Walking down the roads of tinsel town from the shimmering alleys of a beauty pageant has been a common story to kick everyone out of their beds. But with this leggy model, things were a lot different. A woman who took the road less traveled, Neha Dhupia seduced her way to fame. With categorically placed sleazy thrillers, one by one in the interim phase of her slowly sinking career, films like Mithya, Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local and Phas Gaya Re Obama breathed the actress with a new space. Now with Rush releasing today, we caught up with the extremely busy actress who seems lot more excited about her upcoming Bolly outing.
We have always seen you in bolder roles with a lot more oomph, except nowadays when we get to see you in a completely new avatar. Is it a conscious decision of yours to change the image you are perceived with?
Speaking of my choice, as an actor, everyone wants to try out different things. Everyone wants to do a multitude of things: all in one! So all of us want to make the greatest of all the opportunities we get. For me, this is a great way to put the message out for the film makers that I am out to do different things and try different things out. About doing unconventional and offbeat films, I really don’t know. If I get a good script, I just try and be a part of it. That is the most exciting thing for me. Apart from that, what’s even more fun is to be a part of a film which sends out the right message, story wise!
When you started off, there were films like Julie, Shisha and others that kind of stereotyped you into a particular genre of films. But ‘Mithya’, ‘Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local’ and ‘Phas Gaya Re Obama’ kind of brought your acting talent to the fore. Do you consider them as the turning points of your career?
I credit myself a lot for it along with accrediting my success to the new found unconventional flash actor in me. I credit Julie and Shisha too, for the glamorous image that I got. Throughout your career span, you get to play many different characters that lend you a certain image. They always provide you with different kinds of recognition which every actor welcomes in his or her space. But yes, Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local, Mithya and Phas Gaya Re Obama are three films that are extremely dear to me.
How did ‘Rush’ come about then?
For Rush, I got a call from my director and he told me that he has visualized a film like Rush that traces the lines of the Media world and there are two really good parts. I was given a choice: to play Emraan’s fiancée or to play his feisty boss. I clearly wanted to play the boss and the Media tycoon because she is grey, a lot more fun and she comes across very different in the film. It is really an interesting journey that you see through the life of Lisa Kapoor. Finally when I got the option to play either of the roles, I took it up because it is not just for the part I play in the film but also for the topical story that Rush is enveloped with. It talks about Media, it talks about sensationalism and it talks about news. So that was something I thought would be absolutely perfect for me to do at that point of time.
Your character Lisa Kapoor has got grey shades to it, somewhat of what we call a topographical character. There are so many layers to the character. How challenging was it for you to step into the roles of Lisa?
I would say that the biggest challenge for me is always to play my parts really well. To be good in a bad role, or to come out positively when you are trying to be negative is something very hard. It is like walking on a very thin piece of line, yet making sure that your performance stands out. It’s always about the situations that you are in and that is always the hardest part of playing someone or something that’s grey! Lisa Kapoor is slightly grey, the circumstances make her that. She is also a part of Sam Grover’s life, that is played by Emraan in the film. She is a professional as well as a personal part of his ups and downs too.
You have always dealt with the Media since the inception; you have been on the other side of it. When you opted to play the role of a media tycoon like Lisa, did you imbibe characteristics from any person in real life to play your character effectively?
I have always seen that when somebody plays the role of a business or a Media tycoon, the only way to make it more believable and appealing goes by one mantra: ‘The less said, the better’! In real life, I have seen tycoons say very little and do a lot. So I have Lisa on the same platform as theirs. She takes orders, she gives them on, and that’s her job. Sometimes she is right, sometimes she is wrong. Still, it is very interesting to see what she does. There is a big difference between creating news and sensationalizing news and it is more important to see than hearing. That is the point where she goes completely wrong on her part. But then again, in today’s world everyone is doing the same. Lisa is not cent percent dark, she is just a little grey.
With ‘Rush’, you share screen space with Emraan now. How has your on screen and off screen equations been with the actor?
Fabulous! Emraan Hashmi is one of the most fun and simple people I have worked with. He is the most talented and hassle free co-star that I have had. He is always on time, always knows his lines, knows exactly what he wants to do and that is something that makes it so easy and wonderful for us to work with him.
After ‘Rush’, what is keeping you busy?
I am also a part of Karan Johar produced and Rensil D’Silva directed film called, Unglee. I am also a part of a Punjabi film which is produced by Jimmy Shergill and he also plays the lead hero in the film.