International viewers ‘jilted’ to know we lip-sync to songs in Bollywood: Pooja Batra

Model-turned-actress Pooja Batra, who will soon be seen psychological thriller “Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru” and has acted in an international film, says audiences abroad feel a little jilted to know that in Bollywood, actors do not sing in real but there is a playback singer.

“Since in western countries, actors sing in musical films… when international audience got to know about the fact that in Bollywood, we actors do not sing in real but there is a playback singer who does that, they get a little jilted. But that apart, people are well versed with Indian cinema much better that earlier, say 10 years,” Pooja told IANS here.

After winning the Miss India title in 1993, she acted in various Bollywood films like “Virasat”, “Dil Ne Phir Yaad Kiya”, “Haseena Maan Jaayegi” among others before moving to the US.

Pooja has also acted in Hollywood film “One Under the Sun” that also premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016.

About how the dynamics of Indian actors are changing in Hollywood since many Bollywood stars like Priyanka Chopra, Deepika Padukone, Anil Kapoor, Irfaan Khan, Nimrat Kaur are collaborating frequently, she said: “It is a great sign. Things have changed in last few years. For instance, my role of an astronaut in ‘One Under The Sun’, was written for a white woman, but I did the part because they saw an Indian astronaut in recent time. So yes, things are changing and that is for better.”

Pooja, who still enjoys watching commercial Bollywood films, in response to a query if she is interested in acting in such films anymore said: “Well depends, it has to match any of the criteria – good script or good money! You know what I mean.”

With showbiz changing not only in cinema but also the world of fashion in the last decade, Pooja, remembering her own days, said: “Well, now there is a celebration of imperfection. Earlier, a certain look was needed. Now young models are well trained when they are coming to the business, because there are training schools for grooming, that we didn’t have.

“Since I am tall, I used to get comments like stick to modelling, don’t get into acting, who will be the hero opposite you'”

Asked about if any of the new actresses remind her of her earlier days, she said: “Sonam and Deepika, the way they carry themselves wearing clothes and even when they walk the ramp…they are fav.”

Giving an insight of her character in “Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru”, Pooja said: “I am playing a police psychologist Dr Roy who helps by keeping eyes on the criminal, as police investigate a murder case. I have never played such role, the genre is different and I loved the story. I am very excited about the film.”

Directed by Vijit Sharma, “Mirror Game: Ab Khel Shuru” is releasing on June 2.


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