By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | November 22, 2016
Almost fourteen years ago, fresh out of the Miss India contest, Neha Dhupia was all over in the media. She was sought after for her chutzpah and her witty quotes, one of which has achieved cult status: “Only Sex and Shah Rukh Khan sells!”
As long as there is Bollywood, this quote will stand out. In that respect, Neha Dhupia has ensured her name in Bollywood Hall Of Fame!
She had learnt the tricks of the trade early on. With no PR machinery at her disposal, she did her best to leave an indelible mark, appearing as it were, with timely updates of her filmy work. Personal updates were the hazards of being in the limelight!
Today, Neha has quietened. To get her to speak, one has to chase her for a week. And when one does manage to squeeze some time out of her, she speaks very little. “It’s a comment,” she says almost apologetically to a question which has not been completed, to which I am seeking her reply.
But that’s Neha Dhupia; straight-forward and honest. Busy with the promotions of her latest film, Moh Maya Money, starring Ranvir Shorey, which releases this Friday, Neha is not willing to speak more than she wants to about the film. She prefers to keep the suspense intact.
Opening Doorz managed to get her to speak from London where she is at the moment and here’s what we managed from Miss Dhupia who is a Big Girl now!
“Only sex and Shah Rukh Khan sells.” That was during the promotions of Julie. What’s your tagline today?
With time, everything fades or changes but I promise you this one is going strong. In addition to the above, there are two other important S’s—Story and Script!
Bollywood has matured and cinema has become intense with some very good talent coming on the scene. What are your views on this?
Yes, it has. Like every industry, even this is moving ahead with time and what’s awesome is that it’s being ruled and followed by the young and talented.
We have had movies like A Wednesday, 3 Idiots, Mumbai Meri Jaan, The Dirty Picture, Saheb Biwi Gangster, to name just a few…
[Interrupts] This is a comment, not a question. [Smiles].
There were also movies like, Mithya, Dasvidaniya, and Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local which you were a part of. I personally loved these films not only for their content and execution but also because of the immense value you brought to the screen with your performances…
Thank you. I feel blessed. These were films that actually made me realize the potential I had within me. The co-actors were simply fabulous and the treatment of the film was what made the final product the way it turned out to be. Like I said earlier, we have some awesome talent today.
If you were to pick one of these three films, which would you rate as your better performance?
This would be tough for me; to pick just one. I’d also like to add Moh Maya Money to it. No matter what the fate of the film, I would still be proud of the content and my performance in it.
Ok, let’s make it simpler for you to answer. Which of these three movies would you say was the best?
[Smiles] Mithiya. It changed a lot for me and the audiences still love it. Actually, so did the other two films, Dasvidaniya and Ek Chaalis Ki Last Local. People still talk to me about these movies; it feels nice that so many years after their release, these films are still spoken about.
Your intensity and maturity as an actress are for all to see. Any special workshops you have been attending?
Honesty is the only workshop apart from the theatre which I did at the start of my career.
Pappu Can’t Dance Saala saw you bring that right amount of vulnerability to Mehak your character. Mehak put on a tough exterior, but beneath the surface was a soft, vulnerable woman. It was not Neha Dhupia one saw on screen but the character!
That’s exactly me as a person; tough on the outside but an emotional fool on the inside.
We also saw that recently in Ekees Topoon Ki Salami…
Yes EKTS was a fun ride. I enjoyed being a part of this movie and the character I played. It was a mixed bag of emotions I had to portray as the woman in the CM’s life!
Moh Maya Money… what can we expect from you in this film?
MMM is a thrilling story of a middle-class couple set in Delhi. I play the character of Divya, who is a news producer, who gets caught and torn between wanting to do what is right and wrong in a situation. She has to decide whether to take the side of the one she loves (Aman, her husband, played by Ranvir Shorey) or to go with what is right. All of us have a bit of grey in us. Let’s find out what she does on Friday!
#NoFilterNeha has been hash-tagging for quite some time now. Excuse my ignorance, but can you tell us more about it?
It’s a brand new audio show I have produced under my company, Big Girl Productions where I have no filter conversations with my celeb friends. You can download the saavn app and listen to #nofilterneha now!