Gauhar Khan: I know where to draw the line

She’s sassy, opinionated and incredibly hot, but the model-turned-actor is now gradually deconstructing her blatantly created steamy image

She emerged on the scene as a vibrant contestant on the reality dance show Jhalak Dikhala Ja and Gauhar Khan shimmied her way into many hearts with her extraordinary dancing moves. Not many reckoned back then that the model-turned-VJ-turned-dancer would take acting seriously. Had she not bagged that realistically significant role of a distressed receptionist in Shimit Amin’s Ranbir Kapoor starrer Rocket Singh: Salesman of The Year, Gauhar’s acting potential would never have been unearthed. By her own candid admission, it is possible for a good looking girl to be reduced to a ‘sidey’ pin-up doll, one who is used by filmmakers just to up the glam quotient of a party scene or an item song. Thankfully, she managed to grab the roles of her choice but, surprisingly, three years after Rocket Singh, Gauhar has not been able to find a good script to showcase her acting skill. “Even I am surprised. Honestly, I never thought about it too seriously. Things happen when they are meant to happen. It’s not that I did not try enough. I did Game last year, which unfortunately didn’t work at the box office,” says Gauhar with a chuckle and adds, “I think Rocket Singh helped me get more recognition as an actor. It’s not as if I was there to prove a point or something, but I don’t agree with the notion that pretty girls can’t act, or that goodlooking babes don’t make good actors. Some even say models can’t do acting. In my opinion, anybody who is sensitive enough, anyone who can react to a given situation, can act. I got to learn a lot by working in the films I did, irrespective of how they fared at the BO. It’s been a fabulous journey so far,” says the 30-year-old.

Recently Gauhar was seen in the non-fiction drama series Khan Sisters on UTV Bindass. We got a sneak peek into the lifestyle of the model-actor and her actor sister Nigar Khan, showcasing their real personas with a dash of drama. The show brought to the fore the lives of the closely bonded sisters. How did it come about? “Jhalak… gave me visibility and I became a known face because of my films. Many wanted to know what I do in my private space. The show was about showcasing the real side, the unseen side of stars. It was a window into the private lives of two celebrity sisters. There was a thin line between reality and fiction. The format got me excited immediately,” she says. Gauhar maintains that she shares everything with her sister, but there’s always a difference of opinion between them. “Oh fights happen all the time. Though Nigar is like me in many respects, we are as different as chalk and cheese when it comes to our approach towards work. Nigar is very mellow and nice, and I am very bouncy and aggressive. We share a great rapport with each other.”

A trained dancer, Gauhar is an effortless performer. Watch her grooving her lithe body in Parda Parda in Milan Luthria’s Once Upon A time in Mumbai and you will realise why directors are tempted first to see the dancer in Gauhar rather than the fine actor. “The industry tends to stereotype you quickly. If you are seen in an item song in a film, other filmmakers want to cast you for an item song too. But, frankly speaking, I love to dance. It’s in my soul. Trust me, just like acting, dance looks graceful only if you are passionate about it. You need to like the thing you do, only then you can excel ”

When one thinks of Gauhar the first thing that comes to the mind is her bold, glamorous and steamy image. After Rocket Singh, she has been working to change that by dabbling in different roles. “Sometimes the image is self-built. Very often you are portrayed in a certain way for the type of roles you essay. It would be unfair to say that I am not happy with my image, but yes, I am changing it gradually, as people know that I am a performer. I am doing the work I have faith in. I will never embarrass my family with the films, shows or projects I do. Being glamorous doesn’t mean going overboard and doing whatever it takes to stay in the spotlight. I know where to draw the line.”