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FACE TO FACE

Straight from her heart

Gul Panag on the liplock she shares with co-actor Vinay Pathak in her forthcoming film, Straight


What do you call a beauty pageant winner who begins her career in a totally non-glam avatar, then goes in for a sexy makeover and keeps her audience guessing all the while? Besides Gul Panag, you call her versatile of course. Mostly in the news this year for her dare-to-bare cover shoots and for playing Aamir Khan’s wife in the popular Tata Sky commercials, Gul is having a great time. “Yes, in that sense I have come full circle. I have done serious cinema, established myself as an actor, done my mag shoots, red carpet appearances, and managed to surprise every time. That’s essential for an actor,” she says.

Gul’s awaiting the release of her film with Vinay Pathak called Straight, in which she plays Renu — a caricature artist who moonlights as an accountant to keep the fires burning. The film essentially is about Peenu Patel, a London-based restaurateur with confused ideas about his sexuality. “It’s a cute romantic comedy where I play an extremely attractive artist. It’s my second film with Vinay and I am excited about working with him for he is a very seasoned actor,” says Gul.

There is also a much-talked about onscreen kiss with Vinay. “When don’t I have an onscreen kiss in my movies?” she asks. “In almost every film, I have had one. I am very comfortable with it. Actually, Vinay was not at all comfortable with it and I had to put him at ease and tell him it’s just a kiss.”

But this girl’s not giving anybody an opportunity to slot her into a stereotype. “It’s the insecurity of an actor that spurs me to do something different every time. The skill is to seamlessly adapt myself from a Dor to a Manorama Six Feet Under to a Maxim. I remember just one thing — the audience will not give me my next job, the industry will. So they need to see what I am capable of.”

Chemistry with Aamir

Her chemistry with Aamir Khan in ads has fuelled speculation about the two acting together in films. So will the choosy Khan and she be seen together in a movie? “That could be a possibility in the near future though I can’t confirm anything right now,” she adds.

After Straight with director Parvati Balagopalan, Gul will be seen in Parvati’s next film too, Phir Zindagi. There is Hello Darling, a comedy where she shares screen space with Celina Jaitley and Isha Koppikhar, and A Rectangular Love Story with Ranvir Sheorey and Purab Kohli. The actress has also been signed up for Rann by RGV next to Amitabh Bachchan and Riteish Deshmukh.

HARSHIKAA UDASI

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