“This time, I’d like to think that I made the trees run around me” – Neetu Chandra

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It’s always a delight catching up with an actress who speaks her mind and doesn’t bore you with diplomatic answers. We are talking about Neetu Chandra. She’s brave (off screen and on) and has no qualms in addressing whatever issues you throw her way. These days she’s controversy’s favourite child, but continues to not let anything bog her down. With her much talked about film Apartment releasing this Friday, I thought it would be best to speak to the girl herself and get some of the things cleared up that have been circling the news for some time now. Here is the ever so candid Neetu Chandra as she speaks about all things Apartment.

Tell us a bit about Apartment. It looks really intriguing.

I play a girl from a small town and how she comes to Mumbai to move ahead in life. She looses her mind because she can’t handle the glam world and understand how people can be so insensitive in life.

What attracted you to this script the most?

There are very little female oriented films. And this role in particular gave me a chance to play a lot of versatile shades ranging from a small town girl to a huge glam doll. I thought it was a great idea to get such a role. The script is so strong and revolved around me quite significantly, so I could really showcase my talent in various emotions. In India, it’s mostly male orientated roles that are made and I am very jealous of all these male actors. Generally, an actress is used as a prop or as glam doll, but this time I’d like to think that I made the trees run around me instead of me running around trees!

Does the character match your personality in any way?

Yes, of course as I come from a small town myself. I personally felt that the way the character’s journey is written in the script is exactly how I came to Mumbai six years ago. From a small town, very young at the time and didn’t know what to do and whom to trust or where to go. It’s something that would have scared any young girl like me. So, yes in that way, I have loads similar with my character.

Now this will be your second film with Tanushree Dutta the first one being Theeratha Vilayattu Pillai, a Tamil film. So, how is it working with her?

Very good. Tanu is a professional girl. Like any other actor she’s worked very hard to be where she is. She’s great actor. Although I’m just very professional and cordial at all times.

And how was it working with Mr Jag Mundra who’s an internationally known director?

I respect Mr Mundra like a father. That’s the kind of chemistry we have. I love working with him because he’s an international exposed Indian director who is brave enough to do female orientated films. He leads the actor and still gives them space to do what they want to do.

How do you like the soundtrack of the film? Any favourite tracks?

‘Candy Man’ would have to be it. It’s quite hip-hop and quite me, because it’s a dance number and I love to dance!

Okay now to the million dollar question. The movie has been in the news for so many reasons, one of them being that you’ve shot quite a bold scene apparently. Tell us what is this scene really all about or is all this hype purely media created?

I’ll honestly tell you that it’s a completely media created thing. They’re completely misjudging the scene and writing about it in different ways. If you see the scene it’s a shot of me sitting in a shower and it’s just the portrayal of a total maniac of a girl who’s totally lost in her world. Her insanity has come to a level where her body and mind are not in sync. She’s just in a mad situation of her life where she doesn’t know what to do. The scene has no seductiveness to it. I’m sorry to say that the boldness of the scene is not actually the way the media has said it is. This may come as a disappointment, but that is the way it is.

So what’s next after this one?

I have Khusar Prasad Ka Bhoot releasing with Govind Namdeo, Raghbir Yadav and Paresh Rawal. Then I have a film called No Problem, which is directed by Aneez Bazmee. After that I have a Vipul Shah production titled Love Jaisa Kuch.

At the moment, of course you’re busy with so many releases, but the industry is totally enveloped in the IPL craze. Are you into the game at all?

I am not an IPL buff. Not a cricket buff either. I watch it because my brother watches it, but I don’t rigorously follow it. I feel like other sports in India are not supported well and cricket steals the limelight. Even the national game is not supported as much as cricket. I just don’t like the game much, cricket, but I do like other games like basketball.

So what do you do in your spare time?

I like to spend as much time with my mom as she needs a lot of me after my dad’s passing away. I lost my dad four months back to cancer. So, even more now I like to spend as much time as possible with my mom.

Apartment hits screens this Friday, so what do you think audiences should expect when then walk into a cinema near them to catch this film?

It’s a contemporary thriller completely. Some have said its horror film, but it’s definitely not a horror flick. Just a contemporary thriller. And I feel people should go and see two girls pulling off a film on their own because in India there are hardly any releases as such where it’s the female protagonist carrying off the whole film. It promises to be a very thrilling film and also we’ve shot the film in a very interesting manner.

Definitely brave is the word to be used for this dynamite actress who continues to climb higher and higher while raising the bar for herself with each release. Be sure to check out Apartment in a cinema near you this Friday to see just what new magic Neetu brings on screen this time!

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