Shahana Goswani counts the roles, not the kisses

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By Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Oct 17 (IANS) First she won accolades for her performance as Arjun Rampal's disgruntled wife in "Rock On" and later scorched headlines for 10 kisses with Randeep Hooda in "Ru-Ba-Ru". Now 22-year-old Shahana Goswami says she wants to play all kind of roles on screen.

"I want to do everything from the nagging wife to the conventional Bollywood girl singing songs around trees," Shahana told IANS.

As Arjun Rampal's disgruntled, unhappy wife in Abhishek Kapoor's "Rock On", Shahana rips the screen apart. As Shabana Azmi said appreciatively, where did that come from?

"Did she?" laughed Shahana. "I guess I've never shied away from real emotions, never had to be over-sheltered or mollycoddled by my parents during my growing years in Delhi.

"I feel at times the person whom you love has to be told what to do, even if it makes him or her unhappy and resentful. Like my mom forced me to go through college. I hated it at that time. But today I'm thankful to her. Similarly in 'Rock On', I had the thankless job of being a nagging, pesky, embittered wife. I loved it."

Commenting upon her kissing scenes with Randeep in "Ru-Ba-Ru", Shahana said: "I can't understand why they (producers) highlighted 10 kisses between me and Randeep Hooda. First of all, who's counting? Certainly not the audiences! Surely they've matured far enough to not get carried away by kisses. Also, there aren't those many kisses at all. I'd rather be known for more than just kissing in my films."

Shahana debuted in films with Naseeruddin Shah's directorial debut "Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota".

"Strangely most of my films are either episodic or I'm part of an ensemble cast. The only exception is my next release 'Ru-Ba-Ru' where Randeep and I played lovers who've crossed the stage of euphoria into stagnancy. So again it's an unconventional role. I'd say it's a love story that begins where other filmy love stories end."

Any other unconventional role?

"In Sudhir Mishra's 'Tera Kya Hoga Johnny' I'm Neil Nitin Mukesh's girl married to a much older man Kay Kay Menon. Is that too much of the unconventional for me? I don't mind. I've always wanted to be an actress. If today I'm getting to play anyone from the age of 18 to 32 and I can do it convincingly, why not? As a child I'd take my mother's dupatta on my head and speak to myself in the mirror. The habit remains. I still speak to myself, though now I don't get much time to do that."

Coming up soon from Shahana is Nandita Das's "Firaaq" where she features in one episode with Marathi actress Amrita Subhash.

"Nandita saw me in "Yun Hota Toh Kya Hota' and cast me. So although I'm not much remembered by my first film, I still owe a lot to it," said Shahana who also worked with a theatre group called Working Titles.

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