Mumbai: Shilpa Shetty, who is returning to the big screen in a full-fledged role after four years with her delayed project “The Desire”, says it is not her comeback but her last in the near future. “I had taken a break and after this film I have decided that I won’t do any movies because my priorities have changed and I want to concentrate on myself, travel, concentrate on my business. So I have decided not to take up any work,” Shilpa said, adding, “This is not a comeback. Actually this film got delayed; so it seems I am coming back after a long time.”
Shilpa, who got married to Britain-based Indian businessman Raj Kundra in 2009, wants to focus on her personal life and business, which includes a spa chain. “This is going to be the last film audiences are going to see me in for some time. So, out of choice I am not going to work for another couple of years. I think if people want to see whatever little I have done, they should go and watch the movie. Marriage is a full-time job…I’ll keep doing ads, appearances and television but along with my business,” she said.
Shilpa plans to produce movies, but direction is not on the cards. “I haven’t thought of it (direction), but I would be definitely producing films, she said.”
Shilpa is paired with Chinese actor Xia Yu in “The Desire”, directed by journalist-turned-national award-winning Malayalam film director R. Sarath. The story traces the respective lives of accomplished Odissi dancer Goutami (Shilpa) and talented Chinese artiste Jai Leang (Xia Yu) who meet in Malaysia. “I have never portrayed a role like this. I liked the script. Considering the fact that dancing has always been my forte I got a role where dancing is an integral part of the film. So I enjoyed doing this part. “Normally what happens is that you do a film where they force a dance number in. I got to try a different dance form, Odissi. So I learnt it. I got to work with a foremost Chinese actor that was again a different experience,” said Shilpa, who was last seen doing an item number in the 2008 hit “Dostana”. “Here we are projecting two forms of art, Chinese paintings and Odissi dancing – the two rich cultural heritages and the amalgamation of these,” she added.
“The Desire” was expected to be completed in 2009, but got stalled due to a financial crisis and it has recently been bailed out by Shilpa’s mother, Sunanda Shetty, and is ready to hit the screens. The release date has, however, not been decided. “I am really happy that it has done well at the festival circuit; people loved it. It won an award at the Geneva Film Festival. The most important thing is that mommy came in to support the film,” said Shilpa who made her debut with Shah Rukh Khan-starrer “Baazigar” in 1993.
In her 18-year-long acting career the 36-year-old actress featured in films like “Main Khiladi Tu Anari”, “Dhadkan”, “Dus”, “Life… in a Metro” (2007) and “Apne” (2007). She gained international recognition after featuring and winning Britain’s reality show “Big Brother” in 2007.
“The Desire” is Shilpa’s first film where most of her dialogues are in English and the actress says initially she felt awkward. “For the first time I have done my dialogues in English. It was very odd, you know. Imagine saying a dialogue in English; I was wondering whether I am doing it right. It was different. On every front it was a different learning process for me,” she said.
The film also features Anupam Kher, Jaya Prada and Vikram Gokhale among others. “The Desire” is quite a bold film, but there is nothing vulgar, claims Shilpa. “It’s about gender preferences and how everyone has a desire. There is another character who is attracted to me, but I am not attracted towards her. She has a string of affairs but she is chasing me too. There is nothing vulgar in the movie. It’s a very aesthetically shot movie,” said Shilpa.