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Nargis: I want to tell my kids that I was a Bollywood actress

Last updated on: April 01, 2014 18:45 IST

Nargis: I want to tell my kids that I was a Bollywood actress

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Rajul Hegde in Mumbai

'I am learning Hindi. I cannot speak in Hindi, as everyone speaks in English to me. Even my maid speaks in English to me.'

'I struggle with finding time and handling my work. You may not have seen me in many films, but there are so many magazine shoots, runway stuff and ad campaigns.'

'When I get a day offm I put on a Bollywood film to get my Hindi right.'

Nargis Fakhri gets candid.

After Rockstar and Madras Cafe, Nargis Fakhri will be seen in this week's Main Tera Hero.

Directed by David Dhawan, the film also stars Varun Dhawan and Ileana D'Cruz.

Nargis talks about how she is struggling to speak Hindi and finding her feet in Bollywood, and the fun time she had shooting for Main Tera Hero.

This film is different from others you have done. What was the experience like?

It was a lot of fun with some hardships. I think I am funny and comedy is something that I really love.

It was wonderful working with the team. Every single person on the set was so funny that I lost weight laughing non-stop.

It was the best experience I have ever had.

Please click Next to see more.


Image: Nargis Fakrih
Photographs: Courtesy Lakme Fashion Week

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'Ileana and I bonded over food'

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How did you approach the character in the film?

My character, Ayesha, is not me. It was interesting to portray or play someone who you cannot relate to.

She is a rich, spoilt brat. It was interesting to find how I could connect to her character and bring out the best in me.

We must do the best with what we have. Like if I have a pretty smile, then smile a lot. Do as much preparation as you can.

I did my best and Varun helped me a lot with memorising the lines.

I hope I did a good job. I am getting good feedback. .

What did you all discuss on the sets of Main Tera Hero apart from the film?

Varun and I talked about our college days back in the UK. With Ileana, we bonded over food.

Anupam (Kher) is well educated, cultured, and you could talk about anything to him.


Image: Nargis Fakhri, Varun Dhawan and Ileana Dcruz in Main Tera Hero


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'The film shows my glamorous side but there is acting too'

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What was it like working with David Dhawan? Did he ever scream at you?

David is very fast, like a superman. He is done with two or four retakes.

I did not want to wear some tight leopard pants once. I was arguing about this when he stormed in. I locked myself into the toilet.

Finally, I had to wear those pants (smiles).

How different are directors Shoojit Sircar, Imtiaz Ali and David Dhawan?

They are very different from each other. Imtiaz gets into your mind like bacteria and in your subconscious you hear his voice.

But I would love to work with him again because of his technique of directing.

Soorjit is precise and focused.

David gives freedom to have fun on the sets.

This film focuses more on your glamorous side.

It has a glamorous side but there is acting too. It’s my voice in the film.

You know how hard it was to dub for myself, getting the right emotion and speaking right? But it was fun.


Image: Nargis Fakhri in Main Tera Hero


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'I cannot speak in Hindi, as everyone speaks in English to me'

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Did the presence of another heroine, Ileana, make you feel insecure?

That is the weirdest thing to ask. We were okay with each other. She is a very caring human being.

I was blessed that she was nice, shared food with me.

No, there was no insecurity about having another heroine in the film. Why would anyone be insecure with someone else if you know who you are?

Are you leaning Hindi?

I am learning Hindi. I cannot speak in Hindi, as everyone speaks in English to me. Even my maid speaks in English to me.

I need to make more of an effort. Lots of people who want to do acting get trained, like Ranbir Kapoor, for instance.

I struggle with finding time and handling my work. You may not have seen me in many films, but there are so many magazine shoots, runway stuff and ad campaigns.

When I get a day off I put on a Bollywood film to get my Hindi right.


Image: Nargis Fakhri
Photographs: Nargis Fakhri/Facebook

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'I feel scared and nervous that people will make fun of me if I speak because my accent is hilarious'

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What sort of criticism hurts you the must?

It hurts when people say bad things about you. It was hurtful when I did Rockstar because I didn't understand anything in the industry.

I found it cool and thought of trying it. I did it for fun and did not realise what I was getting into.

I was a child; I am a child in a big girl’s body and have child-like enthusiasm and positivity, but I was chopped down.

I got over it after some time. Nobody cares how much you tried, your efforts, or where you came from, that you had no knowledge about this industry and still you did it -- nobody cares about that. They just see the final product.

Then I had to decide which projects I should do. I had to do something that I connect to.

This is my third film and taking my time is okay.

I was lucky to do films like Madras Cafe and Main Tera Hero. I am excited to see the reaction of people.

Did you ever feel like a misfit because of the language issue here in Bollywood?

I don’t know if ‘misfit’ is the right word. Everyone speaks English off the set but when you are on set, it is awkward.

I feel scared and nervous that people will make fun of me if I speak because my accent is hilarious.

So, I did feel nervous and scared and insecure, as I did not know the language well enough.


Image: Nargis Fakhri
Photographs: Nargis Fakhri/Twitter

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'It's unfortunate that I don't have close connections with anyone in the industry'

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Who are your friends in the industry? And whom do you discuss your projects with?

I don't really have any friends, I have acquaintances here. It's a huge disadvantage.

I only have my agency to discuss my work. Everyone knows everyone here.

It’s unfortunate that I don’t have close connections with anyone in the industry.

After Madras Cafe, what sort of offers did you get? Were they to do serious kind of roles?

There were offers always, but that doesn’t mean I will take everything. I am not in a race. I am doing things that make me happy.

You don’t get stories that you can connect with every time. A film like Rockstar doesn’t get made all the time. The story just blew me away.

Madras Cafe was also good and I liked it. Main Tera Hero is comedy and it’s a nice film.


Image: Nargis Fakhri
Photographs: Nargis Fakhri/Twitter

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'I have accomplished so much and succeeded though I have come from outside'

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What are the future options that you are looking at in Hollywood, Bollywood, regional films?

I will work with anyone as long as the people are nice, the story is good and I can enjoy my time.

I want to experience my life fully. I want to tell my kids that I was a Bollywood actress, did dancing and learnt the language and it was interesting.

I can tell stories to people who don’t know things about India. I can identify with my father for the first time in my life which I never got a chance to do.

I think I have accomplished so much and succeeded though I have come from outside.

I don’t know about films, don’t speak Hindi but I want to enjoy and have fun and work with good people.

You will be doing a Hollywood film…is that a break from Bollywood?

I cannot answer any of that yet. In a month’s time you come back to me and I will talk about it.

It was reported that Akshay Kumar is very upset that you left the Shaukeen remake.

It’s sad, and unfortunate. I wanted to be part of the project. I am not working on that project.

Your take on marriage?

Whoever decides... I feel sorry for him (smiles).


Image: Nargis Fakhri
Photographs: Nargis Fakhri/Twitter

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