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Meera Chopra on Nudity, Laal Singh Chaddha, Mismatched Couples: “I am not single” | Big Interview | Hindi Movie News


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Meera Chopra has not been interviewed for a while now. But the great part of talking to her is that once she settles down for a chat, she talks a lot and she talks from her heart. In our #BigInterview this week, Meera is at her unfiltered best and we bet that you will love to watch the conversation in the video below. We caught up with her at her Andheri apartment, which has been beautifully done up. During the course of this interview, Meera did not bat an eyelid at a single question.

Where have you been of late?

I’ve been around (smiles).

But that’s on social media only…
I have made this rule about myself.

What?

That I shall come out only when I am doing some work.

The industry hasn’t given you your due…

Right. Even I feel that way. I have spoken to myself to analyse where I have failed. I couldn’t make myself a part of this industry. I realised that people in this industry like to work with their friends or the people they’re familiar with. I have failed to crack that code.

The other thing is that I am an introvert. I can’t aggressively put myself out there. I can’t make plans to get clicked by the paparazzi at the airport or at any other place for that matter.

Above all, Bollywood is tough. With so many new actors coming in from star families, I see that they are doing 90 percent of the good work that is available. I understand they have a clan and where they’re coming from, so that’s the reason why this is happening. But this leads to people like me being left with hardly 5-6 per cent. I can’t fight with star kids. I have often auditioned for roles where I was better suited but those were given to people who were known to them (makers). I can’t make myself a part of any camp. The struggle never ends for an outsider like me, I guess.

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But you could have gone back to the South where you started well…

I started in the South, went to the US to complete my studies and then again went to the South. But I was never happy in the South. I had a total disconnect with the languages and I couldn’t enjoy it. Then, I went to Delhi and got a job at a popular news outlet. Lekin acting ka keeda kabhi jaata nahin (The acting bug is hard to get rid of). So I decided to switch over to Bollywood. But because of my history of being a part of commercial cinema in the South, I was offered only commercial cinema out here. I was over-confident and said ‘no’ to many projects.

Did you get any wrong vibes from makers and casting directors that made you wary and take a step back?

In Bollywood? No, not even once, and probably because I was coming with a lot of experience down South and everybody knew that I was related to Priyanka Chopra. Everybody was welcoming and I could fix up my meetings easily. Agar wrong vibes mile hote, I would have run away long back. I have hung on, haven’t I?

You didn’t get the wrong vibes in B-town, but what about South?

No. Such things happen sometimes when you go and ask for work and powerplay comes in. Down South, I was getting films sitting at home.

If you see a big filmmaker at a party, will you go up to him and say that you want to work with him?

Now, I won’t.

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But it is not necessary that the person out there will give you wrong vibes...

Look, everybody in the industry today knows who I am.

But isn’t there something called ‘recall value’?

There is, but I have never disappeared for directors and producers. At times, yes, I do text them, I do reach out to people- but to those who are my friends and not people I don’t know. I have a manager who is looking for work for me. For the media, yes, I have disappeared.

I probably won’t get a film with a big hero now. But frankly speaking, I am still in a happy space. Like, I did ‘Section 375’. I remember snatching that role from Kumar Mangat ji. He wanted to cast me for ‘Pagalpanti’ but I insisted for ‘Section 375’. He wasn’t interested in even auditioning me for it. He told me: ‘Are you mad that you’re leaving a 100 crore film and opting for a 10 crore one’? But I was very keen to play the Maharashtrian character of Anjali Dangle. Kumar Mangat ji said that I don’t look like a Marathi girl from slums- but I still insisted.

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Any film of recent times you feel that you should’ve got and done?

‘Darlings’; I am obsessed with that film.

Have you had any friends who have been victims of physical abuse?

No, but I keep reading stories and hearing about such things. Women’s causes have started to affect me, especially after I met prostitutes for the film ‘Kamathipura’ that I did for Disney Hotstar.

Coming back to ‘Darlings’, it has so much drama and an issue that is relevant to the entire world. It ticks right on all boxes.

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But you didn’t like ‘Laal Singh Chaddha’…

It’s a remake of a film that was released 28 years back. People didn’t question in those days, but it didn’t make sense to me why he was running for 4 years; it wasn’t justified.

And then, I am a true patriot. Whatever they showed against the Army was not cool. The American PM then had introduced a programme for hiring 1 lakh mentally disabled people for those wars that according to him were not special to send his soldiers. The Indian Army doesn’t do that. Nothing like that happened in India. Everybody knows that the elite soldiers were sent to the Kargil war.

And then he rescues a terrorist and he’s roaming free in India; you are questioning our government then. While I understand the aspect of creative liberties in a film, you are showing things that are fundamentally wrong.

The music was beautiful and so was ‘LSC’ as a film, but Kareena Kapoor and Mona Singh were the good parts of the film. I have a problem with ‘LSC’ on fundamental issues.

A lot of people on Twitter disagreed with you…
Yes, but as I said, I am a patriot. Talk to Army guys, they are pissed with the movie. I come from an Army family. Priyanka and Parineeti’s dad have been in the Army.

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When people start disagreeing with you on social media, do you get intimidated?

Who are they? I don’t know them. Maybe they are bought. Why have a conversation with them?


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Talking about films of today, do you think there’s a certain disconnect with the content that is being dished out?

But 10 years ago, we weren’t exposed to world cinema. And today, we are dishing out substandard products and actors. Imagine, we are casting people based on the number of their Instagram followers. Once you do that, people know you are coming with a substandard product. Audience is not a fool. A 50-year old guy cannot go to college and romance a 20 year old girl.

Are you saying that senior actors in India need to reinvent themselves?

Of course.

In what way? Like Amitabh Bachchan did in ‘Mohabbatein’?

That’s exactly what I am saying.

You mean they shouldn’t go on playing the hero and the villain per se?

Yes.

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But in Hollywood…

Who? Tom Cruise came back in ‘Top Gun: Maverick’. That’s a cult film. And, didn’t he play a coach who is 55 years old?

Are we getting obsessed with biopics and remakes here?

Remakes, yes. That’s because we are not giving our writers due importance. I am planning to produce a film. I was trying to do a remake. But I realised that no, I shouldn’t go for a remake. I am getting inclined towards OTT these days. I am a sucker for web shows.

Would you be comfortable doing intimate scenes which are common parlance in web space?

I haven’t kissed on screen till now. I refused many such films in my early days.

Would you have done a role like Kubbra Sait’s in ‘Sacred Games’?

Are you mad?

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If the maker was very big? Mandikini did ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ made by Raj Kapoor…

It doesn’t matter to me. I am not 20 anymore, I’m not at the age where I would imagine that such a thing would take me somewhere. Did Mandakini do it again? I am not aware of her journey. It worked for Kubbra though; she got a lot of work after that, she got a Hollywood project- ‘Foundation’. But I won’t. To each his own.

Is Meera Chopra single?

No, I am never single.

Who’s the guy?

Nobody’s business. It’s private. It’s personal.

Do you believe in marriage?

Totally. I have been trying to get married for the last 5 years. I need to find the right guy whom I want to settle down with (smiles).




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