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Star-struck sister act
Kamalinee Mukherjee

She’s 24, but Abhishek Bachchan thinks she adds a few years to sound grown up. On the sets of Phir Milenge, the Little B just couldn’t stop ribbing this cute li’l screen sister of Shilpa Shetty. “He would squeeze my cheeks and dismiss me off as a kid,” grumbles Kamalinee Mukherjee. But the chirpy Calcutta girl makes no bones about how excited she is to have shared “so many sequences” with the TDH (tall, dark, handsome) hero.

Having caught Revathy’s eye through some of her ads, Kamalinee scooped up the meaty role of Shilpa’s “roly-poly younger sibling” in the actress-director’s second venture, also starring Salman Khan.

“I play Tania, a vivacious 19-year-old radio jockey, who is very close to her elder sister. Shilpa plays Tamanna, a quiet and strong ad executive. And Revathy wanted me to look really healthy, so I went on a chips-and-chocolates diet,” smiles Kamalinee, who graduated in English from Loreto College before taking up a management course in Delhi, only to leave it midway. The Bollywood bug bit a year-and-a-half ago when the rising star of the city’s theatre circuit decided to take part in an acting workshop in Mumbai.

“There, I got to screen-test for a commercial and landed the role, too. Remember the Neel Kamal Plastic chair ad' I play the Bengali girl who meets Sanjay Suri batting her eyelids,” she laughs.

Back at her Ritchie Road home after a long shooting spell for Phir Milenge and Shekhar Kammula’s Anand, Kamalinee just can’t stop gushing about her first brush with the Bollywood biggies: “On the first day of my schedule, Salman, Abhishek and Shilpa were shooting for a song. As I entered, Revathy introduced me to them. That made my day.”

Her only regret: having no scene with Salman. “But I bumped into him often during shoot schedules and social dos for the cast and crew. He is a perfect gentleman and just sweeps you off your feet.”

Shilpa was “incredibly supportive” and ended up “doting on” her kid sister, off-screen, too.

So, who among the three stars suffers in this film exploring the myths surrounding AIDS' “I will not let the secret out. But yes, Revathy plays a cameo,” is all Kamalinee is willing to divulge before August 27.

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