I reject nine out of ten movies

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Actress Gul Panag speaks to Metrolife about her love for sports, films and Sandalwood.

Beautiful, talented and sporty – are the words than can be used to describe this beauty with brains. An ex Miss India, Gul Panag is known as much for her unique looks as for the choice of films she has been part of. In town recently to participate in a marathon, she spoke to Metrolife about her interest in sports, films and Sandalwood.

Talking about the marathon, we find out that Gul has been a long distance runner all her life. “I run 21 kms and have been doing so since I was young. I am also a long distance swimmer,” she says. So was she involved in other sports as well? “If you are a runner then you can adapt to other sports. Since I have been a runner all my life, I find it easy to adapt to tennis, squash and swimming,” she says. “I am actually training for a triathlon at Singapore at the end of the year, where you first swim, then run and finally cycle,” she informs.

So why did she not take up sports more seriously? “In India, there is only limited potential for an athlete. The maximum you’ll get is an admission to St Stephen’s. I never took it up because I did not see a future in that,” she says. “I am on the sub committee of the Commonwealth Games and they have no women in the federation which chooses women athletes. What does it say about us?” she asks.

Talking further about her entry into the film industry, she says, “I take things as they come and if good things happen, then why stop them?” So are films good? “Yes, definitely. At least the ones I do,” she says. “I want to do only credible cinema, which I don’t regret ten years from now. What is the point of doing 20 films if you’ll be remembered for five,” she says. Talking about Dhoop, her first film, she says, “When I took up Dhoop, everyone was very negative about it saying that it is not the kind of movie a Miss India should do but I knew what I wanted.”

She adds, “Indian society was at the threshold of a change and I wanted to be part of the movement in cinema which would mirror that change.” So is she happy with the roles she is being offered? “I reject nine out of ten movies that are offered to me but I have no regrets. I need to want to do a film. I won’t just do a movie for no reason. That’s not the way I have planned my life and my future,” she says. She also informs her interest in Sandalwood. “I am in talks with a National Award-winning director about a Kannada film. Lets see how that goes,” she says.

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