New Delhi: She had once famously remarked that only Shah Rukh Khan and sex sells in Bollywood but actress Neha Dhupia is now tired of the ‘sexy’ tag, which she believes has worked against her.
The former Miss India, who started her Bollywood journey with bold roles in Qayamat and Julie, feels that despite having done some very serious roles, she has not been taken seriously in the industry because of her ‘sexy’ image.
“I sincerely believe that the term ‘sexy’ is always used against me,” Dhupia told PTI.
The actress had to work hard to get over the Julie nickname that she earned for herself after a dare bare portrayal of a prostitute in the namesake film in 2004.
“No one seems to realise that I can do a lot more. Why don't people remember Mithya, Singh Is Kinng, Dasvidaniya or a Maharathi?” she questions.
“I strongly believe that my biggest flaw is that I am sexy. Just because of that, it is always safely presumed that I would be busy out there seducing people on screen,” she says.
The 29-year-old star, however, is happy about the compliments that she has received for her recent success in comic caper De Dana Dan. She is also looking forward to audience’s reaction to her forthcoming release Raat Gayi Baat Gayi.
Dhupia's very first shot in debut Qayamat saw her emerging from sea wearing a swimsuit and her next release was Julie, which despite its success, placed the actress in a bracket from where it was difficult to come out.
Her subsequent releases like Sheesha, where she played the role of a seductress and Teesri Aankh - The Hidden Camera, where she played a porn film victim, didn't help her cause either.
Dhupia decided to come out of her ‘sex siren’ image by accepting a strong supporting role opposite Kareena Kapoor in Priyadarshan’s Chup Chup Ke.
“It was Priyadarshan who came forward to help me change my image. When the entire world was after me to wear a bikini, he put me in a salwar- kameez,” Dhupia says.
“The problem is that no one realises I can do a lot more. Thankfully films like Ek Chalis Ki Last Local and Mithya followed that helped me showcase a different facet of my acting talent,” she adds.
Dhupia plays an aspiring actress Sophia, a femme fatale in her forthcoming film Raat Gayi Baat Gayi. Her character is like a jigsaw puzzle in the film, which slowly unfolds through a series of interesting interactions with the men (Rajat Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Dilip Tahil) she meets.
So, is she happy to be playing a sexy seductress again?
“What makes you think that I am a seductress? May be I am a victim myself in that party. Yes, in the film's context, I do flirt and have a drink with others around. But then may be ‘I am a poor-little-vulnerable-I-don't-know-what-to-do’ Neha than being a sexy seductress Neha,” she jokes.