‘Honeymoon Travels is a film that dares to be different’ – Minissha Lamba

She’s been seen in films like Yahaan, Corporate, Rocky and Anthony Kaun Hai. Now, Minissha Lamba will be seen in a different avatar, paired opposite Abhay Deol in Reema Kagti’s Honeymoon Travels Pvt Ltd (HTPL) that releases on 23 February 2007.

In a candid interview with Businessofcinema.com, she shares her experience of working on the film.

What is HTPL all about?
The film is about six honeymooning couples who go on a packaged tour to Goa and how, in the course of four days, the lives of this small bunch of quirky people’s relationships are deconstructed, analysed and refitted back together in a different power equation.

How was it working in the film?
The experience has been great; it has been a fun filled film from the beginning. The script is so well written that every character is given its justification; every character is given importance in the screenplay. I think it is a wonderful film to be part of, simply because it talks of so many different things; it’s a film that is out of the box. It’s a film that dares to different; it’s a film that dares to talk about things you wouldn’t talk elsewhere.

Tell us about your role in the film.
Abhay and I play a Parsi couple, called Aspi and Zara. Reema was very specific about the social background of every character. We play modern day Parsis living in Mumbai. She has made sure that our characters are not caricature Parsis, also that we are not out to reinforce some kind of cultural stereotype.

How was it working with Abhay Deol?
It’s great working with Abhay because he is a co star who gives you a lot; he is someone who is constantly thinking beyond the written word of the script. He is constantly thinking of ways to improvise, right from getting his own personal things to help as props. He is an actor who is always proactive, to make the scene look as natural as possible.

How did you get the offer for the role?
(Smiles) well, I got a call one day from Excel entertainment, and they said they had a script coming in and would want to meet me. I walked in, got introduced to Reema, and was delighted to know I would be working with a female director! She sat down and gave me a detailed narration, word for word. I saw myself as Zara completely. As far the script was concerned, I had the smallest screen time, but it did not matter. I was sure that I wanted to be a part of this film.

After Abhay and I were confirmed, we had a look test, to see how we would look together and Reema wanted to see how much of the chemistry would she have to work on. I met Abhay for the first time and in five minutes, we clicked!

The tango number between you and Abhay looks brilliant…
Thank you! (grins) Most of my training was for this number. We rehearsed extensively. The choreographers for this song are Danny and Kulchand; Farhan had seen them when they were choreographing for Nach Baliye (a celebrity dance show on Star One) and that’s how he called them. The first day they showed us the entire dance, and we thought they were just showing off. But when they said we would have to do it too, we nearly ran away!

Reema, in all her wisdom, had called them to Goa and they were there for the entire schedule with us. Whenever there was some free time, they would catch us and make us rehearse for hours. But after the initial teething problems, we were aching to know more. It was just fun learning all of it.

How was the look for your character designed?
Every character and couple’s look was specifically designed. They had a team of stylists – Avan Contractor was heading Hair, Virginia and Natasha were heading Make up, Arjun Baseem was heading Costumes. Our look was very peppy; we are a couple who are in complete sync and in love with each other, so everything reflects that. It’s like the perfect Barbie doll with the perfect Ken. The look is completely devoid of any trace of Minissha Lamba, though there is a lot in terms of dressing that I have borrowed from the character in my own life.

What’s next for Minissha Lamba after HTPL?
I am currently working on a project called Anamika, it’s a modern day adaptation of Rebecca. It stars Dino Morea and is being directed by Anant Mahadevan. Life is a complete 360 degree turn; I won a prize for playing Rebecca in school!

What is your character in Anamika like?
The role is of a young woman who marries a man she meets, but she is uncomfortable with everything around her. It is as though the ghosts of the past have come to haunt her, she isn’t quite at sorts with herself and the person she has to become. The man who she was in love with and gave up everything to live with, suddenly becomes a different person; so she is negotiating her place and fighting for her new identity.

Is Anamika slated for a 2007 release?
Yes, we have finished about 80 per cent of the film. But although it will release this year, a definite date has not been set.

Quick bytes

On HTPL: “I just hope the film is successful so that we can make a HTPL 2.”

Favourite Song: Pyaar Ki Yeh Kahaani Suno.

Want to do: A full powered chick flick, an epic tragedy and spy thriller.

Favourite scene: When the twists of the characters are revealed.

Besides films, what else: I’m doing an ad for Neutrogena, a skincare brand.

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Sanjay Ram

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