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|July 21, 2001||
Amisha: The new BO diva!
Subhash K Jha
While Kareena Kapoor seems to have grabbed all the big banners, it's the other millennium sensation, Amisha Patel, who's busy stirring up the box-office.
All of Amisha's three releases so far -- Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, Badri (Telugu) and now Gadar - Ek Prem Katha -- have become blockbusters.
After a hat-trick of hits, Amisha has suddenly become the "luckiest" box office draw within the film industry. Shooting for Tanuja Chandra's modern day satire Yeh Zindagi Ka Safar, in which she has the central role, Amisha spoke about the hopes and responsibilities placed on her shoulders after Gadar.
"After Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai, I became a star. Now, Gadar has brought me recognition as an actress. However, not every film can be as big. I'm ready for the downside. Without dips, one cannot enjoy the highs," says Amisha.
"When I agreed to do Gadar two years ago, all my friends and well-wishers thought I had gone mad. The director (Anil Sharma) had flops behind him. The producer (Nittin Keni) was new to the game. And my leading man, Sunny Deol, was going through a rough patch."
"I was also warned that leading ladies in his films don't have much to do. Besides, I had to play a mother to a five-year-old at an age when I should play a college girl.
"But I became obsessed with my character of Sakina in Gadar. I became my character for two years. Somewhere I had a hunch Gadar would work, and it did."
Now, Amisha predicts her new film with Hrithik Roshan, Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage, is going to be another major hit. Hrithik, son of actor-director Rakesh Roshan, had starred opposite her in Kaho Naa... Pyaar Hai as well.
Admitting that life for star children is far more comfortable than a rank outsider like her, Amisha says she's proud to work with directors like Anil Sharma, Vikram Bhatt (Aap Mujhe Achche Lagne Lage) and Tanuja Chandra who believe in good cinema rather than the star system.
"I'm very happy with the films I'm doing. I agree it's tougher for someone like me who doesn't belong to a film family. Star children get opportunities even when they fail over and over again. Initially an outsider like me makes a lot more mistakes than a star child," Amisha says.
"Considering all the hurdles, I think I've done pretty well for myself. I'm very happy with the films I have on hand. I'm doing them with total conviction."
While she hasn't yet bagged films with big names like Subhash Ghai or Yash Chopra, she believes it's the plot and treatment of a film that ensure a hit. "And I was proven right by Gadar," she says.
A trained Bharata Natyam dancer, Amisha says she did personal research on the period during the Partition between India and Pakistan before playing the role of the Muslim wife who is forcibly taken away by her father from her Indian husband to Pakistan.
Reacting sharply to gossip linking her to Gadar co-star Sunny Deol, Amisha said, "Even those who read gossip magazines know they are junk meant for bathroom reading, to be flushed down the toilet."
Amisha's forthcoming films are two light-hearted comedies called Suno Sasurji with Aftab Shivdasani and Family No 1 with Salman Khan.
Indo-Asian News Service
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