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Interview with Dipannita Sharma by Jeevi

Date: 22nd March 2002 Venue: Taj Krishna
Other Interviews
Milind Soman (Hero)
Arunima Roy (Producer)
Mani Shankar (Director)
Sirivennela Seeta Rama Sastry (Lyric Writer)
D Suresh Babu (Producer)
Mahesh Babu (Hero)
Lisa Ray (Heroine)
Sravanthi Ravi Kishore (Producer)
RP Patnaik (Music Director)
Smita (Telugu pop singer)
Shyam (Producer)
Karunakaran (Director)
Sri (Music Director)
Gudipoodi Srihari(Film Critic)
SJ Surya(Director)
AM Ratnam(Producer)
Tammareddy Bharadwaja(Producer n Director)
Jayant C Paranji(Director)
Kodi Rama Krishna(Director)
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)(Hero)
Ramana Gogula(Music Director)
Naga Babu(Producer n Actor) met up with Dipannita Sharma in Taj Krishna on 22nd March for an exclusive interview on the eve of the release of her debut film '16 December'. Here are the excerpts ........


Tell us about your background and 16 December?

I have done my schooling in Assam. My dad is a medical practitioner and my mother is a teacher. She is also an actress. I have a younger sister, who is with me in Bombay. From Assam I came to Delhi to study in Indraprasta College. I completed my degree in History. I was a member of fashion show team from our college. In my final year, I have won a couple of prizes in inter college fashion show competition. I have also won free port folio. Then joined fashion shows after completing my college. A couple of months later, I participated in the Miss India event in 1998. I was selected as Miss Photogenic and I stood among the final five. After that event, my life took a different turn. Synergy skin care signed me up for three years as their model. Then I shifted to Bombay and active started doing modeling. I worked for the ads of CBZ, Seagrams and Kwality Walls ice cream. I also acted in a TV serial titled 'Life Nahi Hai Laddu'.

Then the movie chance came in my way. I was basically not interested in joining the film. I told my coordinator not to get those 'Moulin Rouge' kinds of roles where heroines sing and dances. Its not that I am against singing and dancing. In fact, I love dancing. I am a classical singer too. But I want to do some thing different so people would sit up and say that 'OK, that is the new comer who dared to do something different'. When my coordinator told me that this is the subject and you are the only woman in the entire group of males and there is no gender bias, I gave the screen test. They tested all over India for that role and apparently zeroed in on me.

I am very much impressed with Mr. Mani Shankar. He told me not think myself as heroine. I am one of the heroes. From the beginning itself he was very clear about what he wants from me. It's amazing to work with Danny and Gulshan Grover. They are very senior artists and they have no attitude. They are so helpful with newcomers. Of course, Milind and Sushant are my friends. They would be playing pranks and pulling my leg all the time.

In 16 December trailers, I see a lot of familiarity between Matrix girl and you in terms of get-up and mannerisms. Is it intentional?

Really? That's a big compliment. Actually it is Mani's idea. He did not want me to look like the girl, which you would have seen in Hindi films before. He followed the characterization of Modesty Blaise from cartoon strips. When I was a kid, I read those comics. She is a strong woman and she kicks around the guys. She is not scared of any other guys. In this film, you would not see any man saving me from goons. I am fighting out goons by myself. I don't need anybody's help. But, at the same time Mani did not want my character to very harsh.

16 December is one of the very few slick films that are made in Hindi film industry with lots of special effects.

Did you take any formal training to perform stunt sequences?

I did not have enough time to under go a full-fledged training. But Mani wanted me to practice simple things like 'kick-high' when he took my screen test. My body is also flexible as I learnt classical dancing. I was trained by a Martial Art trainer in Hyderabad

What is your future plan?

I don't plan at all. I don't believe in planning. Nothing in my life happened by planning. Neither modeling nor films! Right now, I have one special appearance song in Bollywood version of 'The Gulliver Travels'. The offers I have been getting are not exactly what I am interested in. I am not in a hurry. I still have my modeling assignments.

Do academics help you in your decision making process?

I think education helps a person to get better insight of things in life. When you are attending classes, you wont realize that. You feel like 'Oh God! Just get over with it!!'. Now after doing my history honors, I am so glad that I completed my graduation. It did help me in over all personality development.

In movie field, a woman is always treated as an object of sex. How do you feel about it?

Such notion about women is not just limited to Indian Film Industry. It's prevalent in other arenas too. It is deep rooted into the mindsets of people. If people around you are like that, how can it cease to exist in films? Films being ideal for lots of people in India, I think it's the responsibility of filmmakers to curb certain things that degrade women.

What was your reaction after watching the rushes of the film '16 December'?

The production company has a policy of not having preview shows of a film prior to release. So I did not see the final copy. The trailers have impressed me a lot. I am a big Hindi movie buff. My co-models make fun of me, as other models do not watch too many Hindi films. They love watching Hollywood films. I was absolutely thrilled after seeing the pre-edit film.

Interviewed by Jeevi
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