Bhatnagar has been in the glamour field for quite
sometime now. A model turned actress; Deepti believes in being independent and
take the world head on. A typical 'Punjab di kudi' from Meerut, she's carved a
niche for herself in modeling and hopes to do the same in Bollywood as well. We
caught up with her on the eve of her film 'Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri's release. Deepti
talked about her modelling days, her entry into films and Surprise! Surprise!
How did you get into modelling?
I was ex- 'Miss India- Eves Weekly' when I was still
in college. This was in the first year. Then I completed graduation and came to
Mumbai. A friend asked of me to model for his shop and I agreed. So I modeled
for his shop and then I went to Meerut. I belong to Meerut. And then I started
getting calls from Mumbai and I came back..
me about life in Meerut?
Life in Meerut was
serene. I still wonder sometimes after all this while, how did I come here and
stay here all by myself.
How did your parents
react to this?
Since I was very young, in the
10th standard, I have been a very independent girl. I started a small business
in the summer holidays. I used to supply furnishing and cushion covers, bed spreads
to the stores. I used to supply to 'Amarsons' and I would come to Mumbai for that.
I started a small boutique. We used to supply clothes also. So when I was in 10th,
11th, 12th.I started the venture. I believe in being independent and working hard.
I never thought I'd make a career in this because I am from a conservative family.
One is not sure how you are going to stay on in Mumbai and that too all-alone.
My mom knew my independence and she had a lot of trust in me because she's seen
me working in 1990 in Singapore. I was in modelling for one year.
Was it tough in the modelling world?
not all. When I came to the modelling scene I was the only one with the Indian
look. I was the only Indian looking girl…girl next door kind of face and long
hair so I think that did a lot for me. My image was of an innocent and traditional
kind of a girl because all these products needed homely looking girls. I got a
lot of work and now I have done everything possible.
How did you get your first break in films?
was like this. I did Siyaram's ad and one of my heroes saw this ad. He said that
this is a nice girl and why don't you cast her? I received a call from the people
in charge of the movie I was offered the role. At that time I was buying a house
and needed the extra money. So I said to myself why not do this film? It was not
a planned move at all and I didn't think twice about the choices. Today the girls
are much smarter, discerning about the banner they come under and the image they
maintain. I did the film because the hero is a very nice guy and we are talking
about Jackie Shroff in 'Raam Shastra'.
How was it working with Jackie?
It was wonderful.
He is such a sweet costar.
And a lot of
You can say that. But then there was hardly anything to do in the film. It wasn't
very difficult. I was just modelling in that film.
which filmmaker did you learn the most?
'Raam Shastra', I did a Telugu film, which was my second film. It was with director
Raghvendra Rao and he is a very big director down South. He's done a lot of Hindi
films. He's even launched Sridevi in Hindi films. I did his film and it became
a school of acting for me. It was a heroine-oriented subject with a lot of dialogues
and performances. Telugu not being my mother tongue, I had to really work hard.
And if you work with a good director he makes you do everything right. You might
not have a good starcast, but if you have good director you don't need anything
else. I think everybody is a director's actress.
film 'Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri' is due for release shortly. What are your views
on the film?
Again, a performance oriented role.
What happens is that when you are new you don't get a film with a great starcast
and a good role. So I signed a few such films. This is one of them. It has a very
good role for me. Its a totally heroine oriented film and I enjoyed it until some
problems cropped up.
What kind of problem are you talking about?
You see its very important to work like a family and
one should feel that it's not only the producer's film but your own film once
you are involved in it. I always wore my own clothes and I would not even think
twice about using my stuff because ultimately it is me who is to come on screen.
Its so disheartening especially if you have put in so much and you don't get the
results back not even the respect. And I didn't want to work like that. Everyone
wants to work with sincerity and dignity. And if you loose that out everything's
gone. And that's what happened to that film. It was one of my favorite films and
I hope its come out well. I had really worked hard on the film. I haven't seen
the film and I have heard that it is ready for release now and I really out of
touch and so I don't know when .I would like to wish all of them a very good luck
all the team.
