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Sister Speak - Aarti Chhabria

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Joined: 21 June 2005
Posts: 5190

Posted: 10 March 2006 at 9:59am | IP Logged

She is the mute Ameesha Patel's sister in Teesri Aankh who interprets her sign language on screen. Aarti Chhabria "talks" about her unusual on-screen mission...

Excerpts from the Interview:
You were Ameesha Patel's "voice" in the just released Tisri Aankh. It must have been interesting speaking for another actor?

Teesri Aankh was very different film from the light entertainers like Raja Bhaiyya, Aawara Pagal Deewana and Shaadi No. 1 that I'd done before. For one, Aashish (Chaudhury) and I play a producer-director couple so there we were there in front of the camera and behind it too. I had to interpret for a mute sister and that made the film doubly interesting. Also, being a suspense thriller the focus was not so much on the hero and heroine or the romantic pair. Though Ameesha undoubtedly has the pivotal role, the rest of us were all characters who were important to the story. It was a challenge when Ameesha, Aashish (Chaudhury) and a whole lot of us were there together in a scene talking. I had to get not only my own lines right but also respond to Ameesha's sign langauge, aptly and appropriately, as I tried to convince everyone around me to believe in my mute sister. The synchronisation had to be perfect and that called for a little more effort than a delivering a normal dialogue.

Did you need to learn the sign language to negotiate the role?

No, I didn't have to go through any kind of special training but when Ameesha and her instructor Sangeeta, the same lady who taught Rani Mukerji the sign language for Black, were chatting, I would sit quietly besides them making mental notes for my own performance.

If today a mute girl tried to communicate with you using the sign language, would you be able to have a conversation with her?

I think so.

The were reports in the press that all was not well between you and your screen sister.

It was all thanks to an article in which I was misquoted. That messed up my relationship with Ameesha. While shooting we all had a good time. I have nothing against Ameesha. I only wish I could land a role like the one she was lucky to get in Teesri Aankh. It would be a real challenge and being a different person from her, I'd play it my way!

You landed a great role in Aawara Pagal Deewana.

Yeah, the glamorous NRI tapori who's in love with an underworld don was a riot. You expect actors like Sanjay Dutt and Arshad Warsi to mouth lines like, "Bidu, milega kya?". It's not something you'd expect to hear from a chaka chak heroine. I love the film.

Did you like Deewane Hue Pagal too?

Yeah, I thought it was quite funny and would have really enjoyed being a part of the sequel.

Do you have another comedy up your sleeve?

There is a crazy campus caper coming along, Kisse Pyar Karron, again with Aashish and Udita. There's also Milenge Milenge with Shahid and Kareena. I play a very chic, very glam-glam, US returned miss in the film who's very different from the sweet, simple girl-next-door of Teesri Aankh. This girl usually gets what she wants and she wants Shahid. I have one song with him choreographed by Ahmed Khan that goes 'When you fall in love...' I'm waiting for it to come on air because the look is so different. My hair is all gelled and I'm matching steps with Shahid, at one point balancing on a beam that was hardly two feet wide. I was really scared thinking, "Abhi mein fisloongi," but Shahid was very careful with me and the number's turned out really great.

You're a pretty neat dancer yourself, having matched steps with even the great Prabhu Deva down South.

I love dancing and dancing with Prabhu Deva was memorable.

Are you doing more films down South?

Not, at the moment. I've been so busy with Hindi films of late that I've had to give myself a break despite having done two Telugu and one Kannada film. They were solo heroine films with a lot of scope and got me great reviews. In Hindi cinema you don't get too many solo heroine projects. You're usually with a bunch of people.

Shaadi No. 1 was one such star-studded marital romp that despite all the hype following a Diwali release, fizzled out pretty soon. You must have been disappointed?

I don't let failures run me down because life is not about hits and flops. For me Shaadi No. 1 was an opportunity to work with a director like David Dhawan and make a lot of new friends. The film industry is one big family and multi-starrers like Shaadi No. 1 give you a chance to draw closer to the fraternity.

Sukhh was a debacle but even before its release Govinda was planning Samruddhi. Have you been approached for it considering you've done two films with the star MP?

No, I haven't been approached but I have great respect for Govindaji. Even though Raja Bhaiyya didn't do well he signed me for Sukhh. It was a lovely film though not many watched it. (Sighs) That's life!



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