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    'Page 3' an ideal launch pad: Jay Kalra

    [Interview by Manisha Deshpande]
    Tuesday, January 18, 2005
    "Page 3" is only his debut film, but model-turned-actor Jay Kalra already exudes the confidence of an established professional, having worked with two National Award winners, Madhur Bhandarkar and Konkona Sensharma.

    Rubbishing the contention that models cannot act, Jay, in an interview to Bollywood portal Glamsham, cited the examples of Dino Morea, John Abraham and others who have done well in the field despite being models.

    Jay also explained how different and difficult it is to play a role that is closer to reality than portray the regular hero''s role involving action, song and dance and some masala.

    Eagerly looking forward to the release of "Page 3" next week, Jay says the movie will mark a great beginning for a long innings in acting. A few excerpts from the interview:

    How did "Page 3" happen to you?

    Page 3" happened when I met Bhandarkar for the first time. It was like a fan meeting his favourite hero. I was like an overawed child looking up to him. I really didn't expect that I would get a call from his office the very next day, confirming my presence in the film.

    I was to start shooting in a couple of days and it was an opportunity on a platter that I did not want to miss at any cost.

    What is the role all about?

    The role is of a middle class boy hailing from a small town, who wants to make it as a supermodel in Mumbai at any cost. He is prepared to do anything to make it big and starts attending Page 3 parties.

    He hangs around with the socialite crowd and finds out how best he can use them. He is eternally on the lookout for someone who can help him reach his desired goal and stumbles upon a journalist, (played by Konkona Sen), with whom he cultivates a relationship. In the process, he seeks hype and publicity.

    Were you apprehensive of having to live up to expectations, considering that you were working with two National Award winners, Bhandarkar and Konkona?

    I did have apprehensions about going on the sets for the first time and working with proven talent. Playing a regular hero, who has to do action scenes and sing songs, is far easier than playing a role that is very close to reality.

    But Bhandarkar is a very chilled out director, though his films have a very intense feel about them. I could have ended up making a mockery of myself. But I ensured that I gave my level best and proved myself in the process.

    How was it relating to Konkona?

    She is very confident as an actress; at the same time she is very unassuming and never gives the feeling that she is an established star. I never saw her throwing her weight around on the sets. She is the kind who does her work and allows you to do your bit too. It was a very cordial working environment with her.

    Do you agree with the contention that a majority of models are non-actors and are rigid in front of the camera?

    It is generally presumed that models cannot act but things are changing in recent times with artistes like John Abraham, Dino Morea and hordes of models-turned-actors making their presence felt on the scene. Besides I have had a fair exposure to theatre in Delhi.

    How far do you think this launch pad will make a difference to your career?

    As a newcomer with no lineage and godfather to back me, I consider this an ideal launch pad, especially since it has given me an opportunity to work with two geniuses.

    It doesn't make sense for me as a newcomer to appear in any nondescript film and disappear before anyone notices. With this film, I can be sure that at least my acting talent is seen and noticed.


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