Vasundhara Das : The Versatile Girl
(Interview : www.indya.com)
This light-eyed beauty made her screen debut in Kamal Hassans Hey Ram. After that, she cut her music album Meri Jaan. And now shes back again with a completely new career move-doing director Mira Nairs Hollywood film Monsoon Wedding.
Here, she talks about her role. And what it means for a South Iyengar girl to play a Punjabi kudi in this new flick...
Tell me about this film you are doing with Mira Nair?
I met Mira through a common friend, but had to go through a screen test to get the role in her film. Monsoon Wedding is a film about a happy Punjabi family. Naseeruddin Shah plays my father and Shefali Chayya is my sister in the film. Im playing a Punjabi girl for the first time in my life. Its going to be challenging.
How was it working with Kamal Hassan in Hey Ram?
Since Kamal himself is an actor first, he is an actors director. Working with him was an enriching experience. He knows exactly how every scene is to be shot. He will himself enact every scene for his actors, thats how meticulous he is. I learnt a lot from that experience.
Are you pursuing an acting career down South?
Im doing a Tamil film Citizen in which heartthrob Ajith is playing the hero. Its a very big film. Then there is Aacham Tavir in which Im opposite Madhavan. So I have good films in the South. Im open to doing good films, be it in Hindi or Tamil.
What about your album Meri Jaan? How did that come about?
Ive always been very interested in singing. Its my passion. I started singing at the age of 10. Meri Jaan is my first album, but when I approached Magnasound with my demo tape, they were quite hesitant at first. They wondered what kind of audience to market the album for, because of the extreme differences in every song in the tape. There were influences from Arabic strains to Latino and Spanish sounds in the songs. But finally they agreed and thats how the album was born.
Are you going to sing in films too?
I first sang a song for AR Rahman called Shakalaka Baby, which was a huge hit and won me a best playback Filmfare Award in 1999. I thoroughly enjoyed that experience. Also, I feel playback singing is very important to me. After that I sang two songs for the Kannada film Neela. I have also recorded an English song for Aamir Khans Lagaan and another one for music director Anu Malik for Aks. I will be singing for myself in both my films Citizen and Aacham Tavir as well. So, its definitely an important part of my career.
What do you enjoy more, acting or singing?
As an artiste, I enjoy both, but personally, music has been my main focus. So between the two, music definitely has an edge.