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Actress Sheena Nayyar unravels her Cover Story

Last updated on: May 11, 2011 11:05 IST

Actress Sheena Nayyar unravels her Cover Story

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A. Ganesh Nadar in Mumbai

Sheena Nayyar made her Bollywood debut with a rather obscure film- Mallika last year. This year, however, the actress looks forward to making some noise with the release of her second film Cover Story opposite Jackie Shroff.

As a photo shoot for the movie progressed at Mehboob studios, Sheena Nayyar spoke to A. Ganesh Nadar in between shots about her Bollywood experience so far and her future plans.

We know so little about you. Tell us something about yourself.

I was born in Shivpuri, Madhya Pradesh. As my dad was in the army I traveled around during my childhood. My mom's a housewife and I have a brother. I've done my graduation from Delhi University.

How did movies happen?

It was not an impulsive decision. While I was in college in Delhi, I started modeling. Then I came to Mumbai for better opportunities. One thing led to another and then I got a chance to do a movie.

Did your family support your decision to be in films?

Yes! To a certain extent though. Initially thery were skeptical about my decision because I didn't know anyone in Mumbai. So I really had to convinve them to let me do it.

They came around eventually when they saw how far I'd come.


Image: Sheena Nayyar

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'It's important to have friends and well-wishers in Bollywood'

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You don't have connections in Bollywood so how difficult was it for you to break in?

These days every profession is competitive and difficult, unless you are going into your own family business. It is difficult to get a good job anywhere. It is mainly your hard work, your focus, where you want to be and what you want to achieve. Your friend circle, your contacts, your PRs, everything matters.

You have to develop your talents. I went for dance classes. I did theatre. I worked hard and was focused. In Bollywood you cannot do anything without friends and well wishers. I have a lot of well wishers here now.

How did you land the lead role in Mallika?

I went to the Percept office as I knew they were casting actors for the film. I met director Louis and the Percept people. They were looking for someone who could play the character convincingly. I went through several rounds of auditions. I really liked the script and they liked my performance. Maybe I was there at the right time, the right moment and it clicked. I got that role.

Mallika didn't do very well. How did you get Cover Story opposite Jackie Shroff?

This movie has got nothing to do with how Mallika did because I got this role before Mallika released. After I finished shooting for my first film, I started shooting for this one.


Image: Sheena Nayyar

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'People love SRK because he gives his best to his work'

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Tell us about your role in Cover Story?

In Cover story I play the role of a Bollywood actress. She is very intelligent and has a lot of depth but people think she is just beautiful and has no brains.

Jackie Shroff is a very senior actor. How was the experience of working with him?

Jackie is an extremely supportive co-actor. He is friendly and comfortable to work with. He has great character, it shows on his face. He is very nice. It was a different experience shooting with him. It was fun. I enjoyed the experience.

You have said that being glamorous is very important for a Bollywood actress- but Mallika did not do well despite all the glamour. What more do you think you could have done?

A reporter asked me how important glamour was for a Bollywood actress and I said it was very important. To be a full fledged Bollywood heroine you should be willing to play every character that is offered to you.

Glamour is important to a certain extent. You have to be careful about the way you talk, the way you dress, your diet and the way you present yourself. You have to have the right attitude and give your best to your work.

Why do people love Shah Rukh Khan? It is because he gives his best in front of the camera. As for Mallika, I think it didn't do well because it didn't have a story.


Image: Sheena Nayyar

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'Being glamorous is not a crime'

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How does your family react to your glamorous image now as an actress?

My family sees it in a positive way because being glamorous is not a crime. You have seen me in Mallika. Now you will see me in Cover story. This is a totally different image. In this movie they will see me as an actor. They will see me performing brilliantly.

My family knows me as an out going girl who also has a glamorous image. I can play the part of a simple Indian girl. I look good in western clothes too. I can be sophisticated when I want to be. I am a versatile actress.

Do you think the struggle was worth it?

(Laughs) I will think and decide when I reach where I want to. I want to do some more projects. I wish to work with certain people. If you ask me now, I am happy with what I am doing. It's been worth it. Rather than doing small jobs its better to explore and go ahead.


Image: Sheena Nayyar

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'I plan to venture into South films soon'

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A lot of North Indian girls have ventured in South films and are doing quite well. Have you tried your luck there?

I have not thought about that till now. But I plan to do that very soon.

How do you keep fit?

To keep fit first of all you should have a healthy mind. I do regular work outs. I go to the gymand I also do yoga when I have time. Diet is very important too. I eat what I need to and not what I want to.

If you had not got into movies what would you be doing now?

I would be an entrepreneur, established an empire and earned a lot of money.

Would you have been happy doing that?

I would have been happy doing that because I always do what makes me happy. At the moment I am happy doing what I am doing.


Image: Sheena Nayyar

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