hope its not posted before ......if it was then sry
A woman of many talents, she shines at whatever she attempts to do. Veer Zaara and Shaheed-E-Mohabbat brought her accolades on the silver screen. She turned to television, scorching the small screen with her brilliant performance. And today she is also dabbling in theatre! Let's meet Divya Dutta, a bundle of talent if there ever was one, and talk, career!
What's your role all about in the serial Shanno Ki Shaadi?
In Shanno Ki Shaadi I play the role of Shanno, a dhabewali who cooks parathas for the hungry customers who troop in there. How I fall in love with Vikas Bhalla who first starts liking the dhaba, and later on the dhabewali who makes parathas, forms the crux of this weekly serial
Could you tell us about your co-stars in it?
It has been a very wonderful experience working with such co-stars like Kamini Kaushalji, Kulbhushan Kharbandaji and Vikas Bhalla. I love the fact I am working with them. Both Kaminiji and Kulbhushanji are very fond of me. In fact Kaminiji even brought cakes for me and presented me with a doll, which she herself had made.
What about your stage debut?
When Ayesha Julka offered to cast me in the play Mujhe Rang De produced by her with Anant Mahadevan as the director, I was in a dilemma. In fact, to tell you the truth, I had a mental block because you have to be a very dedicated actress if you set out to act in a play. Since Ayesha herself is an actress, it was of great help when she told me that she would definitely make timing adjustments as and when I would have date problems with my television and film projects.
Any lessons you learnt from the stage?
I have always been a very soft-spoken actress, be it in films or for that matter, television. For a change I am playing Simi Malhotra, a very loud character in Mujhe Rang De. After making my debut on stage, I realized that you have to go in for a lot of improvisation, innovation and comic timing when you act in a comic play.
How similar are you to your character Simi Malhotra?
A lot of Simi Malhotra is actually like me. I could identify to a large extent with her. What I like about the play is that Ayesha has cast me in a role that requires my presence, almost throughout the play, on stage. To do ample justice to my role, I need to build up my energy level. To a large extent, I'd give Anant Mahadevan, who besides being the director of the play is also my co-actor in it, the credit for extracting excellent performances from both Ayesha and me. Since he has the background of theatre having worked with Dinesh Thakur of ANK, his sense of timing is brilliant.
Why haven't you signed any other serial?
Right now besides Shanno Ki Shaadi, I am not working in another serial because with the resounding success of Yash Chopra's Veer Zaara I am getting meaty offers from both filmmakers as well as makers of television serials. I do not want to miss out on them. I'd be lying if I were to tell you that Veer Zaara did not make any difference to my career and the way I was perceived as an actress by the industry. It did make a huge difference. Though Shanno Ki Shaadi is the only serial in which I am working right now, it does not mean that I have stopped accepting TV serials. It only means that I am not able to adjust my dates for TV serials since I am hard pressed for time shooting for films. I am open for meaty offers on television.
Do enlighten us about your forthcoming projects!
Right now I have in my kitty two films, which are being produced by Ramgopal Varma, Darwaza Bandh Rakho and Mr Ya Miss. Antara Mali has not only written the subject of Mr Ya Miss but is also co-directing the same along with Satchit, besides acting in it. It is a fun film, in which I play a glamorous yet grey character. In fact, though Antara figures in the film, I am the only female character in it. Besides Antara and me, there are Aftab Shivdasani and Riteish Deshmukh.
Let's talk about your American film!
It's a film that has a lot of American and Indian actors and actresses in it. I have been cast as an Indian housewife with an American husband. I will also be doing, with Rajpal Yadav, a film for director Rajat Mukerjee whose script has floored me. I am also working in Tanuja Chandra's Runway about Gujarati women out on a cause, along with Sushmita Sen. I also have on my plate a thought-provoking film called Trisha with Anant Kamat, an assistant of Subhash Ghai. I play the role of a lower middle class girl called Laxmi. My co-actors in the film are Rajat Kapoor and last but not the least, Yashpal Sharma, who plays the role of my husband. The film focuses on the sale of babies.
How has it been acting in a teleserial after Veer Zaara?
It has given me the right and the privilege of choosing a film or a teleserial. After having proved myself as an actress with films like Shaheed E Mohabbat and Veer Zaara I have earned for myself the liberty of saying 'No' to bad offers. At times, I am compelled to say 'No' to good ones too, when I am not in a position to adjust my dates. When I went to Punjab recently to perform in Ayesha Julka's play, I got a mind-boggling response for my performance in Shanno Ki Shaadi. It is a fun serial. For a change I am enjoying a role rather than concentrating on my performance too much. It is a feel good serial. I am glad I have got this opportunity to work with an intelligent director like Rajiv Mehra.
What about Kadam?
Television is not something that is new to me. I had earlier acted in Raman Kumar's serial Sansar but it was Kadam that made people really take notice of me as an actress of substance since I had acted in about 60 stories of Kadam. Considering that most of the stories had stretched to two episodes, it effectively means that I have acted in around 150 to 200 episodes of Kadam directed by Suhail Tatari. It was a learning experience when I got to perform so many roles. I am glad that with Kadam I could rediscover myself.