Regardless of how his films have done commercially, one thing consistent about Sanjay Leela Bhansali is his ability to extract good performances from his actors. However the most unsuspecting of them all has turned out to be Farah Khan who is now debuting as a leading lady in his upcoming production Shirin Farhad Ki Nikal Padi.

Farah Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali
Farah Khan, Sanjay Leela Bhansali

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“Simply put, Farah has bowled over Bhansali with her natural act”, informs a source, “She has done cameos before but there she was basically being herself. However Shirin Farhad… required her to act as another character. On the sets, makers could see that Farah had really prepared herself for the role. However when they saw the edited copy earlier this week, they were in for a pleasant shock.”

This happened during the in-house screening held for Bhansali where he was reportedly ‘ecstatic’ at the ease with which the first time heroine played her part. Given the fact that the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Madhuri Dixit, Rani Mukerji and Manisha Koirala have delivered award winning performances for his films, the bar had been set further high for Farah.

“Even Bhansali was quite nervous since he had played a gamble with Farah. Neither is she playing one of those size zero heroines in the film, nor is she all decked up in a glamorous avatar. Al she could do to make an impression was act naturally,” the source continues, “Bhansali saw the first half with bated breath a few days back and was impressed with what he saw. However what made him fly really high was the film’s second half. He has been singing praises about Farah ever since.”

Farah though is keeping her excitement in check and is waiting to see herself on the big screen.

“My cameos were easy since my directors just let me loose and asked me to be myself. Here I had to be Shirin,” she says, “It takes a lot to be this overweight woman who walks with her feet spread out without worrying about her make-up and all. It is hardly anything that you relate with a conventional heroine. I was nervous but since Sanjay is satisfied, guess I can smile as well.”

Well Farah, given the fact that a heroine or two have dropped a tear on Bhansali’s sets, it seems nothing short of an achievement on your part to have come back smiling!

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