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May 6, 1999


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Debut Time!

Anita Bora

Rinke Khanna
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She has taken the first step in coming out of her parents' shadows. And though one would expect her to be wilting under the pressure, Rinke Khanna actually seems pretty matter-of-fact about acting in a film.

Filming scenes for her debut film, the younger daughter of Dimple Kapadia and Rajesh Khanna, Rinke comes across as a self-assured and well-spoken young woman as she explains her entry into the film industry, "I dabbled with theatre initially, and though the option of acting films was always there in the background I wanted to try out other things as well."

She enrolled for a mass communications course in the US and then toyed with the idea of producing TV serials. She has also acted on-stage and lent her talent to plays like Inshallah and The Magic Pill. But the glamour bug did finally bite her and she gave in.

A still from Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi
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Pyaar Mein Kabhi Kabhi will be released shortly, assures director Raj Kaushal, who was busy directing a campus scene on the grounds of the Parsi Sanitarium in Kemps Corner, when we ventured on to the sets.

It is not just her debut film, but also the first time for director Kaushal and co-star Dino Morea, who is stepping across from modelling to the big screen. With all of them being newcomers -- isn't it a big risk to take? Rinke shrugs her shoulders and answers nonchalantly, "You have to have a certain level of confidence to do a job like this, and I know I can do it. Besides, with nothing behind me, I cannot really go in for big names."

And here we thought star kids have it easy! The best director, the biggest banner and a known co-star, like her sibling Twinkle, one would expect. "Not true," says Rinke, "I have been treated just like everyone else and expect no special treatment just because I have famous parents."

While she does not possess her mother's gorgeous looks or beautiful mane, Rinke is frank enough to admit that she is not good-looking in the conventional sense. In fact, except for her dimpled chin, it is hard to find any resemblance to either her famous parents or her sister, when you first lay your eyes on her. It all depends mainly on her screen presence which, going by the music video released, she seems to possess in oodles.

Being a star kid, one would have expected a lot of advice and hand-holding from her parents when she decided to step into the big, bad world of movies. She is quick to disabuse one of this notion, and is categorical that her parents never advised her or asked her to get into films, and that it was totally her decision. In fact, she points out, her mom did not comment much after watching the rushes, but Rinke does not seem really concerned about it. "Success is just a frame of mind. If the movie does well, of course I'll be glad. But even if does not, there are other things that I can do."

Rinke Khanna
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And what about the inevitable comparison, with her mother, her father and now her sister? Rinke answers matter-of-factly, "Comparisons are something that I cannot avoid. Of course, I will deal with it when it comes, there is no other choice. And Twinkle, having started her career long before me, is already competing with her peers, so I don't think I can be compared to her."

The film's storyline does not seem very unusual -- it is about eight friends in college and how their decisions impact on their lives. As she prepares to give her next shot, Rinke says she enjoyed the script, and found it refreshingly different, and that was the main reason for her taking up the role.

Dino Morea, model and now aspiring actor echoes her sentiments when he says, "The script was what interested me. It was something that I identified with, having gone through similar experiences when I was In college. And though I was not really looking for a film role at this time, when it came my way, I could not refuse it."

Dino (who has taken on the screen name Siddhant) is all praise for his co-star and says that for him, making the movie has been a lot of fun. The cast and crew have worked hard over four months of shooting, since November last year, and at no point did he feel that he was taking a wrong decision. Many models have tried to get a break into films, most of them without much luck, but Dino is confident he will break the trend. "Except losing a lot of weight and developing rather erratic eating habits, there is nothing that I have regretted," says this young and good looking model, with a wry smile.

Rinke Khanna
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As he runs down the long corridor of the sanitarium, jumping on and then off a ledge, and attacks his co-star in true Hindi movie style, in what seemed to be a mock fight (this one's not for the camera), Kaushal is trying to wrap up a shot with Rinke and another co-star.

"Action," shouts the director as Rinke strides down the stairs, going through the motions for the nth time. This time she gets it right, and another shot is wrapped up as Kaushal review it on his television monitor, and the make-up man rushes in to plaster another layer of grime on the leading lady's face.

And another star joins the firmament, but whether she shines or not, only time will tell.

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