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Meet Prateik's HOT new costar in Issaq

July 24, 2013 10:26 IST

Meet Prateik's HOT new costar in Issaq

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Patcy N in Mumbai

Amyra Dastur is thrilled about her debut Hindi film, Issaq, and though she doesn't have any unreal expectations from the film (‘I don’t expect Rs 100 crores from this film’), she says it’s a dream come true.

She’s especially thrilled to have Prateik as her co-star (‘I don’t think I wanted to debut with anyone else’), and can’t stop gushing about him.

The 18-year-old actress chats with Patcy N about her foray in Bollywood, her struggles with the Hindi language, and why she couldn't stop crying in Varanasi, where the film was shot.


Image: Amyra Dastur in Issaq


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Early years and modelling

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I was born and brought up in Mumbai. Since I’m a Parsi, and we speak English and Gujarati at home, Hindi is not really my strong suit.

My dad is a doctor; he is the medical director of Masina Hospital in Byculla.

My mom is a housewife but now she is into landscaping. I have a younger brother who is studying to become a chef at the Taj Catering and Management University in Aurangabad.

I never wanted to get into any other profession than acting; I’ve wanted to act since I was a kid. I took part in school plays, workshops, anything that had to do with dramatics.

My parents have always supported me. They knew that I was going to get into acting or modelling. Their only advice to me was, as long as you don’t do any harm to yourself, as long as you don’t disrespect yourself or the family, you can do what you want.

I never really wanted to model, but here, that’s how you get into acting.

So at 16, I had my portfolio done, hired a manager, and got signed by an agency. They took me for auditions and I started modelling.

I have done ads with Clean and Clear, Airtel and Micromax.


Image: Amyra Dastur with Prateik in Issaq


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Getting her first film offer

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At 18, I got my first film break. I was in college, doing my graduation in Commerce.

(Director) Manish Tiwari saw a couple of my ads and wanted to meet and audition me.

There were other auditions as well.

Finally, he gave me the script. I had a screen test with Prateik, and then I did a 10-day intensive workshop. After that, Manish told me I had got the role.


Image: Amyra Dastur with Prateik in Issaq


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On her dream debut

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I signed Issaq because I did not want to be just another pretty face. I am sick of people stereotyping me, thinking ‘she is pretty so that’s all she can do’. I wanted to show people that I can act.

This role has so many emotions -- she is sad, she is happy, she is funny, she is irritated. There is so much scope for an actor.

This is my dream debut. I am getting to play Juliet and I am a big William Shakespeare fan.

Film shooting is different from ad shoots. Film shoots are more chaotic and stressful. Still, I would do it any day and every day.


Image: Amyra Dastur with Prateik in Issaq


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On her Issaq costar

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I am happier than anything that Prateik is my co-star. I don’t think I wanted to debut with anyone else.

He is a couple of movies old but he never made me feel that he is superior to me.

I didn’t even need to ask him for help. My Hindi isn’t so strong, so he would help me with pronunciation.

Some of the dialogues have lots of Urdu words in them. I understand Hindi very well though I can’t speak well, but when it comes to Urdu, I don’t know it at all.

I am a little shy and introvert so I don’t ask for help much.

Prateik sensed that early on and made me feel comfortable.

Difficult scene

 

The intimate scenes were very difficult. Like I said, I am a very shy person and don’t believe in public displays of affection. I wouldn't even hold my boyfriend’s hand in public.

 

The scenes had to look real and I wasn't comfortable. I managed it because there was a lot of joking around on the sets and Prateik was very sweet and helped me out.

He said we got to do it, let’s just get it over with and make it look real and not do too many retakes.

 


Image: Amyra Dastur with Prateik in Issaq


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Working with Manish Tiwary

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Manish’s first film Dil Dosti Etc didn’t do well but I wasn't apprehensive because at the end of the day, I am new and starting from scratch. You can’t be choosy, you just take what you get and be happy with it.

There are a lot of people who haven’t done well in their first film but that doesn't mean they aren't capable of doing better.

Speaking Hindi

I play a girl from Varanasi in the film. I had to speak good Hindi.

That would have been really difficult for me but it was easy after I finished my three-month workshop for diction, dialect, character building, as well as chemistry.

 It wasn't sync sound -- we had to dub. I had one month of just dialect workshop for the dialogue in the film.


Image: Amyra Dastur in Issaq


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Shooting in Banaras

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It was really hard. I cried a lot. I am a proper South Mumbai girl and adapting to a new city… the transition was very difficult. I stayed in Banaras for three months.

It's a completely different and unique city. It’s got a different, spiritual feel to it. 

The people are very simple and humble. You don’t see a lot of luxury. Getting used to it was hard, but the funny part was that when I came back to Mumbai, I found it difficult to resume my Mumbai life!

I was homesick. I had fear of failure. It is my first movie so it was overwhelming as well.


Image: Amyra Dastur in Issaq


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