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    Kal Ho Na Ho
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    Aug 2008
    India & Cambodia

    Default Sameer: My cute looks are deceptive

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    Heartthrob Sameer Dattani tells TOI about the agonies and ecstacies of living and loving in reel and real life...

    Don’t let his charming, boy-next-door looks fool you. Here’s yet another actor who’s all set to prove that his looks are ‘deceptive’ so far as his screen image is concerned. Kollywood’s chocolate boy Sameer Dattani’s turning grey in his Tollywood outing. In a candid chat session he confesses that he’s not a “typical superstar” and hates “starry tantrums”. Excerpts from an interview:

    At a time when you are still playing the protagonist in films, what made you enter the grey zone?

    Well..the role. I am playing a negative character in Kutty which stars Shriya Saran as the female lead. It’s a power-packed role and I didn’t want to let go of it. I’ve always wanted to try out a negative role because it gives an actor more space to experiment with. It’s a challenge to do this kind of a role and I am confident I can pull it through. In my other Telugu film, Orange, which has Ram Charan Tej as the protagonist, once again I’m the antagonist. I am absolutely thrilled about these films because I have wanted to be a bad guy in films.

    But T-Town stars are often reluctant to try out anything different or risk their established image?
    That’s true, but I think I’m different. As an actor, I want to cut across genres because that’s the only way of growth. I have done comedies, serious films before. Now I am trying out negative roles. My next B-Town film, tentatively titled Sell, is a suspense-action thriller. I’m happy that I’m being offered varied roles.

    What made you say ‘no’ to Shyam Benegal’s Well Done Abba and Punit Malhotra’s I Hate Luvv Stories?
    Unfortunately, I am not doing either film. I agree not being part of a Shyam Benegal film is a big miss, but my dates were clashing. I was committed to Orange and could not re-schedule the dates for Well Done Abba or I Hate Luvv Stories. I hope I get to work with Benegal Sir someday.

    How important is money for you? As an actor do you see yourself compromising on the quality of work if you are offered a fat pay cheque.
    I don’t want to sound immodest and say that money is not important to me. Of course, it is. But I want to be known for my acting skills rather than my pay cheques. I get a lot of big-money offers but I am not a part of every other film because I don’t want to do something that will make me look foolish and do me no good as an actor.

    Stars down south are treated like demi-gods. Does this make work difficult in B-Town?
    I never take this ‘worshipping stars’ bit seriously. That’s why I don’t find any difficulty in working in Mumbai. I think B-Town stars quite friendly and fun to work with.

    Does that mean southern stars throw lots of starry tantrums?
    Yes, they do. But listen, I don’t. (laughs)

    Do you think you look too cute to play a macho hero in Bollywood?
    A lot of people have told me that. But I don’t think I am particularly cute. Anyway, I think looks can be deceptive and can be tweaked according to the role one’s doing. I hope Sanjay Leela Bhansali and Aamir Khan don’t think I can only do lover boy roles. I seriously want to work with them.

    You’ve had male fans stalking you. How disturbing is that?

    Oh god! Yes, I have faced problems with male fans, but I don’t think I am a heartthrob for gays.

    Have you been in love?

    When I was in college I fell in love with my classmate, Savitha. I was absolutely crazy about her, but the funny part is I could never tell her that. Later, I moved on to films and she took up aeronautics and we lost touch. I don’t know where she is now, but I miss her a lot. I don’t know why I didn’t tell her about my feelings... may be I didn’t want to be rejected... I haven’t been able to love any other girl after that because I am still in love with Savitha.



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