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My next ad has to have a Khan

Fresh from Hello, Gul is suddenly happening. Not only has she signed Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann but her first commercial, in which she plays Aamir Khan’s wife is also being aired with great regularity on TV.

I believe you have signed Ram Gopal Varma’s Rann opposite Riteish.

Yes. Ramu is someone I always wanted to work with. I really liked Rangeela and both the Sarkars. So it’s a great honour and a privilege for me to be working with him.

How did you get the film?

Ramu just called me one day and said he was making a film and he wanted me to be a part of it. I jumped at the opportunity.

Your Tata Sky ad with Aamir Khan is also the talk of the town.

I obviously grabbed the opportunity to share screen space with Aamir. To be honest, this is my first endorsement. But, fortunately, a lot of people have complimented me on my versatility. It’s very easy to don the same hair and make-up everyday but it’s much harder to pull off a new look each time.

Did Aamir recommend your name for the ad?

I am not sure about how it happened. (Adman) Piyush Pandey takes the call for Ogilvy ad agency. But someone in Aamir’s position would have to know what’s going on. I honestly don’t know how it transpired but I am very honoured that they thought that I was worthy of being associated with it.

How was it sharing screen space with Aamir?

It was a little intimidating to begin with. He is an actor par excellence. Aamir is renowned not only for his huge commercial status but also for being the actor he is.

As you say, you found yourself intimidated. How did you resolve that?

When I feel intimidated, I tend to become extra friendly because I need to mask my feelings. I went into ‘Oh, hello-hi’ mode but he was extremely professional and very informal. He gave me the kind of respect that I didn’t imagine from someone of his stature. Even though we only shot for two days, watching him was a learning experience on how an actor should conduct himself. His focus doesn’t shift from the job entrusted to him. He is not there to crack jokes or to entertain people. He is just there to do his best at the job.

So is this like a prequel to a film together in the future?

I would like to think so. We will be seen quite a bit on air in the months to come.

Madhavan and Vidya Balan have also benefited from their ad. Do you feel TV commercials have become important for actors to showcase their work these days? Do you think it will benefit your career as well?

One can’t deny the benefits of sharing screen space with an A-list actor. It suddenly raises the level of your visibility. The kind of cinema that I have been associated with is not in the same space as this ad because of the kind of visibility it’s going to give me.

You have already shot with Salman (in Hello) and Aamir. So is SRK next on your wish list?

It’s such an interesting coincidence that you pointed out — in the space of two weeks, I shot with both Salman and Aamir. One thing you realise is that the higher they are, the more humble they are. It’s only people in the middle who throw attitude. Both Aamir and Salman are so humble.

You have done your first ad with a Khan. So in future will that be your criterion to do an ad?

Yes. My only criterion for the next ad I do is that it should definitely feature a Khan — Aamir, Shah Rukh or Salman (laughs).

Mauli Singh

(Bollywood News Service)

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