Do you feel that you have
learnt a lot from this film?
especially from this film. Its very important to work with A grade directors or
What do you mean by this?
By that I mean people who have been making films for a long
time. Like I did 'Mann' even if it was a small role. I was satisfied as I did
the film under a director and producer who were making a big banner film. You
are sure that people will see the film. Now I feel that even if it is a small
role I should work with good people. With 'Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri' I did all the
hard work and finally the people didn't even pay me. Then someone else did the
dubbing and someone did the duplicates. These things are not a problem with A
grade producers and directors. It never happened to me before. I have now done
13 films and this is the only film I had a problem with. I have forgotten them
now and I am planning to start with a clean slate.
what are you looking for in a script now?
you can't really ask for a lot of things in this industry. The competition is
too much. I have made sure that I will do a good film. I won't waste myself in
doing films where people won't buy the ticket. I'd rather do something where people
appreciate me. That will give me a lot of satisfaction. I don't want to be in
a film where I am restricted to being behind the hero and running around trees.
I have one or two art films coming my way and they are very small budget films,
I might do one of those films.
be your preference - comedy or serious ones? I'd
say not comedy but homely kind of roles is my forte. I think I am good in such
roles. I would like to do all kind of roles like I the one I did in 'Mann' where
I played a kinky bimbo. This is what Aamir told me once. He said Deepti you should
try out everything. He said that I would love to do your role. That's become my
motto now and I try to do different roles.
lengths have you gone to while performing a role?
did this film called 'Uljhan' where I played a psychic girl. In a scene I had
a gun in my hand and I am driving a car and I was driving towards the top of the
hill and the whole unit was backing me saying Deepti you have to get into your
character and get an award for this role. I got into the role so much that I didn't
realize that I was driving at a speed of 100 and at the top of the mountain and
when the dialogue got over and I tried to put on the breaks of my car and the
breaks failed and I was going right down the cliff. Suddenly the breaks worked
and the car skidded right into the mountain and the cameraman and some unit members
almost died in the crash. My face rammed in to the windscreen and I was bleeding
profusely. Everyone thought I was dead. This was how I just forgot myself and
I went on with my acting oblivious to my environment.
My favorites are Aamir and
Govinda. I would like to work with Aamir because he is such a wonderful actor.
I did 'Mann' with him and it was a great experience. He is such an intense actor,
so committed and that is the best part. I would also like to act with Govinda
because he is a complete actor, an entertainer.
I have 'Dulhan Banoo Mein Teri' which
is ready for release and 'Saamna' this completes my backlog. Saamna is directed
by Guru (chief in Mahesh Bhatt's unit) where I play a lawyer who is the daughter
of a prominent lawyer. The difference in this film is that I get to learn a lot
especially about the different aspects of acting. Like I learnt to cry without
the use of glycerine and I could be as natural as possible. I am starring in a
film with Sunny Deol and Tabu. It is called 'Sikandar'. There is also this untitled
film about 4 guys and girls and all models are acting in that film. Right now
its called Fear.
Your favorite commercials?
Of my favorite commercials, the whole series
of ads for Siyaram's would rank at the top. I had not done their ad for the last
two years and then they got me back for their latest one. Now people identify
me with that and it has given me immense popularity. That's very close to my heart.
Any thing special that you are working
Ya! Actually working on an album now
and it is a pop album.
you had any professional training?
Yes, I am
a classical singer. I had vocal music as one of subjects in school and college.
I learnt music for nine years and I took 'Visharad' in music. I have been in touch
with singing through my film shows. I have also done some playback singing for
one of my films. I had done a film with Rahul Rawail, which is shelved now. I
sang for that film.
I believe that you
have also directed a music video. How did that come about?
like to experiment a lot. A Sri Lankan group based in Germany approached me for
starring in their music video. And when they contacted me for this video, I enquired
about the director of the video and they said that they were looking out for someone.
So I told them I was interested in doing it. And that's how I came to doing that
video. Basically, I have a penchant for doing different and new things that interest
Any more music videos on the floors?
No. I have been offered many. But since I am going
into singing. I feel I have to concentrate on it. Thank you very much for speaking
to us Deepti. We wish you all the best.