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Sushmita SenSushmita Sen 'drained emotionally and physically'
16th Jan 2006  14.01 IST
By Agencies  

Former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen says she experienced physical and emotional exhaustion while enacting the role of sex worker Basanti in Kalpana Lazmi 's forthcoming film Chingari .

''It is my best performance to date,'' Sushmita said during an interaction with media persons at her residence in Mumbai on Sunday.

'Chingari' is due for release on February 3.

According to Sushmita, the painful life of a sex worker and the sacrifices she makes by settling for anything brought in her a feeling of disgust. ''My self-belief about the plight of women especially in rural areas turned into my vulnerability,'' she said.

''The role of a rural woman and that too a sex worker during the dated times offered to me was unlike the image and perception people have about me. It was a challenge to rise to the occasion and I did not want to miss the bus,'' she said.

The 30-yr-old actress who puts across her views articulately, said, it was perhaps for the first time in her acting career that she took time to portray Basanti's character in the movie.

''Our job is to act and not become the character. But, I fell in love with Basanti,'' she said.

About the film, Sushmita said 'Chingari' was not a statement against prostitution.

''It is looking at the profession through the perspective of the sex worker herself. It is a painful life to watch. The turning point in her life comes when she experiences love and respect from a man,'' Sushmita said.

Lazmi, the director of the film, said that she finds it interesting to work with commercial actors whose ''potential is yet to be tapped.''

''Working together have excited them (actors) as well as myself and it is a challenging job to present glamorous actors in a different light,'' Lazmi added.

She said since Sushmita was a mainstream commercial actor, it was quite a challenging task to present her as a rural woman in sensitive role of a prostitute, 'Basanti' in the movie.

''Be it Dimple Kapadia as a mourner in 'Rudali' or Raveena Tandon as a battered housewife in Daman , I select the actors keeping in mind the character,'' Lazmi said and added that she did not write scripts keeping a particular actor in mind.

''All these three actresses have been at their glamorous best, before we got together to make socially purposeful films,'' she said.

She said she did not agree that roles were ''deglamourised.''

''In 'Chingari', I have allowed Sushmita to use makeup in rural style. Even in 'Daman', Raveena used a lot of makeup till she was widowed in the film,'' Lazmi said.

On 'Chingari', Lazmi said she needed a female star who was also a good actress.

'Chingari' is a love story, unusual and unrequited between a sex worker called 'Basanti', a priest called Bhuvan Panda played by Mithun Chakraborty and the postman, Chandan Mishra, played by Anuj Sawhney, Lazmi said.

Sushmita Sen
Kalpana Lazmi
Dimple Kapadia
Raveena Tandon
Mithun Chakraborty

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