Don't pit Mallika against me & Ash
Thursday, March 22, 2007 12:27 IST
By Subhash K Jha, Santa Banta News Network
/> Having conquered the global audience with her brave stint on Big Brother Shilpa Shetty is all set to star in an Indian musical on the lines of Bollywood Dreams, that Andrew Llloyd Webber-A.R Rahman musical which changed the destiny of pop-Bollywood culture globally.

Reveals Shilpa, "I'm going to be in an Indian musical on the lines of Bollywood Dreams. Though it will be 'Bollywood' in spirit it will be completely catering to Western sensibilities.

It's a hugely ambitious musical, and I'm very excited. I always wanted to do something like Moulin Rouge or Chicago. This is my chance,"

Farhat Hussein who organizes the big Bollywood concerts in Britain, is going to produce the musical.

"Farhat has very big ambitions for the musical. And if it all goes well it will be the biggest staged extravaganza ever featuring someone from the Mumbai film industry. My schedules are being worked out. But I plan to do it for three months in England, and maybe then take it down to the US and Australia.

Bollywood is so 'in' right now. Post Big Brother, this entire ethnic culture has created such an intrigue all over the world. And Bollywood Dreams did so well so many years ago. The appetite for Bollywood in the West has only increased."

On one end Shilpa is acquiring the reputation of being a spokesperson for racial discrimination and other global issues. On the other end her role as a glamour icon grows.

"Oh, there are numerous projects on the anvil, including a film in British and Indian film from a very reputed company. But that Bill Bannerman film never came to me. And I doubt it went to Ash either. People just presumed we got the offers because maybe we're the names that immediately come to mind.

I'm very happy for Mallika, and I feel she got the role because she suited and deserved it. Please don't make it seem as if she was pitted against us.

As for me, there's the question of whether I'd want to do such a role or not. There're certain compromises I'd never make. I've never made them, so why should I do so now?

So whether it's Hollywood or British films, they've to fit into my scheme of morality. It's very easy for me to sign lucrative deals out here. But I want to make money on my own terms."

Shilpa was in India last week. She attended the Liz-Hurley-Arun Nayar marriage. "When I came back here to London I was horrified when a Reuter journalist asked me if Liz Hurley tried to hitch me up with Imran Khan.

It's such a frivolous question. I mean, just because Imran is Jemima's ex and Liz is Hugh's ex, does it mean we'll come together? Sounds weird, doesn't it?"

Shilpa will be traveling back from London three times in the next month to finish shooting for Anurag Basu's Metro.

"I couldn't finish the film because there were too many combination scenes with Kangana, Shiney Ahuja and Konkona. Trust me, I'm not responsible for the delay. I'm very very proud of Metro. It's turned out very well."

Right now Shilpa is incredibly excited about the Bollywood musical. "After Big Brother I was constantly asked about which films and endorsements I was doing.

Those are fine. But I was looking at expanding my horizon, going to another level. This musical gives me a chance of doing something I always wanted to do."
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