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'I have not appeared in any vulgar scene in Anjunaa Beach'

Last updated on: March 19, 2012 12:29 IST

'I have not appeared in any vulgar scene in Anjunaa Beach'

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Patcy N in Mumbai
Last week's movie release Anjunaa Beach saw a new import in Bollywood. Italian-Ukrainian model-actress Nataliya Kozhenova made her debut in an Indian feature film, which told the real life story of English teenager Scarlett Keeling, who was found raped and murdered in Goa in 2008.

While the film did not make waves at the box office, we will see more of Nataliya in our movies.


Image: Nataliya Kozhenova


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'I wanted to see if India is the way it's depicted in Bollywood'

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India is not new to Nataliya.
 
She had come down as a tourist in 2009 to see if the country was just how it was depicted in Bollywood. Nataliya, incidentally, loves Hindi films!
 
Later, she visited many more times to hoping to get work in the film industry. She got a place in Bandra, a western suburb of Mumbai, and started her two-year struggle to land films. Meanwhile, she modelled for print ads and other modelling assignments. 

She acted in a documentary called Back in Bollywood and a short film called My Daughter, which did the rounds of film festivals.

Image: Nataliya Kozhenova


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'We had some permission issues to shoot on Ajnuna beach but our director worked it out'

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When she heard that Anjunaa Beach director Shakeel S Saifee was looking for a girl who resembled Scarlett, Nataliya managed to meet him through a common friend. The resemblence was quite uncanny, and Nataliya bagged her first film.
 
The film was shot on Anjuna beach in Goa, where the actual incident took place, and ran into trouble for not having the required permissions to shoot on the beach.
 
"We had some permission issues to shoot there but our director worked it out," Nataliya says.

Image: Nataliya Kozhenova


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'We haven't shown rape in the film'

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Beaches, bikinis and rape make for a dangerous combination that could spell censor trouble but Nataliya says, "I have not appeared in any vulgar scene. We haven't shown rape in the film and when my body is found, I am wearing a swimsuit."
 
Scarlett was 15 when she died but Nataliya is older. "It was difficult to get a 15-year-old girl, who could act well and do this film," she explains.
 
What made her choose such a small budget film as her first film? "I don't think the budget of the film should decide its fate. So many girls are dying to get lead roles. I am lucky that in my very first film, I got to play the lead character," she says.

Image: Nataliya Kozhenova


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'My favourite actor in Bollywood is Mithunda'

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Back home in Italy, Nataliya's single mother is a homemaker. She has two brothers.
 
Nataliya quit studies halfway to try her luck in showbiz, and managed to do some modelling and work in television serials.
 
So who is Nataliya's favourite Indian actor? "My favourite actor is Mithunda (Chakraborty). I met him after coming to Mumbai. I know (Mithun's son) Mimoh, Jackie Shroff and Shakti Kapoor quite well. I have also met Shah Rukh Khan."
 
Nataliya's forthcoming film is Super Model, starring Veena Malik, Jackie Shroff and Shakti Kapoor.

Image: Nataliya Kozhenova


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