The gorgeous Brit and rising southern star talks about her debut in Bollywood, with her movie Ekk Dewanaa Tha
How movie? was How the different experience was of it working from Tamil in your cinema? first Bollywood There wasn’t a huge difference. Both the directors I have worked with—gautham Menon ( Ekk Deewana Tha) and AL Vijay ( Madrasapattinam)— are from the south, and so was the whole crew. I suppose the only difference was that Ekk Deewana Tha was more dialogue-based than Madrasapattinam, and it was also completely in Hindi compared to an English/tamil format. And the climate! Chennai is insanely hot compared to Mumbai. How difficult was it working in a Hindi movie, considering you don’t speak the language? There was a lot of preparation, like any movie I suppose. My character, Jessie, is a Christian Malayali girl, so to get into her skin was a challenge. Her body language, mannerisms, and general persona were completely different to mine. Also, I would spend hours before the next scene to get my Hindi lines perfect. Would you say Ekk Deewana Tha has been a perfect Bollywood launchpad for you? It is a superb launch into Bollywood. I’m so grateful because there are tonnes of girls who would love to have this opportunity. It is a gift to be able to work with Gautham Menon, an award-winning director, on a movie which has an amazing storyline, with music from Oscar-winner AR Rahman, alongside Prateik, one of the most talented young actors in Bollywood.
What was working with Prateik like? Prateik is an awesome co-star. I was completely comfortable because he’s very relaxed, which makes the atmosphere so much better. We’d go through scenes together; if there were some Hindi words that I’d find difficult, he’d be more than willing to help. From Miss Teen World 2008 to a Tamil movie star, did you anticipate that you would take such varied paths? I had no intentions of acting, especially here in India. I think I’ll come to terms with it after a year or so—it’s still a whirlwind.
Who is your favourite Indian actress? I have two. My all-time favourite is Aishwarya Rai. Even before I entered Bollywood, I was a huge fan of hers. She is beautiful, talented, and a great dancer. I also watched Jabwe Met a few weeks
ago and Kareena Kapoor was amazing. n