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    Priyanka waiting for the 'Barsaat' drizzle

    [Interview by Subhash K. Jha]
    Friday, August 19, 2005
    Actress Priyanka Chopra is having a lot of fun. "I''m shooting with Abhishek Bachchan for ''Bluff Master''. We''re in competition about who is crazier of the two. Actually he wins hands down," she says.

    She is at the moment swinging between success and personal pressures. Her father has been in hospital for more than two months now.

    "It''s especially traumatic for my brother who''s just 15. We tried to protect him from the seriousness of the situation for as long as we could. But...any way I don''t like to carry my personal problems to work. Let''s talk about something else."

    We change the topic to her new film "Barsaat". "It''s a drizzle that''s gonna sizzle," she coos happily.

    "Bipasha, Bobby and I had so much fun shooting for ''Barsaat''. I got along damn well with Bipasha. She''s so focused. It''s just her work and her private life. Nothing comes in between. We don''t have too many scenes together except a full ''shaadi'' (wedding) song with all the ''dulhan mandap'' (bridal dais) and ''sindoor'' stuff," Priyanka told IANS in an interview.
    She confesses that "Barsaat" was tough because she had to play a full-on mainstream heroine.
    "Naach-gana (song-dance), rona-dhona (crying)...the works. And I loved doing it. Normally, I'm seen playing unconventional characters. Even in Suneel Darshan's 'Andaaz', I was much too 'bindaas' (bold) to be considered a conventional heroine.
    "Playing Kajal in 'Barsaat' was really tough. I had to be sweet and lovable. I loved it."
    On the one hand, Priyanka explores the darker side of celluloid femininity in "Aitraaz" and "Yakeen". On the other hand, she goes ballistic being bubbly and bleating in "Barsaat".
    "That's the fun of being an actress. You get to explore the entire spectrum of emotions at the drop of a hat. I loved all the critical acclaim I got for 'Aitraaz'. It was a character that no newcomer would have got to play. I was really nervous about doing it.
    "Though the negative character got me a positive response, I didn't want to get typecast in negative roles. I want to leave the image of the femme fatale behind. 'Barsaat' gives me a chance to do that."
    Priyanka confesses she's very conventional at heart. "I had my fill of being bad in 'Aitraaz'. I want to explore more facets now. 'Barsaat' is one facet.
    "Rakesh Roshan's 'Krissh' is entirely different. I play a young naïve sweet journalist in it. I'm young and sweet, but certainly not naïve in real life." She laughs throatily.
    Sobering, she raves over "Don". "I play a vendetta seeking gun-toting woman. I haven't played a kick-your-butt character before. And in Rumi Jaffrey's 'God Tussi Great Ho', I do full-on comedy."
    When I remind her that success is her best friend these days, she quickly asks me to touch wood.
    "I'm taking it slow and easy. No new films right now. The offers are all for meaty heroine-oriented films. One project I regret missing out on is 'Umrao Jaan', but I am equally enthusiastic about 'Barsaat'."
    She perks up at the thought of 'Barsaat'.
    "Though I play a conventional heroine, I display a lot of spunk. None of the 'main-tumhare-bina-jee-nahin-sakti' (I cannot live without you) stuff. Although my character is a small-towner, I tell the man I can stand on own feet.
    "Barsaat isn't one of those heavy films. It's one of those time-pass films that every Indian would enjoy."
    Now she prepares for a long layoff. She is going abroad for live concerts and the shooting of 'Krissh' from August-end to mid-October.
    She fobs off all on-record references to a love life. "None of that please. I love my work and that's all that matters. I don't want to be sexy and spiteful to sound interesting in my interviews."

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