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    “Nagesh Kukoonoor is a Genius,” says Gul Panag

    [Interview by Faridoon Shahryar]
    Tuesday, August 22, 2006
    “I think it’s important to do films that challenge me as an actor,” says Ex-Miss India Gul Panag who made an impression in her first film ‘Dhoop’. After having dabbled in modeling, being crowned sixth runners up in Miss Universe Contest and also wowing the small screen audience with her stellar performance in television serial ‘Kashmir’, Gul is ready with ‘Dor’, Nagesh Kukoonoor’s next offering after ‘Iqbal’. IndiaGlitz caught up with her in an exclusive interview at the launch of ‘Cinemax’ magazine.

    What role does a magazine play in your life?

    Magazines play an important part for wherever we are, be it a plane or a dentist, magazines give us easy and quick entertainment without much of commitment. For when you are reading a novel, it is a matter of 400 pages, while magazine is light reading

    What kind of literature you like reading?

    I read all sorts of literature. I like fiction very much. Recently I’ve also started reading non-fiction as well. I read at least two books a week.

    Do you think a celebrity photograph on a cover of a magazine helps in its sales?

    It depends on what you are promising with the photograph. If there is going to be a centre-spread in a bikini, maybe it does work. But, I think there are a lot of many magazines that cater to all sorts of interests. There are some magazines that cater to gossip, some are feature based.

    What about your next film ‘Dor’ directed by Nagesh Kukoonoor?

    I am very excited about ‘Dor’. I am looking forward to its release. It’s been a learning experience for me. A very evolving one as a human being and as an actor. I think Nagesh Kukoonoor is a genius. And when anyone is praising him, they don’t know how good he is. He is one man who is going to change the face of Indian cinema in the days to come. ‘Dor’ is one in the line of many beautiful films he will make.

    What exactly is your character in the film?

    I can’t reveal much about my character. I play a character called Zeenat who is a very strong woman. She has a quiet strength about her and yet at the same time, a nice degree of vulnerability. That’s a very difficult character to play. But Nagesh taught me how to play it with ease. This girl goes in search for redemption for the man she loves. That’s all I can say about the film.

    Your acting in ‘Dhoop’ was appreciated and now ‘Dor’ is there. Don’t you think you should be acting more often?

    I think it’s important to do films that challenge me as an actor. ‘Dor’ has really really challenged me as an actor. I am hoping that I shall get more challenging offers because I am not of the school of though that I should do whatever comes my way. I get lots and lots of offer. But I am not prepared to sell myself short for what I think I am worth.

    What other films are you doing currently?

    ‘Dor’ is the only film that I am interested in talking about right now. I am very passionate about it. It’s the fruit of labour of the entire team. We’ve all worked really hard on this film in very difficult circumstances. We’ve shot in Rajasthan in 45 degrees. In Himachal and close to J&K was very cold. So, I think to see what we’ve done is sheer magic.

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