It’s news that wouldn’t make too many Bollywood bigwigs happy. But one Bollywood babe certainly is. This year’s Euro RSCG Bollywood Predictameter has said that many of 2007′s much-awaited films – including biggies like Om Shanti Om, Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag, Saavariyan and Aaja Nach Le – are likely to disappoint at the box office. But it also says that the surprise hit of the year will be another Ram Gopal Varma film: the lowkey Fardeen and Isha Koppikar starrer Darling.
Tell Isha the news as she’s getting set for her shooting for Har Pal, costarring Preity Zinta and Shiney Ahuja, and she’s thrilled. “Wow! Great!” she screams. She’s especially excited because the role itself is so different. In Darling, Isha plays a simple housewife, fighting a sexy ghost (played by Esha Deol) for the attention of husband Fardeen. “I’m totally a girl next door,” she says, “It’s a complete image change. My character’s life begins and ends with her husband and child. She’s principled, rigid, very strong – only blacks and whites in her life,” she says.
What made her opt for this character, so different from her usual image? “It was the role I was offered,” she says, “and I have no qualms about doing it. I could have carried off both. But I’m sure Ramu is very happy with what I’ve done.” Actually, she loves the experimenting, she admits. “I’d love to play different roles. I hate being monotonous, predictable. Right from the beginning I’ve done different things – Girlfriend, Don, Shabari – which will be out in a couple of months. Now Har Pal.” Is she disappointed not to be part of the mega-star cast of Ram Gopal Varma ki Aag? “Of course. I would have loved to have played Basanti’s role. But Ramu thought I didn’t suit the role and took someone else. He’s the filmmaker, it’s his vision, his preference after all,” she says. Does she find a place in Don 2, at least, considering she managed to make her presence felt in the first one? “Everyone says Farhan Akhtar is making Don 2 except Farhan Akhtar,” she laughs. Isha’s also excited about Hello, the film based on One Night At A Call Centre. “It’s so real now – the stress that bogs down your personal life and the frustrations that we take out at work. This kind of movie is so relevant today – look at Life in a… Metro. Multiplex movies are doing very well.” But Isha’s far from given up her dancing queen tag. “Oh, I’m dancing anyway, most of the time. In Hello, it’s to a Sunidhi Chauhan-Daler Mehendi tune that is bound to rock the discos.”