Diana Penty:  “I Didn’t Know How To React To Mika’s Remark”

The lovely Diana Penty  who has made a comeback of sorts  in Happy Bhaag Jayegi, is a bit of a misfit in Bollywood .

To begin with , she took a 4-year break from Bollywood after her sensational debut in Homi Adjania’s Cocktail.

Ask her why and she says, “It was never a conscious decision to take a break from movies after my debut. After Cocktail I was travelling and it wasn’t as if  I wasn’t working. It was just that I wasn’t seen in any film for four years. But I was shooting ads, doing endorsements.Acting in films cannot be my only pursuit in  life. There is a lot more to experience.I want to experience everything that I can in life.”

So why the long layoff after Cocktail when she was quite unmistakably the favoured flavour of the year when she made her debut? “It’s not really easy to explain. It’s true that I made a favourable impact in my first film. But after that the roles that came my way were not what I wanted to do next.It wasn’t as if I wasn’t offered anything.But after playing Mira in Cocktail I had to do something very different.”

In Cocktail  Diana was dumped by her husband.In Happy Bhaag Jayegi she jumps her wedding and leaves her groom stranded at the altar.

Sweet revenge?

Diana laughs. “ I can’t jump into anything without thinking the matter over carefully.You can say I take very carefully measured decisions in life.And doing a film is about a good 6-8 months of my life.I have to make sure I’m comfortable with the people I am working with.”

It took Diana 4 years to find her second role. “Cocktail had happened spontaneously. I was staying in New York visiting Mumbai when producer Dinesh Vijeyan and director Homi Adjani offered me the film. I heard my role . I loved  my character Mira and I said yes. With Happy Bhaag Jayegi  I was even quicker in  saying yes.No one had to convince me much. Producer Aanand Rai and director Mudassar Aziz narrated just one line about this girl from Amritsar who runs away from her wedding.I was hooked. I needed no more convincing.”

The best part of playing Happy was that Diana got to be someone she couldn’t identify with.  “Happy is impulsive,aggressive and talkative. I am none of these. I don’t think I’d behave the way she does in the film.I’d be very embarrassed if I ran into someone like Happy in real life.Perhaps this is one reason why one chooses to be an actor. You get to play characters who are no part of your own personality.”
Diana feels somewhat isolated from the hub of  Bollywood , specially when confronted by utter crassness, as she was  recently at an event for Happy Bhaag Jayegi where singer Mika  made an utterly tasteless remark about Diana Penty’s name.

Reluctant to discuss the issue Diana says, “What can one do about such behaviour? I had two options.Either I could’ve protested , or kept quiet. It is better to ignore it and move on. I’ve to admit I was very embarrassed and yes, offended when he said what it did. I kept quiet because it happened too suddenly. I didn’t know how to react. But it shouldn’t have happened.”

Wasn’t it strange that the same entertainment industry which kept mum when [tooltip id="c1b465420d07c688942ed18eadfd9f92" keyword_color="#000000" background_color="#ffffff"][tooltip id="4db8f5608d45f5de7881d9bce162f4bf"]Salman Khan">[/tooltip][/tooltip] made his ‘rape’ remark also closed ranks on Mika and chose to look away when one of their own female artistes was insulted with a ‘chaddhi’ remark by the crass singer?

Diana maintains a dignified silence. “I can’t comment on why other people say what they say and do what they do. Before this once incident I had never been embarrassed by anything in the entertainment industry.I am confident it won’t happen again.”

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