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Rediff.com  » Movies » Giselli: Zoa and I are best of friends

Giselli: Zoa and I are best of friends

Last updated on: May 25, 2011 17:13 IST

Giselli: Zoa and I are best of friends

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She caught everybody's attention as the shy Punjaban Harleen Kaur in Imtiaz Ali's Love Aaj Kal. Brazilian model Giselli Monteiro is back with her new film, Always Kabhi Kabhi, produced by Shah Rukh Khan Khan and directed by Roshan Abbas.
Giselli tells Sonil Dedhia about life after Love Aaj Kal, working with SRK and her ongoing efforts to master Hindi.
 
It's been 2 years since Love Aaj Kal released. How has life changed?

It feels good to be appreciated by the audience. I never thought I would be an actress and here I am doing my second film. Life has definitely changed. I am taking acting a lot more seriously and I am definitely here to stay for a long time.

Your performance in Love Aaj Kal was appreciated by everyone. Were you offered a lot of scripts post the success of the movie?

There were a few scripts, which I auditioned for. I liked some of them but somehow, none of them materialised.  I want to concentrate on my work and I had decided to work on one film at a time so that I can give my best to every role I take up.

But what is wrong with doing a lot of work?

Personally I have not set any limitations for myself. I am still learning the language (Hindi) so it will be difficult for me to remember the lines of more than one character at a time. 

I would love to go slow and steady rather than rushing into things and making a mess out of it. I am very fortunate that things are going my way. I will continue to work hard.


Image: Giselli Monteiro

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'Movies have opened a new chapter in my life'

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How is your equation with Imtiaz Ali?

We have been friends.  Both of us are busy with our work so we try and talk once in a while.

Did he offer you a new role?

No. He is working on one project but he hasn't offered me anything. If there is something exciting that he offers I wouldn't mind working with him again.

Has all the success in movies affected your identity?

I wouldn't say it has given me a new identity but it has definitely opened a new chapter in my life. I never thought of taking this journey but here I am sitting and promoting my second film.  I was just 17 when I started modelling so I was too young to understand a lot of things. I am learning something new every day and currently I am happy the way things are turning out to be.

You started very early. Did you have to make sacrifices in your personal life?

Life is made of choices and I am very lucky to be what I am today. Modelling takes me to different destinations and I have seen so many places around the world. Back in Brazil my parents wouldn't have been able to buy a ticket for me and send me on a holiday to India or Singapore or any other country. I am just 22 but what I have achieved at this age makes me proud.

Image: Giselli Monteiro

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'We did a lot of workshops before starting work on the film'

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From a shy Punjabi kudi to a bubbly college student. How has the transformation been?

Its been great but it wasn't very difficult.  Once the cast was finalised Roshan did a lot of workshops with us which made us very comfortable with each other. The movie is about four students from high school and their relationship with parents. I am just looking forward to it with a lot of excitement.

What about Always Kabhi Kabhi piqued your interest?

I loved the script. Roshan was also very passionate and his conviction for the movie made me take up the role.  I went in for the auditions at Red Chillies. I had to go through a couple of auditions before I got the role.

We hear it was Shah Rukh Khan who recommended you for the role?

I came to know much later that Shah Rukh Khan recommended my name for the film. He saw me in Love Aaj Kal and he liked my performance and decided to choose me. I had never met him before. I was happy I got through for his film.

Image: Giselli Monteiro

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'I was a tomboy and a back bencher in school'

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How was your first meeting with him?

I met him only once on the sets of the film but I did not interact much with him. I admire him. He is a very humble person. He came to all of us and praised us for our work and apologised for not being able to spend time as he was busy shooting his films.  He did not provide any acting lessons or tips and always told us to be natural in front of the camera.

How was school?

I have two brothers and we all studied in the same school. I was like a tomboy in during my school days.  I always wanted to be with my brothers.  I was a backbencher in class. I would play a lot of football and it was because of my brothers that I enjoyed my school life.

Are there any similarities between your character in the film and with your real self in school?

My role is completely different from what I was in school. Though I was a tomboy I was still very shy and reserved


Image: Giselli Monteiro

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'I had to work harder on my Hindi this time'

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What did you learn from Roshan Abbas?

Roshan was a complete professional.  We all were first timers which made it so easy for all of us. There was no hierarchy or ego clashes, we all were on the same platform.  If I had any problems I could approach him very easily and he always welcomed suggestions.  Even though he was directing for the first time, he knew his job perfectly well.
 
Has your Hindi improved?

I am still learning Hindi and I must say that I had to work a lot on the language in the film as compared to the previous one because in that film I hardly had any dialogues. I also made sure that I understand the meaning of the dialogues because it is not only about saying a dialogue; it is also about bringing out appropriate emotions.

Have you dubbed for the film?

No, not yet. I am not sure if I will be dubbing for the film. Roshan will take a call on this.


Image: Giselli Monteiro

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'Dialogues sometimes seem to be tongue twisters'

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In the film, your character mentions that she's tired of everyone calling her beautiful. Does that ever happen in real life?

I don't remember anyone complimenting me. I guess they were all scared by the presence of my brothers and never had the guts to come and compliment me. (Laughs)

What kind of challenges did you face while shooting for the movie?

The language was the most difficult part. There were times when I had to deliver long dialogues and it would be a big task for me as I struggled with them, almost like a tongue twister. I would go and tell my diction teacher to give me a lot of tongue twisters so that I can learn the language more effectively.


Image: Giselli Monteiro

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'I wouldn't mind doing a reality show'

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You have to share the platform with another heroine. Did you have any apprehensions?

We have been the best of the friends since day one. We all developed a good rapport, thanks to the workshops that were conducted.  Zoa and I would look up to each other when we needed something. The movie is about high school and we had so much fun shooting for it.  There are two parallel stories running in the movie we have our screen space. Not only Zoa but all four of us had a ball while shooting for the film.

Given a chance would you like to take part in a reality show?

I haven't really given a thought to it but if something really interesting comes up then I would think about it.

What does future hold in store for you?

Good question (Laughs). I don't know, I am currently focusing on Always Kabhi Kabhi. I have some interesting scripts but haven't signed anything yet.

Image: Giselli Monteiro

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