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    I don't think I replaced Ash: Priyanka

    [Interview by Arpana]
    Tuesday, December 13, 2005
    Priyanka Chopra says she didn''t know she was replacing Aishwarya Rai in the film "Bluffmaster".

    "I didn''t know Aishwarya was supposed to be doing this film. I don''t think I replaced her at all," Priyanka, who was here to promote the film that releases Friday, told IANS in an interview.
    Director Rohan Sippy's first choices for the film were apparently Aishwarya Rai and Sanjay Dutt, but finally Priyanka and Abhishek Bachchan bagged the roles.
    "Rohan and Aishwarya are very close as friends. I think she is a very senior and great actress. I don't know the reason why she couldn't do the film," Priyanka said.
    "I know one schedule of mine for 'Krissh' was cancelled and it was postponed to December, which is why I suddenly had one and a half months free. And when Rohan came to me I was able to do the film. It was a story that seemed to be a lot of fun."
    She is upbeat about the film.
    "'Bluffmaster' is a very contemporary, new age film and it will be something which every age group will enjoy. It's a very real story."
    This is the first time she has worked with Abhishek and she plays his love interest.
    "It's got two tracks in it. Abhishek is playing the title role called Bluffmaster and he is in love with me. I don't know that he is a con artiste. I find out and we break up and the story progresses.
    "Our love story goes on one track and another track is how he meets Dittu, which is Ritesh Deshmukh)'s character, who wants him to be his 'guru'. And how the guru-chela (teacher-disciple) go together.
    "It was great working with Abhishek. He is a great actor and a very good co-star."
    Priyanka's career has seen a meteoric rise in a very short time. Recently she was honoured with the Young Achievers Award by the Indo-American Society.
    "I feel good. I do consider myself lucky for achieving as much as I have. It's just three years and I am very grateful for that."
    So, was it a smooth ride to stardom?
    "It's not been smooth at all - I had a spate of flops and a lot of criticism from the press. I had started off with a blink-and-you-miss-it role in 'Hero'. I have made mistakes. I have come up the rough way."
    Priyanka has been appreciated for playing a negative role in "Aitraaz" but she is not interested in continuing to play bold characters. "I don't know. It depends. I don't think yet I am ready for it," she said.
    But she doesn't regret doing "Aitraaz" for which she received the Filmfare Best Villain award.
    "I don't regret doing 'Aitraaz'. I was 18 when I did it. I didn't understand what I was doing. Whatever people said I did. I think I have grown up a bit and I have understood what the film industry is all about and I don't think I will make many more mistakes."
    Last year she was rumoured to be dating her married co-star Akshay Kumar and it was said she did "Aitraaz" at his behest.
    Priyanka, however, said: "I did 'Aitraaz' because it was a mind-blowing character. I got my second award for it. I don't do any film because of anybody. I do it because I believe in it."
    She doesn't want to be typecast and would like to do a variety of roles. "I want to do different kinds of roles, and have always tried to do different kinds of roles. All my films are very different from each other. And that's exactly what I aim for in the next few years."
    One of the busiest newcomers in Bollywood, she defends her "glamour girl" image.
    "There is a difference between vulgarity, unnecessary exposure and today's normal girl. I would like to be contemporary."
    Priyanka was tight-lipped about her role in Rakesh Roshan's "Krissh".
    "I can't tell you about my character. I can only tell you that 'Krissh' is a sequel to 'Koi Mil Gaya'. And it is something I am looking forward to that will come in June or July."
    In future she would like to sing as well. "I am waiting for the right film with the right song to come along."


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