'I have worked hard to reach here, and enjoyed myself too. I have been lucky to get the right people. The Miss India organisation supports me, and have a lot of people to guide me.'
Calendar girl Ruhi Singh introduces herself to Rajul Hegde.
Former Miss India Ruhi Singh is all set to make a stunning debut in Madhur Bhandarkar's Calendar Girls.
Ruhi's work in Nisha Pahuja's acclaimed documentary The World Before Her caught the director's eye, and she landed the film.
The Jaipur-based Ruhi plays Mayuri Chauhan, who hails from Rohtak, Haryana.
My character is super witty, ambitious and a complete go-getter. I could easily relate to her because I have similar confidence," Ruhi says.
During her audition, Ruhi had to read out Priyanka Chopra's dialogues from Madhur's earlier film Fashion.
"When Madhur saw me for the first during the look test, he knew he had met his character Mayuri Chauhan," Ruhi says proudly.
The stage excited Ruhi since childhood.
"I used to take part in all activities like dancing, singing, poetry-reading, debates and sports, which would put me on stage. I always loved the spotlight. That is where the fascination for showbiz began -- not just acting but the feeling of fame and power that comes along with it," Ruhi says.
Ruhi won the Miss Universe Peace and Humanity crown in 2014, and credits her parents for the inspiration and support.
"In my family, women are respected a lot. They are all career-oriented. I am very close to my dad. He treat me like his princess," she says, with a smile.
Among the five girls in the cast, Ruhi claims she bonded the most with Avni Modi.
"I have never believed in the word 'competition.' You have to make your own identity. I wake up everyday and tell myself that I want to be a better version of Ruhi today than I was yesterday. I make friends easily. I am the youngest of the lot, so I got to learn a lot from my fellow actors," she adds.
Ruhi's first scene was shot on the same sets as the Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Chennai Express.
"I was nervous but Madhur sir was cool. That made me comfortable. The shot came very nicely. Everyone was impressed," she says.
The scene, she says, was a conversation with an important character, where her character establishes herself in the film.
The best part of the shoot was in Mauritius, Ruhi says.
"I love the picturization of the song Awesome Mora Mahiya. It was shot in one of the best locations. We were put up in a 7-star property!" she exclaims.
"I have worked hard to reach here, and enjoyed myself too. I have been lucky to get the right people. The Miss India organisation supports me, and have a lot of people to guide me," she says.
The actress plans to have a special screening of her film in Jaipur, where she lives.
"I hope people welcome me properly at the airport with a band! When I won the Miss India title, I had a great homecoming. I expect better this time, as I have become a Bollywood star," she says with a chuckle.
Even before the release of Calendar Girls, Ruhi has already started shooting for her second film, Ishq Forever.
"I play Riya in Ishq Forever. College students will connect to the character. It has fantastic songs by Nadeem (of the Nadeem-Shravan duo). It's his comeback," Ruhi informs me.
The film co-stars model Krishna Chaturvedi, Lisa Ray and Javed Jaffrey and is expected to release in January.
"We shot in Cape Town for 45 days and everyone took good care of me. They treated me like a princess!" she exclaims.