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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Sid’s new Bong girl

Rocket Singh — the salesman of the year — has become friends with a Calcutta girl. Meet Debi Dutta, better known as Debi, a familiar face on the small screen, thanks to the many ads she features in, who makes her foray into B-town with this Yash Raj release.

So, how did the Shimit Amin film happen? “Actually, I know the casting director Abhimanyu. Earlier also he had called me to audition for a small-budget film. But I did not go because I wasn’t interested in acting. This time when he called me up, I thought of giving it a shot. I auditioned for it and I got to know in a few hours that I had been selected. My agency said that since it’s a Yash Raj banner I should take it up. I play Aparna, Ranbir’s childhood friend,” she smiles.

And it was an experience to remember for this 5’6’’ pretty woman. For one, she cannot stop raving about Wake Up Sid’s Sid. “I think he is very talented! People call him hot and good-looking, but I think he is also a brilliant actor. Working with Shimit Amin is not easy. He will make you do 10-12 takes to get the perfect shot. Ranbir was so patient! He gets into the character’s complexion. There was this one scene where Ranbir had to look very sad. In between the shots too Ranbir stayed in character,” gushes Debi.

So, did she really bond with anyone on the Yash Raj sets? “With Shazahn (Padamsee, daughter of theatre veteran Alyque Padamsee), who plays Ranbir’s love interest in the film,” she giggles. Besides Rocket Singh, the Jodhpur Park girl also has her hands full with a Tamil film titled Bana, where she is all set to sizzle in a “song sequence before the climax”.

Working with top-of-the-league stars is, however, nothing new for her. Thanks to innumerable ads (read Mysore Sandal Soap, Vatika Hair Oil, HCL laptops, Shalimar Paints, Nokia, Skoda, Lenovo, Pepsi, Close Up, Reliance, Lakme, phew!), Debi has worked with the likes of Shah Rukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan and John Abraham. Currently on air is her “solo” Thums Up commercial with the Khiladi Kumar. “I heard Akshay was selecting (the girl opposite him in the ad) himself. I auditioned for it and in five days I was told that I was on. We shot for it in Kuala Lumpur,” she recounts.

And she also takes us on a backstage activity tour of the 40-something hot bod. “He is a very fit guy. No wonder he is known as the Khiladi! He is very strong. Even during breaks, he used to exercise,” she smiles.

Waiting in the pipeline is her Fair and Handsome advert with SRK. “I play a damsel in distress and Shah Rukh plays himself. This was my first shoot with him. He is such a humble man — he actually asked me whether I wanted to have coffee on the sets! He is also really hard-working. That is why he is where he is today. The next day, we again met at a party. I thought he wouldn’t be able to recognise me, but he did! That made me feel very special,” she signs off.

A “solo” film doesn’t seem too far away for our Debi.

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