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By RESHMI SENGUPTA
  • Published 31.01.05
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She became a sex bomb a tad too early in life. Now, Riya Sen finds her sultry siren image a little too hot to handle. Still struggling to secure her position in Bollywood, Moon Moon Sen?s younger daughter is desperate to shed her glam doll tag and make a mark as an actress. After a string of films ? in which she didn?t have much to do ? Riya has at last bagged a meaty role to show off her mettle.

Khalid Mohammed has cast Riya alongside Tabu and Bhumika in his third feature film, Silsilay (after Fiza and Tehzeeb). She plays a 20-something receptionist who switches from one affair to another in the film critic-turned-director?s story on three women struggling to assert their individuality.

To be produced by Vashu Bhagnani, Silsilay features Bhumika in a live-in relationship with Rahul Bose and Tabu as a housewife to Kay Kay Menon?s philandering husband. Celina Jaitley has a fleeting appearance.

?I have a proper chunky role in this film and an entire story to myself. And I am so happy for it. All the three women, involved in some kind of relationship, try to stand on their own feet. I have been cast opposite Jimmy Shergill and Ashmit Patel,? says Riya in one long breath.

Having debuted in south Indian film-maker Bharati Raja?s Taj Mahal, the younger sister of Raima Sen danced her way into the Indipop music video circuit some years ago through Falguni Pathak?s hit track Yaad piya ki aane lagi.

The few films that came her way soon after ? N. Chandra?s Style, Anant Mahadevan?s Dil Vil Pyar Vyar and Sujoy Ghosh?s Jhaankar Beats ? didn?t do much to propel the actress to the status of a performer to reckon with. It has only left Riya craving for a big break.

?I am tired of my sexy image. I am tired of playing the glam doll and there are so many of them in Bollywood. It?s time for me to move on. I am so glad that I could completely change my image in Silsilay. I sport a deglamourised, no make-up look. I am also not wearing mini-skirts, just regular house clothes,? adds Riya in a huff. She has just finished the final shoot schedule of Silsilay in Mumbai.

?I have also decided not to do any more music videos and just concentrate on films only,? says Riya, eager to find a foothold in Tollywood, too. ?I want to do Bengali films, like Raima,? she adds. Is the Tollygunge tinsel town tuned in?