In 1994, this tall, Bengali beauty won the most coveted title in the universe when she was crowned Miss Universe.
A couple of years later, she stormed the big screen with Dastak, where she played the real life role of a beauty queen.
She might not have the creme of roles, but Sushmita Sen is, nevertheless, a force to reckon with. A beautiful, bold one that can't be ignored.
Sushmita recently performed at the Wanted Live concert at Trenton, New Jersey, USA. Performing live for shows on a different soil is quite different than facing the camera.
Sanjiv Pandya and Mamta Narula, hosts of Radio EBC, New Jersey, caught up with the actress to learn what it feels for an Indian artiste to perform abroad, for Indians.
Transcripts of the live conversation:
Mamta: Sushmita, welcome to Radio EBC, America's first 24-hours-seven-days-a-week desi radio station, also live on the Net at www.ebcradio.com...
Sushmita: Thank you so much for calling me!
Sanjiv: So, how are you doing?
Sushmita: I am doing okay. But I hurt myself this morning while leaving my hotel room -- I banged my forehead on the door, got a little cut. Now in the evening, I have my show...
Mamta: You better take care. Okay, Sushmita, our listeners have been waiting so long to know what exactly you will be performing at the concert.
Sushmita: Aha! That's a surprise *laughs*
Sanjiv: Okay, we don't want you to spoil your surprise, but give us a little glimpse of what will happen...!
Sushmita: Well, it's a medley of songs from my films. A small play kind of thing with Sanjay Dutt. I have never done that before. It is very funny, and my pairing with Sanjay is very good.
I enjoyed doing this and I am sure everyone who comes for the show will have a gala time.
But the best thing about this concert is that I will be performing on a special dance number which I have never done before on stage.
*smiling* It is Mast mahaul, from Fiza. I just love this dance sequence. I still get rave reviews about my dancing from cinegoers. I hope the people who come for the concert will enjoy my live performance, too!
Mamta: How do you feel while performing live on stage?
Sushmita: It is such a wonderful experience that cannot be explained in words.
I have always felt that acting in a film is very challenging in itself. But when it comes to performing live, I think that is more challenging.
Yet it is very encouraging and gives a lot of satisfaction when you see your fans in front of you, watching you perform live.
And that face-to-face interaction makes me feel so good. I get an opportunity to meet my fans and people who stand by me. It is because of them that I received the awards I have won.
It is a very enchanting feeling. I enjoy it. This is my chance to personally thank them all.
Sanjiv: What is so special about this show?
Sushmita: Well, it is really very special, for a couple of reasons.
One, for the first time, New Jersey is venue to a concert. I always kept hearing that residents of New Jersey had to go all the way to New York for shows. Now they have one on home turf!
Second, I personally feel -- and I have said this at my New York concert -- that although New York is a happening place and the crowd very enthusiastic, the heart lies in New Jersey.
I'm looking forward to seeing the New Jersey crowd and their reaction to me.
Mamta:What about your recent films?
Sushmita: Well, the latest was D Rama Naidu's Aaghaaz in which I played a cop opposite Sunil Shetty.
It was a very challenging role. We had Namrata Shirodkar and Suman Ranganathan also in the cast.
And then, there's this very funny rib-tickler opposite Govinda, directed by David Dhawan. It was such fun working with Govinda. He cracks so many jokes -- I thoroughly enjoyed that. People can expect that from a Govinda film.
The concert also had three beauty queens, Juhi Chawla (Femina Miss India 1982), Namrata Shirodkar (Femina Miss India 1993) and Sushmita Sen (Femina Miss India-Universe 1994). On asking her whether it was by design, Sushmita said that it was just coincidence.
Sanjiv: Sushmita, as you know, we Indians living so far from home always aspire to do something that will make everyone back home proud. What is your message for all the teenage girls dreaming of becoming models or entering beauty pageants?
Sushmita: I would tell them, chase your dreams.
Make no mistake: It is a lot of hard work. But if you are determined and confident, you can do it. Just go for it.
If I can do it, anyone can do it.
Mamta: Sushmita, what message do you have for all your fans?
Sushmita: Well, first of all, thank you so much for all your love, affection and support.
I love you all and your encouragement means a lot to me. Catch us live when we are in your town. We will all have fun!