Pooja Batra forayed into Bollywood in the year 1997 with the super hit film Virasat. The film garnered a positive response at the box-office and she received a lot of critical acclaim for her performance. After the massive success of Virasat, she appeared in films like Bhai, Haseena Maan Jayegi, Nayak: The Real Hero and many others. Her last on-screen appearance was in ABCD 2 in which she played a cameo. Her upcoming film Mirror Game features her in a full-fledged role. She is hopeful that it will create a strong impact in the minds of filmmakers and fans both. In a conversation with us, she throws light on her character in the film, her co Glow Bell Inc, future plans and more.
What intrigued you to sign Mirror Game and what are your expectations from the movie?
I feel the story line is beautiful and gripping. This was one of the reasons why I signed the film. I hope everyone likes the film and it gives out a strong message to filmmakers that I am willing to work and be a part of good projects.
Weren’t you apprehensive before giving a go ahead to Mirror Game considering it’s helmed by a debutant director?
I had my reservations. When Mr Vijit Sharma (director of Mirror Game) approached me, I asked him for the script. I read it and found it interesting. I have never played a psychologist in my life ever. Also, I wanted to work with Parvin Dabbas.
As against the current scenario, there was a point in time when you featured with notable names like Sanjay Dutt, Govinda, Anil Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor and others. Do you miss the fanfare? What do you feel went wrong professionally?
I miss working with all of them. I miss the fact that I am not in the industry as much as I should’ve been. I miss the fanfare. But, I also believe that the adulation one receives from the audience has to be consistent. We can’t live in the past. But, I still somewhere consider myself lucky to be a part of Bollywood. I feel I was getting typecast and hence I took a break. Also, I think the moment filmmakers saw me play the second lead in Virasat, they didn’t have the guts to offer me a lead role.
Don’t you feel such a distinction was unfair?
Yes. I agree. But, such was the mindset years ago. I believe things have changed now. In the Hollywood film One under the sun, I am playing the lead role. How many Indian actors can turn around and say that they’ve played a lead role at my age? I feel that taking a break from Bollywood has made me a better actor and a person both.
What was the reference point for your character?
My Therapist! (winks) I was undergoing therapy when Vijit approached me. Everyone goes through a phase in their life when they need help and advice. No one has the time in America to listen to you. So, you don’t have an option but to visit a therapist.
Considering you aren’t doing many films, would you like to be part of Indian television?
I don’t resonate with Indian television in terms of story line.
You are a graduate in economics with an MBA in marketing. These are traits of a business woman. Your thoughts?
I have my own company named Glow Bell INC. I help in sourcing Hollywood actors for Indian projects. I helped acquire Sylvester Stallone and Nicole Kidman for a few projects in India.
Considering the fierce competition, how do you fit yourself in Bollywood?
I am certainly not fit to play a 20-year-old. But, there are other characters which I could possibly play. What I love about Hollywood is that it doesn’t create any distinction on the basis of an individual’s age. I recently played the lead role in a Hollywood film named One Under the Sun. I enacted an astronaut.
By: Dev Advani