"I was making a few mistakes, I learnt from them" - Neha Dhupia

By Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Neha Dhupia isn't shying away from admitting that she made quite a few wrong choices in her five year long career. She has seen hits and flops at regular intervals but 2007 onwards; she is being seen in a different light altogether. While she is doing Mithya with as much as ease as Singh Is Kinng, soon after Dasvidaniya, she is appearing in Maharathi. A planned move?

"For me, the most important thing is the fact that I am enjoying it all. There are these so-called commercial projects and then also the other kind of films that I am doing. There is a very definite line between the two. I am not undermining the 'masala' fare but seriously, films like Mithya, Dasvidaniya and now Maharathi are made from the heart. These are the kind of films that are made for the love of cinema. I am enjoying being a part of both kinds of films", Neha says happily.

So the balancing act would continue? "Pretty much so", Neha says promptly, "I have to feel good with the kind of work I do and currently I am very happy. However, let me clarify that not even for a single minute am I saying no to big commercial cinema. After all, that's where I have my maximum accessibility to audience. These are the films that have maximum reach and more and more people want to watch them since they wish to leave their worries back home. So yes, I would be seen in all kinds of cinema."

She goes on to add, "Today when I sign a movie, I make sure that my role has to be good. Length is not the deciding factor. Also, I don't see a project as commercial or offbeat. I check whether there is something about a project which is good. Something has to come out of it, whether cinematically or commercially. There should be at least one set of target audience where it is guaranteed to work. This is why not you would see me either as a part of a good film or a good project."

The change doesn't seem sudden though. She would have certainly planned it all out while choosing the distinct projects that she is seen in today? Says Neha, "If you have to look ahead, you have to see what you have left behind as well. It is plain and simple mathematics. I took two steps back to make sure that I could take four steps forward."

And what made her do that? "Honestly, I was not enjoying the work I was doing at all. But no, let me not say that I was being misguided. Puhleeeze, they were my decisions and no one else was responsible for the work that I did. Today, I can gladly look back and say that yes, I was facing a storm but I braved it. I was making a few mistakes; I learnt from them and moved on."

The future looks good though, isn't it, what with 2009 also showcasing her in a variety of roles? "Yes, I can confidently say that 2009 would be even better. There are movies like Raat Gayi Baat Gayi and I Am 24 which are completed and should release early 2009. Then I have also just completed Pappu Can't Dance Saala which is another amazing film. Raftaar with Emraan Hashmi is a film I am looking forward to as this is commercial and yet so demanding as an actor. I would also be beginning work on Priyadarshan's De Dana Dan with Akshay Kumar and Katrina Kaif. So as you see, quite some variety at play", smiles Neha.

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