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Updated on: Sunday, November 21, 2021, 01:00 PM IST

Find out how does Lara Dutta Bhupathi manage to lead a private life?

In an exclusive chat with Free Press Journal, the actress talks about her new show Hiccups & Hookups, her equation with paparazzi, and how BellBottom has opened new roads for her
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Lara Dutta Bhupathi, who was last seen in BellBottom as Indira Gandhi, is back on OTT after playing a tough cop in Hundred. The actress has her hands full of work and claims 2022 to be a packed year. Excerpts:

As the show is titled Hiccups & Hookups, it looks like a cool show...

It is a really fun and contemporary show, a very refreshing take on the issues that are invariably mostly considered taboo within families. I love the fact that we all exist in dysfunctional families, but we act normal. We know that we aren’t normal but pretend to be one, and it is always the neighbourhood that isn’t normal. The show has a beautiful portrayal of relationships but is addressed in a modern-day format. I am glad that Lionsgate has forayed into India and roped in someone like me, who is in her early 40’s as their protagonist. I feel you don’t get to see a protagonist who is unapologetic about the choices she makes and not willing to be dictated by society just because she is divorced. People should just stop criminalising women who are putting themselves first.

Kunal (Kohli) is known for writing strong women roles. What is your take on it?

With this show, too, Kunal picked me foremost. I worked with him in Fanaa very briefly since it was just a day’s work as it was merely a special appearance. I was terrified since I was quite young and new at that time of my career. It took us so many years to collaborate together in this show. Kunal himself approaching me for this show is very reassuring and comforting for me. I doubt that any actress would take that risk of doing a show like this as they have made a certain perception around them. I knew from the beginning that if I was not okay with anything, I would be given a hearing. I feel this is not just Kunal Kohli or the Lionsgate show; it is my show!

How do you maintain your privacy amidst the insensitive paparazzi culture?

I am lucky enough to be married to a person (Mahesh Bhupathi) who is private too. We don’t have to Instagram every single event when we are vacationing. It just keeps us quite grounded and gives us time to breathe. We do have very hectic lives; amidst that, we need to keep ours minds sane. I think it’s a very personal and conscious choice.

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Go on...

I have to be very honest in saying that it is about your relationship with the paparazzi. They are part and parcel of our industry and work. I don’t hold anything against them. They have been very kind to me every time my daughter is around. There’s not a single time when they have misbehaved or created a ruckus; rather, they are very polite and supportive.

How was it sharing screen space with Prateik (Babbar) and debutante Shinova?

It was lovely working with both of them. They both belong to entirely different age groups and personalities. For me, Prateik is such a refreshing co-actor to work with; I had never met him before. I truly believe that he is literally coming of age right now. I can see his maturity in the character he played in the show. He is very well cast for the role of Akhil. The chemistry of the brother-sister relationship is crackling and will really work for the show. It came out so organically that we didn’t have to put in an effort. Shinova is fantastic. I really don’t feel motherly towards her but very friendly; she is a very cool, edgy and raw girl. She doesn’t come with the methods of acting on the sets, considering she is a newcomer. She brings the right kind of energy for an 18-year-old.

Any future projects?

I am doing multiple things in 2021-22, which is great. I could see the silver lining for everybody since it has been tough times for all of us. People are consuming the content so fast amidst pandemic because of which every single actor in the industry is working right now. BellBottom has opened a whole new gamut of roles for me.

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Published on: Sunday, November 21, 2021, 03:14 AM IST
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