"I can say that 1920 is better than Raaz" - Anjori Alagh
By Devansh Patel, Bollywood Hungama News Network
10/09/08. What a date! Oops...day. My first official Press meet in Mumbai. The film was 1920. Director Vikram Bhatt walks in, then follows Adah Sharma, the film's leading lady. The hero Rajneesh Duggal turns up next. Now while the interviews were going on somewhere in Andheri, a beautiful lady looks at me. I look at her. It's just the eye contact, which did the talking. But there was something quite infectious about this actress, something quite tempting. So even after interviewing Vikram, Adah, and Rajneesh, I felt incomplete, not that I was dissatisfied with all three. Should I, shouldn't I, was driving me mad. A voice from my left informed me that she was Maya Alagh's daughter, which was enough for me to jump on the chair. I introduce myself and compliment her by saying: 'You look like Tanushree Dutta'. She gave me another look in my eye. This time it was the look that could kill. The actress turned around and asked Adah Sharma for her comment. The answer now came out: 'Aishwarya Rai'. The buck didn't stop there. After a lot of speculation, I found out that she also resembled 'Perizad Zorabian'. In this very short and a candid tete-a-tete, Bollywood Hungama's London Correspondent Devansh Patel finds out that no matter what she looked like, she indeed looked different... alagh... Anjori Alagh.
Life Mein Kabhi Kabhi went unnoticed. What is going to be so noticeable about 1920?
I think that Vikram Bhatt's forte is horror. He made Raaz, which was a phenomenal film and did really well. But today I can say that 1920 is better than Raaz. It is going to stand out. Secondly, it's a horror film set in a period setting and you don't have many directors experimenting with such a genre. Different era brings out a different script and then the location, lighting, etc will all add on to it. I'm pretty confident that 1920 will not go unnoticed.
Brief us about your experience of shooting the film in the U.K. Were you ever worried about playing second fiddle in your second film?
The footage does not worry me. What worries me is the impact. I mean I could be standing like a wallflower for two hours and not get noticed but I could be there for a shorter period of time with a more essential character. That's what interests me. I am playing a very strong character in 1920 as she holds the key to mystery, which in turn makes it all the more interesting. To answer the earlier part of your question, Yorkshire was amazing as it was the first time that I went there. All the locations where we shot the film were absolutely stunning. It was freezing out there, as we were shooting in winter and on top of that Vikram didn't allow me to wear any thermals which was so not fair because everybody was pretty warmly clad and I was there walking around in a lovely chiffon dupattas and ghagaras.
Are you going to complete the hat-trick with Vikram Bhatt then?
(Laughs) There is one slated and I am going to work with him again. I don't know whether if it'll be my next project but I will be completing my hat-trick with Vikram sooner or later.
Not many know that you are yesteryear actor Maya Alagh's daughter. Like mother like daughter?
In a lot of ways yes, very similar. We have the same smile, so that's one (laughs). According to me, she is quite something. She's been a mother, a doctor, an actor and she has done a lot in her life. I think the ambition part of it and the hard work is something that I have got from her.
'Is Maya Nagari Mein Sab Kuch Alagh Hain'. I've seen a lot of Maya Alagh on the small screen while I was in school. Why not try out with the small screen first and then jump on to something bigger?
(Laughs) For now, my focus is big screen. I always wanted to start with the big screen. It was something that I always wanted to do. But like I've said before when somebody asked me why didn't I do it sooner. You know, as a kid you always think, 'Oh my God, I want to be a heroine or I want to do movies' and then you are scared to find out that every second girl wants to become the same. My biggest fear was whether I would be seriously accepted in the industry or not. Serials are a lot more realistic; it is in your home and is daily. A movie is larger than life, it's more extravagant and it's more dramatic. I love things blown out of proportion.
What is so stupid about Vikram Bhatt?
(laughs) He is a worst singer and sings the worst songs. He does. It is very annoying to see him, in fact hear him sing world's most pathetic songs. He is obsessed with his blackberry but besides being stupid, he is great to work with. He is completely an out-of-the-box thinker, which is a lot of fun. He is unconventional and because he is intelligent, he thinks a lot more than just movies which is great.
Even though 1920 isn't your debut, is it right in saying that 1920 is and will be your first big budget film?
Actually, you know what, Life Mein Kabhi Kabhi was a good film, which went unnoticed, but it had a bigger star cast than 1920. But this is completely different. Vikram's heart and soul has gone into this film. In 1920, you will see a whole new Vikram Bhatt with a drastic change. Yes, it is bigger in budget than my earlier film.
Besides you, Rajneesh, Adah and Vikram, what makes 1920 special?
The castle of course (laughs). It's haunted you see. You'll know why after watching the film.
What's next in the pipeline?
I can't name any of my films at this stage because I'm under contract.
Will the tag - 'Maya Alagh's daughter' follow you everywhere you go?
I'm very proud to be her daughter and it's not that I'm hiding it. It's not necessary for me to scream it from the roof top and say that she is my mother so please notice me. I want to create my own identity too but that's human nature anyway.