You might feel that she is on a long break since we haven’t seen her on the big screen since quite a while. But Neetu Chandra is working on a lot of things, one being this Rahat Fateh Ali song called Banjarey.
In this exclusive interview with Urban Asian, she speaks about this song, her projects and shaadi plans.
What made you say yes to this song?
Firstly, it’s a song that no one could say no to. The legendary Rahat Fateh Ali Khan, who is a master of his craft, the romantic tracks that he has sung in the past and the family where he comes from, there was no way I could’ve refused this offer. Also, the soulful lyrics written by Anupama Raag totally touched my heart. Besides, I anyway feel like a Banjara myself considering I love traveling so much.
Where is the song shot? The places are beautiful.
The song has been shot in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan is the broken half of Russia. It makes for a 3 hour flight from Delhi. Of course it’s a beautiful place, the second largest lake is found here. It was an apt place to shoot considering its beauty, serenity and peaceful vibes. More and more directors are exploring this place as a shoot spot.
The song has a very sensual feel to it. Was it always planned that way?
It was never planned as such to bring out a sense of sensuality in the track. But how they say, if you believe in something then the entire universe comes together to help you achieve your dreams. It did come out that way mainly due to the track itself, the location. Also, I have this image of being very sensual, I have a curvaceous well-toned body, for which I work very hard. Our cameraman was a Tamil from Malaysia who hadn’t seen much of Bollywood movies. I guess it’s all the factors put together that gave the song a sensual feel.
We haven’t seen you much lately. What kept you busy all this while?
Well, you may not have seen me doing a lot of Hindi cinema, though I am actively pursuing theatre. I was a part of the play on the legendary Umrao Jaan where I played a girl who ages from 16 to 85 years of age. The music was composed by Rekha Bharadwaj. I have completed over 70+ plays. It’s exhilarating to stand on a stage and enact a scene. Theatre may be more tedious than shooting a film, but films are important to reach a wider audience and gain popularity. I am doing a Greek film. I co-produced a film along with my brother Nitin Chandra called Mithila Makhaan which went on to win the National Award. Together, we have a production house called Champaran Talkies. Apart from this, I have been traveling a lot. The Korean consulate announced me as the brand ambassador of Taekwondo in India. There has been a lot on my plate. I have also shot a Hindi film with Paresh Rawal called Kusar Prasad Ka Bhoot. I was doing a lot of quality work.
Many people in Hollywood have been named for sexual assault recently. Do you feel the situation is same here in India?
I believe it’s across the globe and not just restricted to Hollywood or Bollywood per se. It exists in every field whether it’s the film industry or the corporate world. It is our job to be strong and stand tall against injustice. Initially, people were extremely hesitant to come out in the open and talk about their tragedies. Now, the same people have led go of their inhibitions and have started standing up for themselves. More power to all of us.
Which is the one thing you simply can’t stand?
The biggest turn off for me is people who don’t take care of themselves. Our body is a gift from God and it is important that we nourish it and enrich it every day.
Three people you can blindly trust?
First and foremost there’s my mother, second my Kohati uncle who has been taking care of me for the past 10 years and lastly I trust myself enough to take the right decisions, though I do consult my mother on things every now and then.
Any plans to get married?
Of course I want to get married but where is the guy haha! I totally believe in the institution of marriage. I do see myself settling down one fine day, when the time is right it shall happen. Meanwhile I am busy working.
What are your future projects?
I am doing Ladaku which is an action packed Taekwondo film. I am working in a period film called Company Ustaad, I have already shot for Kusar Prasad Ka Bhoot opposite Paresh Rawal. I am busy with two productions, 1 play and an international outing in LA for which I will be making an announcement soon.