GETTING TO KNOW Nargis!
Don’t be fooled by that hot face and gentle demeanour... Nargis Fakhri means business, and she certainly won’t let loose opinions come in her way!
"People kept telling me.' You can't do this.' You shouldn't be so honest that it instilled a fear in me!"
The average Bollywood celebrity is at least one of the following things—reticent, reserved and always on guard. Now turn all those characteristics on their head and you’ll get an idea of what Nargis Fakhri is like. A New Yorker by birth, Nargis is equal parts funny and spirited, and if there was an award category for Most Enthusiastic Talker in Bollywood, the 5”9’ model-turned-actor would probably win without a fight.
While her first outing to the movies didn’t do her a lot of good (she made her debut in Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar, opposite Ranbir Kapoor), her recent appearance on the nationally broadcast show Koffee With Karan shoved her in the limelight for all the right reasons. “I think [before the show], they didn’t know anything about me. They just thought I was a dumb, pretty face, and a foreigner who can’t act and doesn’t have a personality. I’m glad I got to show them that there is more to me than good looks!”
When I call her up for this interview, I hope I get to speak with the same Nargis who oozed confidence on that recent KWK episode. I was not to be disappointed. “You know what,” she says in her lightly accented voice, “I still feel like an outsider, but not as bad as I used to in the beginning. I remember people kept telling me, ‘No, you can’t do this’, ‘You can’t dress up like that’, ‘You shouldn’t be so honest’, that it instilled this fear inside me. I started becoming afraid of my own personality—worried that people would not accept me here and that called for a lot of anxiety and pressure for a while.” So what changed things around for her, then? “I realised I’m here for a reason, and everyone gives advice based on their experience, but no-one has lived my life. So you know what, everyone can go eff themselves! People aren’t there for me when I cry or when I’m depressed. They’re not paying my bills and neither are they helping me take care of my family. So they shouldn’t have a say in what I do and I shouldn’t care about what they say.”
Currently in the middle of promoting her next movie, Main Tera Hero, with Varun Dhawan and Ileana D’Cruz, Nargis confesses this is the first time she’s felt like a movie star! “All through Rockstar, I was kept under wraps, so I didn’t realise what was happening around me. But recently, we were at a promotion, and about 20,000 people had come there just to see
us! I was so excited!”
Amidst all the stardom that now revolves around her, Nargis reveals that her personal and family life has taken a back seat! “Currently, work is so overwhelming, that I don’t get to do the things that I truly love—like cooking a meal, or even ironing clothes! I really like ironing, it’s actually very interesting!” What about her personal life? Especially in regards to a Mr Chopra! With just a hint of annoyance in her voice, Nargis tells me she just can’t understand what all the fuss is about. “Apparently, celebrities are not supposed to be dating anyone... they’re supposed to be obstinate, celibate, single, introvert people,” she says, with no attempt to mask the sarcasm. “In India, they make such a big deal that people can’t date other people. I’ve lived in America... I’ve had a lot of boyfriends and I’ve had the experience of knowing people, loving somebody and having someone who loves you.” “When I first came here, I was like, ‘Whatever, I don’t care’, and everyone made such a big deal out of it. I was linked to practically everyone, and I was like the new girl on the block getting kicked around and bullied”. She continues, “Now, even if I was dating someone, because of everything that I went through, I probably wouldn’t want to disclose the information. Not necessarily because of me, but because I realise that there’s another person involved in the situation, and maybe he doesn’t want to be a part of the whole fiasco!”
Metallic cut-out top, Rohit Gandhi+Rahul Khanna; satin pencil skirt, Arman Aiman; shoes, same as above; Spirit bracelets, both Louis Vuitton
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ia Crop top (worn inside) and sheer overjacket, both Nishka Lulla; sequinned boyshorts, Rohit Gandhi+Rahul Khanna; Sunlight wedges, Louis Vuitton