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Sanjay Suri signs film with 'Sex and the City' star

IANS [Friday, May 14, 2004]

The latest to join the look-West gang is the affable and grossly underrated Sanjay Suri who stars in a full-length English film - with a smattering of Hindi, of course - with "Sex and the City" actor Jason Lewis. 

In "My Bollywood Bride", what Sanjay calls "my first Bollywood/Hollywood film", he is paired with Neha Dubey. The other pairing is Kashmira Shah, whose husband Brad Listermann produces the film, starring opposite Jason Lewis.

The film is to be directed by ad maker Rajiv Virani -- the second film that Sanjay is doing with an ad maker turned feature director whose wife plays the lead.

He had earlier done Raj Kaushal's "Shaadi Ka Laddoo" where he co-starred with Kaushal's wife Mandira Bedi.

"Yes," Sanjay smiles. "But in 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo' for a change, I played a very roguish character. In 'My Bollywood Bride' I'm back to playing a nice wholesome guy. I want to play more roles where I get away from my goody goody image. But I can't do it suddenly."

He admits 'Shaadi Ka Laddoo' is a wasted effort.

"Might as well do a comedy like 'Masti' or 'American Pie' where all the guys got noticed. I know there's a market for it. But I wonder if I'd be comfortable doing such a risque comedy."

"My Bollywood Bride' is an English film but with a smattering of Hindi. "It's like the Italian characters in Hollywood films. Whenever they're shown on screen they speak their language. This is the only way to achieve that crossover."

Sanjay hopes to get noticed abroad alongside his American co-star. "Jason and I have parallel love stories in the film. I wanted to open another window in my career. This looks like my chance to get noticed in the West. When the opportunity came my way I grabbed it."

As for the more 'desi' mainstream projects, Sanjay laughs: "Please ask Mr. Pritish Nandy if I'm in 'Ashq'. I thought I was the only one verbally finalized for the film. Then I read that I was one of the guys who had been short listed. That's the story of my life. Always on hold."

Sanjay says he meets producers who want to cast him. "But nothing that I could run and do. I guess the hotshots are waiting for me to deliver that one big hit. But I guess I've to first get that potential hit, right?"

He seems to be growing into one of our most dependable supporting actors.

"But even there the big heroes feel threatened. Because I don't look like a character artist. Rather than waiting for big films, I've decided to be a big fish in the pond. Somebody in the ocean will notice me."

There's another film "Situm" with a new director Raj Sharma.

"It's a thriller with Jimmy Shergill as my co-star. But right now I'm shooting for 'My Bollywood Bride' for the next two months. We're completing the film at a stretch. Jason Lewis is rather hot in the US. I hope to get noticed along with him."

Incidentally, Kashmira Shah's American husband has arranged the entire funding for 'My Bollywood Bride' from the US.

I am being typecast: Shilpa Shetty

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