After an active Bollywood career of nearly 15 years, Lara Dutta says taking the decision to do few but quality films was not difficult.
Post her marriage to tennis player Mahesh Bhupathi in 2011, Lara reduced her film appearances and was seen in movies like Don 2, David, Singh Is Bliing, Azhar among others.
“When it boils down to roles being offered to me, I would rather spend time with my six year old than go to a studio and do something which, when look back, I would say, ‘I could’ve done without that in my life’,” Lara told PTI.
The actor says she was well aware that movies will no more be her top priority when she decided to get married.
“It is about priorities in life and for me, ever since I have been a mom, my family and kid have been my first priority. Mahesh was very active on the tour when we got married for the first four years of our lives,” she says.
“I knew what I was stepping into. It was my choice to be the parent, therefore, take a back seat to allow him (Bhupati) to do what he needed to do because he was representing India. I didn’t want that to take away from him,” she added.
The Housefull” star, however, has no regrets.
“I am a lot happier, focusing on the production side of things than wanting to be in front of the camera. If I am going to dance to someone else’s tune, it might as well be my own,” she said.
Lara, 40, is currently mentoring for Miss Diva, the winner of which will go to Miss Universe.
Lara was the second Indian—after Sushmita Sen—to be crowned Miss Universe 18 years ago and has been the only delegate from the country to win the crown since.
Calling the experience “life changing”, Lara, who was 21-year-old when she was crowned, says she can’t live on her past laurels.
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“It is very important to just be real and have a good check on reality in life. I can’t constantly live in the past, thinking that ‘Oh my God, I was Miss Universe.’ Today, I am 40 year old. I have aged, my body has aged, I have grown as a person. I enjoy this as well,” she said.
The actor, though, understands that the contestants today would be under tremendous pressure since the title hasn’t come to the country in a long time.
“I was just six years after Sushmita and everyone was like ‘Oh my God, we haven’t won the crown in six years’ and there was so much pressure. These girls are going in at a time when we haven’t won it in 18 years. For me, everyone was optimistic.
“If they are going in with the pressure of not having won a crown in 18 years, you need to have your country betting on you. Hence we are taking Miss Diva to four cities, so that the country will get to know the contestants and support them. It makes a huge difference,” she adds.