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Grey role many hues

Before her much-hyped debut vehicle Woodstock Villa opposite Sikander Kher could reach theatres, Neha Uberoi was unveiled in one of the shorts in Dus Kahaniyaan. But the newcomer has no regrets

Do you feel Dus Kahaniyaan is the right launch for you?

Woodstock Villa was supposed to be my debut film but I have no problem with Dus Kahaniyaan being my debut as it is a new concept, something that has never been done before. Anyway, Woodstock will be releasing very soon after Dus Kahaniyaan.

How did you bag the episode Lovedale in Dus Kahaniyaan?

While I was working in Woodstock Villa, which was produced by Sanjay Gupta, he offered me Dus Kahaniyaan. I was floored when I heard the script. Director Jasmeet Dhodi and I have been friends before she started assisting Sanjay Gupta. I consider her my elder sister. We share a rapport completely different from that of an actor-director duo. I knew what she wanted even before she said it.

How different are your roles in Woodstock Villa and in Dus Kahaniyaan?

Lovedale is a sweet love story and my character is very similar to what I am in real life; but in Woodstock I have a very complex character. Since it’s different from what I am in real life, I had to work hard. My character in Woodstock is such that any established actress would have second thoughts about doing the role. But I thought that getting such a role in my debut film was an opportunity. So I took it up as a challenge.

Was it difficult to play a grey-shaded character in Woodstock?

Many actors take years before they get a chance to play different emotions but I got a chance to play so many emotions in my first film. Yes, it was difficult. But then nothing comes easy in life.

Neha with Aftab Shivdasani in Lovedale

Do you think playing a character with grey shades so early in your career will affect your future?

The role of Woodstock is very close to me because of its complexity. Honestly I think it is a feather in my cap that I began with something different. The film will not affect my career in any negative way. It will be positive because the audience will see me in different characters so early in my career.

How was it working opposite Sikander Kher in Woodstock?

It was wonderful working with Siku (Sikander). The best thing was that we were both new to everything, so we were always there for each other. Along with Sikander comes a lot of energy. He is so energetic. After shooting till 3-4 in the morning, everyone would be half asleep, but Siku would still be charged up and would keep us going.

You worked with Sikander in Woodstock and his father Anupam Kher in Lovedale...

Yeah, it was a bit strange — first Sikander and then Anupam Sir. With Sikander it was fun and with Anupam Sir it was more of a learning experience. I remember I was so nervous on my first few days of shooting for Dus Kahaniyaan as they were with Anupam Sir, and he is such a senior, respected actor. I remember calling up Jasmeet and telling her how nervous I was with the thought of sharing the frame with Anupam Sir. But once he came in, he made me so comfortable. He did a couple of rehearsals with me to help me and it was the best day of my shoot.

Has the fact that Sanjay Gupta is your uncle helped you in any way?

If you know someone who is known in the film circuit, it is easier to break into films. But at the end of the day, you have to prove yourself and your worth like anybody else. In fact, you have more pressure because there are more expectations from you.

Was Sanjay Gupta sceptical about you wearing short skirts in Woodstock?

No, not at all. I don’t think he had any objection towards anything. I’m not wearing a skirt throughout the film. If you see what girls today are wearing, it’s hardly a big deal.

Finally, how different is working in Bollywood from working in Telugu films?

I have worked in a few films in the south. They are extremely professional and I am happy that I got a working experience. It has really helped me here in my work. I have never gone to an acting class or done theatre — I just went south and did some films.

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