Divya Dutta: Today even stars love to play character roleshttps://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/divya-dutta-today-even-stars-love-to-play-character-roles/

Divya Dutta: Today even stars love to play character roles

Divya was impressive in her portrayal of Milkha Singh's sister Isra Kaur in <i>Bhaag Milkha Bhaag</i>.

Divya Dutta has managed to impress one and all with her portrayal of Milkha Singh’s sister Isra Kaur in Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Divya has scored again for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra after Delhi 6.

Divya,with all the appreciation coming in for the film,guess your decision to play Farhan’s sister has indeed paid off.

With Farhan in there,who is himself a director,I had two of my favourite directors on the sets. Now that I was seeing him up,close and personal in the capacity of an actor,and that too at his most dedicated self,it was amazing. It is so nice when you start a scene at one level and then ends at an altogether different one. There was this beautiful improvisation that Farhan indulged in and I enjoyed every moment.

For you though,it must have been terrific to come together with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra again after Delhi 6,right?

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I have so much of respect for Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra who finds me really versatile (smiles). Earlier for Delhi 6 too he had said to me that he wanted me to do that particular part. I thoroughly enjoyed doing it though I was nervous since it could well have formed an image where makers would have started calling me just for sexy and sensuous roles (laughs). While it is easy to keep doing just one kind of role,it is really difficult to break an image. This way I really respect Rakeysh,Madhur Bhandarkar (Heroine),Karan Johar (Gippi) and Neeraj Pandey (Special 26) for giving me something that I have not done before.

Guess after being in the industry for close to 20 years,film industry can start taking you much more seriously as an actress.

It is great when filmmakers come to you and say that here is a role which is just for you. Earlier though sometimes people found me a little too sweet for tough roles but not any more. Opportunities too used to be very limited for women but I continued to do those little things on my own that still allowed me to stand out. Thankfully feedback over the years has been great.

Weren’t you apprehensive though about playing the part of a mother to a grown up daughter in Gippi?

You know,everyone asked me at that time that why I was playing a ‘mommy’ role. However I am generally happy when people get apprehensive. See,in Gippi I had a great role and a banner. I really loved and enjoyed every moment of it.

On the other hand you made sure that those few moments as a con woman in Special 26 counted,right?

It was a guy film but then Neeraj was always on my wish list. When he told me that you would be remembered despite mouthing just the same dialogue,I was intrigued. Really,to play a con woman was fun,and also the fact that I was the only female amidst all the guys. It was an intelligent thriller.

You seem to be revelling in these parts of strong character roles,isn’t it?

Well,I am being told that I am very good looking to be just as a character (laughs). Still,all said and done,for women it is very difficult to find a space for themselves in the industry. We all get so much branded here. But then look at these men like Arjun (Rampal) and Irrfan (Khan). They are heroes but then they are playing such strong characters in their films. As long as people can think of me in different roles,I don’t care what kind of tag I get.

In earlier times,playing hero ki behen was being looked at one tag as well. How much have things changed today?

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I think what is nice is that today’s lead roles are also like character roles. If you look at Paan Singh Tomar,it was basically a character role. Same holds good for Barfi! too. Stars also love it that way since it adds another facet to their personality. Everything today has become quite story oriented. Industry as well as audience is attaching a lot of weight to this. This has helped me too since now I have a flexibility of playing different kind of roles without thinking whether it is a lead,parallel or character role.