The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Riya reveals

When do you plan to settle down?

I would love to settle down but not now. There are several proposals. It’s not about the time that’s important for marriage. It’s about when you think you’ve met the right one.

Don’t your parents pressure you to get married?

There’s no pressure. I think all parents want their daughters to get married. My parents don’t pressurise me, but they won’t mind if I get married. But I am in no hurry.

How often do you get marriage proposals?

I get proposals every day and I love the attention I get. But I just haven’t found the right man yet! I will say yes when I come across the right person. Marriage can only happen then.

I know I’m pretty decent-looking and successful. More than being a celebrity, I have a family name that I can boast of. I am very proud of my family. I hail from a great background and have thousands of people who want to marry me but for me my career is top priority and at the moment I have a great line-up of films to concentrate on. I know I’m eligible, so I’m very careful!

Who’s your ideal man?

He should be someone who can understand me and vice versa. He should belong to a good family. He should be hardworking and intelligent.

Do you count Salman Rushdie as one of your admirers?

(Laughs) Salman Rushdie is just a friend. I have been linked up with every man on earth. There’s nobody left. I think only my mom (Moon Moon Sen) is left to be linked up with me now!

Do you know that your posters are one of the most downloaded items on the Net?

Yes, I take it as a compliment. But I have never analysed as to why. I have lived life on my own terms. I am never going to change my lifestyle for anything.

You are very comfortable with your body in front of the camera...

Well, I am an actress and I have to be comfortable in front of the camera. Besides, as someone of today’s generation, if you are not comfortable with yourself you are not comfortable with anyone. I am a very confident and comfortable person.... I have never tried to be sexy. It’s just a tag given to me by people. But I am okay with it.

Who do you think you resemble the most?

A lot of people tell me that I resemble my mom. A lot of people also tell me that I resemble my grandmother (Suchitra Sen) and father (Bharat Dev Burman). I think I look like a little bit of all three.

Do you watch your grandmother’s films?

Yes, I do watch her films. And I watch my mother’s and sister’s films too.

Anything about Suchitra Sen that you have imbibed?

I feel that every person is different. We all have different personalities, so it’s best to be yourself in front of the camera. Besides, we belong to a different generation. There’s a huge generation gap between my grandmother and me. In her times, the filmmaking and the technicalities were very different. So, there’s no point in imbibing her style or attitude.

You are a great favourite of the rumour mill...

It is called insecurity. Let barking dogs bark. I don’t wash dirty linen in public. I am extremely happy being an actress. I know I am capable of launching my own shoe line, cosmetics line, clothes line, do jewellery designing, directing, scripting, singing.... But there’s nothing like being an actress. It’s an addiction. I know I am lucky. There are thousands who would like to be in my shoes.

What are your upcoming films?

I am doing Shaadi After Death, produced by Manmohan Shetty. Then, there’s Ajay Chandok’s Kyaa Fool Hai Hum and Subhash Ghai’s Paying Guest. I have finished shooting Rituparno Ghosh’s Noukadubi. It will release sometime in March-April. Talks are on for another Bengali film but things are yet to be finalised.

BORN: On January 24 at Belle Vue

SCHOOL: Loreto House


MOVED TO MUMBAI: Six years ago. Lives in Juhu with sister Raima.

FILMOGRAPHY: Style, Qayamat, Jhankaar Beats, Silsilay, Apna Sapna Money Money, Shaadi No. 1, Anandabhadram (Malayalam), Heroes, Abohoman (post-production), Noukadubi (post-production), Kyaa Fool Hai Hum (pre-production), Shaadi After Death (pre-production), Paying Guest (ready for release)

PLUS: “I have done a couple of ad films for Nirma, Limca and Colgate, among others.”

ONE THING SHE WILL DO IN 2010: “I don’t know. I never plan for the future. I am happy with the present.”

TOLLYWOOD MEANS: “An industry I have grown up in, watching the films of my mother and grandmother.”

BOLLYWOOD MEANS: “The same. I think all industries are the same.”

CALCUTTA MEANS: “Home is where the heart is.”


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