Purush" allowed me to get away from my hot image. I get to dress very simply for my role of an ambitious middleclass wife. I'm quite excited about taking on a body language and culture that are totally different for me.

    "Kaal Purush" is a very different world. The way films are shot in Bollywood and Kolkata is totally different. The long trolley shots, the long takes...these are so new to me.

    How are Mithun Chakraborty and Rahul Bose as co-stars?

    I must say Mithunda is very humble. He has been extremely sweet. The first thing he said to me was to speak to his son in Mumbai who, according to Mithunda, was more excited than him that his father was working with Sameera Reddy.

    Rahul of course is a wonderful actor. He knows the language and having him around is a great help. I'd want to do more such films. But let me add, I laugh my makhan-masala, jhatak-matak (mainstream) movies in Mumbai. I thrive on them. But yes, a film like "Kaal Purush" is also welcome.

    That reminds me of your sizzling role in "Musafir"?

    I play an extremely mature role. I know people think it's a very bold role. But they're completely off the track. Looking at the films that have come this year I feel I'm in kindergarten. "Musafir" did begin as a bold concept. When it was conceived, the sexual frankness seemed to work well with the theme. But as the film progressed we realised that 'bold' has been done to death. So we consciously steered away from that. We've focussed on a fantastic storyline, action and packaging.

    So Sameera Reddy isn't hot in "Musafir"?

    The sensuality comes from the body language rather than any overt attempt to be sexy.

    And now I believe you're swapping places with Emma Bunton?

    laughs) Oh yeah. That's so much fun. Emma is the British Spice Girl and I'm the Indian spice girl, ha ha! The BBC approached me a few months ago to undertake this exchange programme with Emma Bunton. Last week she came to Mumbai and did all the things I do. I'll now be going to London and Bristol to do the things she does.

    Basically they wanted a chirpy Bollywood actress with a metropolitan image who can bring a feel of Bollywood to England to live Emma Bunton's life, shop where she does and make a guest appearance in the hit series "Casualty".

    I got her in Mumbai, got her dressed up by clothes dresser Rocky S and had her sent to a Bollywood set. She was in a state of shock. I sat with the BBC and planned her visit to Mumbai. I wanted her to live those couple of days exactly the way I do. As for me, she has planned a surprise for me in London just like I planned a surprise for her. But I've an inkling that she has arranged this shopping spree for me.

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