EXCLUSIVE: Lara Dutta talks tough cop act in Hundred, how Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar refer to her as Lara Paaji

In an EXCLUSIVE chat with Pinkvilla, Hundred star Lara Dutta spoke candidly about her OTT debut, breaking stereotypes with her tough cop act and her endearing friendship with Salman Khan and Akshay Kumar.
Lara Dutta stars as ACP Saumya Shukla in Hundred, alongside Rinku Rajguru.Lara Dutta stars as ACP Saumya Shukla in Hundred, alongside Rinku Rajguru.
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Joining the list of Bollywood celebrities who are trying their hand at digging deep into the OTT platform is Lara Dutta. The actress, who has been away from the limelight with selective roles here and there chose Hundred as her digital debut. In an EXCLUSIVE interaction with Pinkvilla, we asked the Azhar star as to why Hundred was the apt web series to make her debut with. On this, Lara revealed, "I wasn't actively looking for digital content. Hundred happened quite organically for me... I heard the first two episodes and what attracted me to the character of Saumya, other than the fact that she was a cop was that it was a very complex, layered character written for a woman on-screen."

"She wasn't portrayed as the perfect woman. The character is flawed and has her own vices and frustrations while being very ambitious too," Dutta added. Moreover, Lara worked alongside Sairat's breakout star Rinku Rajguru for the very first time in Hundred and when asked about how that experience was, the 42-year-old star shared, "Meeting Rinku Rajguru for me was a real revelation. I'd never met Rinku before but I knew that she was the person being considered for the role of Netra. I was very excited about it also because here were two actors coming in from different industries, different ideologies and different generations. I was really surprised when I met for the first time because I didn't expect her to be that young."

"When I won Miss Universe, Rinku wasn't even born! Though Rinku is very young, she is very mature for her age. The most wonderful part about working with her was the fact that she is such an instinctive actor. She's a born natural and I definitely think that this girl is just gonna go really far," Dutta quipped.

While we are used to seeing the Dabangg, Singham, Simmba and Sooryavanshi's of Indian cinema, it's refreshing to see a tough female cop in Indian entertainment, breaking stereotypes and kicking some major butt. "ACP Saumya Shukla is an extremely interesting character. She's driven, layered, and unapologetically flawed. It was amazing to play a character like that because she makes no bones about being the person she is. Immensely liberating! And being someone who stands her own and is one of the men in the force was just fantastic. It is a rather realistic portrayal of the kind of women that exist today, who know who they are and have no guilt about making a space for themselves and playing the game by their own rules," Lara stated.

Salman Khan, who is good friends with Dutta, as the two have worked on several blockbusters like Partner and No Entry recently promoted Hundred on social media referring to Lara as "My favourite heroine from Partner," which had tongues wagging for sure! While joking about how Salman always likes to be naughty this way, Dutta shared, "I'm honestly blessed! Over the years, I've worked with such amazing co-stars who have become friends. For Salman, Akshay [Kumar] and Abhishek [Bachchan], like Saumya, I too have been one of the boys! And I'm notoriously called Lara Paaji! (laughs) I'm so glad that Salman shared the trailer of Hundred and lend us his support. He's a genuinely lovely human being and him putting the word out for us was just really, really nice."

ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Hundred star Lara Dutta on meeting female cops to understand her character: I was amazed by them

Are you excited to see Hundred, which released today, on Hotstar? Let us know your views in the comments section below.

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