Irony can go no further. While producers in India dub Koena Mitra's voice, for her international project Karna, she's been asked to cultivate a British accent to speak in her own voice.
For Karna, Koena is also cultivating a fat-free athletic physique; the kind she says is not fashionable in Bollywood. "With the help of my trainer Channel Pereira, I've lost so much weight. I'm down to 15 percent body fat. The rest is all muscles. This is all for my kick-ass boy-bashing role in Karna. Unfortunately, Bollywood goes ga-ga over thin not fit bodies."
She has to train especially hard since she will be the only woman in this all-male actioner. "In Bollywood, they think if a leading lady can do one free-falling kick she's achieved the unthinkable. In Karna, I've to do the kind of action which only male actors have been seen doing in the movies."
Not only that, Koena has to acquire another skill for Karna. "I've to get a British accent, and fast. Yes they've asked me to speak in my own voice and in British accent because the movie will be in sync sound. I've to learn four different types of British dialects."
The film will be shot in six countries. But mainly in Hong Kong and China. Koena thinks Bollywood isn't ready for boy-bashing chick flicks. "I recently shot three promos for the film. When I saw myself fighting aliens I got really excited. Our country isn't ready for a real chick flick like Charlie's Angels and Lara Croft. I think I'll be the first Indian actress to go out there and kick ass. And I don't have to become a Size 0 to look sexy," she chuckles.