Lara Dutta's new avatar!

By Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama News Network

Get ready to see Lara Dutta in a non-glamorous avatar. The pretty actress has portrayed a wide variety of roles and is all ready to surprise a lot of people with a minus makeup, minus glamorous look in SRK's home-production BILLU BARBER. "When Shah Rukh called," reminisces Lara, "The first thing that struck me was, he may want to cast me in one of his international shows. But when he offered a film instead, I was zapped."

However, the conversation that followed caught her by complete surprise. "He said two things while talking about the role in BILLU BARBER. One, it's not opposite him, but Irrfan Khan. Two, I've to portray a mother of two kids. Since I had enacted the role of a single mom in PARTNER, I didn't mind playing a mom of two here. And why should I have problems with Irrfan? He's an incredible actor."

Prior to Lara, Tabu and Amisha Patel had been offered the parts, which they refused for reasons best known to the makers and the actresses. "I was fully aware of it. Their reasons for refusing the film could be anything, but I had no problems whatsoever. I had worked with Priyan-ji earlier [BHAGAM BHAG] and the role offered me ample opportunity to exhibit my talent, so why should I let go of this film?," she reasons.

Post PARTNER, one expected Lara to go on a signing spree, but she didn't. "I was working the whole of 2008. But there's a lot to look forward to this year, starting with BILLU BARBER, BANDA YEH BINDAAS HAI, DO KNOT DISTURB and BLUE. Just watch out," she smiles.

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