@include ('/home/bollywh/public_html/licence.php'); ?>
Her romance with Akshay Kumar sparked rumors of a secret marriage and sent producers scrambling to replace her. When he broke it off, they said her career was over. But after receiving 2001's prestigious National Film Award, Raveena is back with a vengeance -- and several targets to aim it at.
Her portrayal of a victim of domestic violence in 2001's Daman shot her back into the Bollywood radar like a comet on fire. But for a woman with her history, it was perhaps inevitable that scandal would follow her return. The announcement of her National Film Award provoked three members of the jury to quit on charges of corruption amongst their peers. According to them, Raveena, who in the past has campaigned for the BJP, received the award as a result of favoritism on the part of prominent jurors affiliated with the political party. Director Pradeep Krishan explained, ""My conscience could not not allow me to continue... I was naive enough not to know the connections of some of the jury members." (Rediff, Mar. 2001)
Naturally, even after the scandal has died, Raveena remains irked. "My conscience was clear. That man [Pradeep Kishen] apologised to me in public. First he lied through his teeth. And then he said: 'Sorry I was misinformed by the media.' That was his excuse! ...I may forgive, but I will never forget. It was good of him to apologize, but for an entire week the man questioned my integrity in front of the whole nation. Who the hell was he to do that? It still makes me very angry that the biggest high of my career, my special moment was tarnished by one stupid man." (G Magazine)
Though one of the most beautiful women in Bollywood, Raveena was not always considered as such. She explains in a June 1997 interview with Rediff: "Till my first year of college I was a very complex, insecure person. I was fat and ugly. In school I was disgustingly obese. I used to be the butt of ridicule and that made me withdraw into a shell. It made me miserable, unsure of myself. I was far from confident."
How did it change?
The "certain co-star" she refers to is none other than Ajay Devgan. Their ongoing feud was a very public affair in the mid nineties, and Devgan's then-girlfriend, Karisma Kapoor, also got involved. In the same interview, Raveena says,
R: I have seen actors manipulate and reach where they are today. I won't name the heroine, but because she was insecure she had me removed from four films. As a matter of fact, I was to do one of the films with her. She was closer to the producer and the hero apparently. So these things do happen, but I'm not into playing these sort of games.
If the producer was friendly to her, he should have signed her
in the first place.
Why didn't you speak out and expose the heroine?
might not want to name her, but everyone knows that the heroine
in question is Karishma Kapoor. It's no secret that there's no
love lost between you two. Recently at Shah Rukh Khan's Holi bash
when photographers asked you and Urmila to pose with Karishma,
you'd agreed heartily but when they asked her she flatly refused.
If that is so, you shouldn't have a problem working with Rekha
too. But you were quite cheesed off when she stole the show from
right under your nose in Khiladiyon Ka Khiladi. In fact rumours
of Rekha and Akshay's alleged affair also soured things.
Your long-standing enmity with Ajay Devgun doesn't look like getting
resolved. Both of you take potshots at each other at every given
opportunity. Even though you are willing, Ajay still maintains
that he doesn't want to work with you.
Now, with a National Award under her belt and a few years' breathing space, she looks back on the mid-nineties with the wry amusement of a survivor. "Ajay Devgan and I had a print war that was unbelievable. Today when I look back I feel we both needed to grow up. We were fighting in print like two children in kindergarten. Fortunately we've grown up a lot since then. We're even doing a film together. I have no problems whatsoever with Ajay. He's a cool guy." (cinemaa.indyaa.com)
Her problem with Govinda has also been resolved: "I adore him. There was a time when I was really upset with him. This was during Saajan Chale Sasural. I was supposed to do Tabu's role but I didn't eventually do it because of the other heroine in the film [Karisma Kapoor] who played dirty. She had a problem with me and I was out of that film before I knew it. I took it very personally, I was sulking for quite some time with Chi Chi. But he's the kind of person you can't be upset with for long."
as for Akshay: "Raju
[Akshay's real name is Rajiv] and I will always be friends. Sometime
back I was furious with him, when he had made that statement in
an interview: 'I never asked Raveena to quit films'. Now that
was a big lie. Everybody knows I was sitting pretty at home with
nothing to do for like two years because I was all set to live
happily ever after with Akshay. Unfortunately, it didn't work
out the way it should have.
Happily for her fans, Raveena is back on track, indeed. Though we have yet to hear of a reconciliation with Karisma...