We spotted a gorgeous looking Lara Dutta and beau Kelly Dorji recently sitting out in the open at a Bandra eatery, quite oblivious to the admiring stares directed towards them. However, they couldn’t ignore their fans when throughout their time many people came up to them and congratulated Lara on her look in Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and told her how much they liked the film. Of course, Lara was simply delighted that people had liked her look so much. Take a bow, Lara!
Working with Yash Chopra’s banner has made Lara ambitious. She won’t work without a hard-bound script. From now on Lara has made it clear… no script, no deal. “To my good fortune more directors are coming up with scripts rather than ideas. I’ve realised that’s the only way to work,” she says.
And that’s not all, Lara wants audiences to mention her in the same breath as Nutan and Smita Patil. Lara actually reminds a lot of people of another luscious legend, namely Mumtaz. “Yeah,” Lara laughs. “In fact I’ve modelled my role in Jhoom Baraabar Jhoom on Mumtaz. After a long time it’s a performing role, and a very tough one. I play a Pakistani-French. I had to speak Hindi with a French accent. Quite a tonguetwister. And it was in-sync sound! To make matters worse Abhishek was speaking in this hardcore Punjabi accent.” In the film, Lara plays Abhishek’s fiancÃ©e. “The last fiancÃ©e of his life,” she jokes.
Abhishek and Preity Zinta are almost like insiders in the Chopra Camp. Didn’t that make Lara an outsider? “Both Bobby and I were ‘outsiders’. And at first we were like, wow… a bound script! They make it so easy for every actor. Most of the time all you’ve to do is look and act passable,” she smiles.
Filmmakers may have searched high and low for the ever elusive success formula whereby they can mint millions, but our very own Lara Dutta has managed to beat them in the search for the formula. Guess what Lara Dutta’s secret formula for success is? A Yash Chopra banner film, Himesh Reshammiya’s music, and Emraan Hashmi‘s kisses – that’s what Lara joked recently. Now one wonders how many people seriously agree with her?
Ram Gopal Varma’s quickie, which he calls a quirky drama, is now titled Darling. “I did want to call it Baby earlier. But the title was registered with someone else. So Darling it is,” says Ramu. It is quite a departure from Ramu’s earlier dark and sinister titles. “The film is quite a surprise too. I will start shooting it on July 11,” he says.
But the real surprise is the last-minute change in the cast. Lara Dutta has been replaced by Esha Deol. Deol who hasn’t worked with Ramu before is quite excited about it. However, a lot of industry folks wonder why Lara is committing professional hara-kiri by opting out of promising projects.
Although Ramu maintains that Lara left for London to attend to a family matter, sources have another story to tell. “Lara thought Bipasha had a much stronger role. She opted out for this reason only. Earlier, she walked out of Dharmesh Darshan’s Aap Ki Khatir because she thought Priyanka Chopra had a better role. Apparently, Lara is doing some serious re-thinking about her career. She recently fired her secretary and took charge of her dates before flying off to London to shoot for Priyadrashan’s comedy Bhagam-Bhaag,” our source says.
It’s almost like a dream come true for the lissome lass – Lara Dutta. Last year, she made her foray into the Karan Johar camp with Kaal, and now the Chopra camp has opened their doors for her. Yeah! apparently she’s just been signed on for Shaad Ali’s Jhoom Barabar Jhoom, which is indeed another bright feather in her cap. The time she was paired with Abhishek in Mumbai Se Aaya Mera Dost, their scorching on-screen-chemistry was quite the talk-oftown. Let’s hope this time again the jhoom effect creates nothing short of a dhoom!
Lara Dutta is back after an extended holiday in Goa and Australia – a much needed break to spend sometime with herself. “It was a fantastic holiday and very well deserved too. I did a bit of yoga and a lot of meditation – it was sheer luxury,” she says. The time alone has also helped her fine tune her priorities. Just three years since she debuted in Bollywood, but Lara says she’s learnt many lessons already. “Earlier, I used to take everyone’s advice. Now, after having worked with the likes of Karan Johar (in ‘Kaal’), I know I want a great atmosphere to work in,” she says.
Playing the damsel-in-distress is something else she would like to avoid. “I don’t want to take on roles out of desperation. I’ve never been the kind to dig my nails in and hang on desperately. At the end of the day, I want to be happy that I’ve done some good work in the industry.”
Lara says she doesn’t believe in hyping herself just for the heck of it. “I know there are many actors around who survive on hype. I am, however, not one of them. I have never had this sense of urgency to make it to the top. I do not believe in the number crunching game either. I’m just enjoying the process of being a part of the industry and I want to get the best out of it.”
On the personal front, she seems to have gotten the best out of her relationship with boyfriend Kelly Dorji. Their seven-year courtship is much-envied. “There is no formula for the success of our relationship. And I don’t want to analyse it too much. But I am lucky and grateful to have him in my life.”