Patcy N in Mumbai
Twenty-seven-year-old Candice Boucher, a South African model, will soon be seen in an Indian film, Aazaan, directed by Prashant Chadha.
Candice has been a popular cover girl for magazines such as Sports Illustrated, FHM, Elle, GQ and Cosmopolitan but she is most popular for her nude photographs in Playboy magazine.
Patcy N spoke to Candice about her film, speaking Hindi and, of course, her Playboy shoots.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a South African, born in Durban. For the last 10 years, I have been based in Cape Town. I started modelling in the last year of school. It involved lots of travelling and I enjoyed it, seeing and meeting lots of interesting people.
My parents have split, and both re-married. I have a brother and a half sister, who is very young. I have been on my own for the last 10 years. I grew up with my mom and visited my dad on weekends.
My first modelling assignment for a small clothing company in South Africa happened by chance.
By doing Aazaan, I am just doing something very different at the moment and I am very happy.
'Prashant wrote the part keeping my personality in mind'
Photographs: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
When did you first come to India?
The first time I came to India was for the Liril ad six years ago. Then I did the Lee Jeans ad. I have met great people and have a great team. I always keep in touch with my Indian clients, they are all great people. I have come here many times but this is the first movie that has been offered to me.
How did you get the offer of Aazaan?
I have known Prashant for six years now and they had a part in the movie for a girl who is western and has a Mediterranean look. Prashant wrote the part keeping my personality in mind.
'I don't have much Hindi dialogue as we decided to keep the dialogues in English'
Do you speak your dialogues in Hindi?
I don't have much Hindi dialogue, as we decided to keep the dialogues in English. I play a Moroccan girl so the character did not have to speak Hindi.
Why did you say yes to this film?
I said yes because I trust Prashant very much. I have seen what he has worked on before. He is absolutely great at what he does. So when this opportunity came up and I had something completely different to do, I took it up. It took me out of my comfort zone.
'The dancing scenes on the rocks were very difficult'
Photographs: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images
Since this is your first film ever, were you nervous?
It is very different from modelling. I am quite comfortable in my television commercials and sets, but my first film scene was quite an emotional one and quite dramatic. Plus, there was Hindi to say, so I was very nervous. I had the action coach and choreographer with me all the time. Prashant was great; he would calm me down and direct me, he was very gracious and patient as well. After the first one or two takes, I calmed down.
What was the toughest scene for you to shoot?
The dancing scenes on the rocks were very difficult obviously because there was a straight drop behind into the ocean from where I was standing and dancing and 300 extras staring at me and the wind was blowing!... so that was quite scary. Then the emotional connect of Afreen and the emotional journey of Afreen was quite tough for me.
'It was difficult dancing to Indian songs as I have two left feet'
Do you have song and dance movies in South Africa?
No. Our movies are very different. We do have an Indian channel, though. There are fashion shows and movies that come out of India so I was aware of Bollywood movies and the feel in general and India in general. I knew what the Bollywood movie industry is all about.
Was it difficult dancing to Indian songs?
Yes, definitely. Prashant knows very well from my previous work experience that I am not a great dancer. I have two left feet. So Ashley (Lobo, choreographer) had a challenge with the choreography and had to simplify things very much for me. But I always enjoy a challenge and it was great fun.
'I am familiar with the bigger stars that have been around for many many years like Salman, Ash'
Before you came to India, did you know any actors here or even their names?
I am familiar with the bigger stars that have been around for many many years like Salman, Aishwarya, Deepika. I don't know all the newer stars.
There are gorgeous pictures of you in Playboy. What was it like shooting for those?
It was a great experience, a once in a lifetime experience. I felt it was the right time and place to do it. It was shot in Kenya and other parts of Africa, my own country, and so it was very close to me. The experience itself was mind blowing -- just being in the wild with animals, and they were tracking it was long shot. The shoot lasted a week and a half. It was like reconnecting with Mother Nature.
'India is like a second home to me because the people here are like those where I come from'
What is the best thing that you like about India and what are the places that you have seen in India?
I have only been in Mumbai, and in Goa once or twice just for a day or two. But Mumbai is for me -- the kind of humanity that I see here, the spirituality in the people, there are bright colours, the family bonding that people seem to share here, they are dear to me as I come from such a close knit family. I don't see that anywhere else in the world. I have definitely made friends for life here.
Are you going to settle in India for work?
I can't say that I am going to settle here, but I will definitely be coming back to India for the rest of my life, with my family. India is one of the top three places to visit. It feels like a second home to me because the people here are like those where I come from, there is kinship.
'I have to learn the Hindi language'
Have you got offers for other films? And if you have, will you take them up?
I have to learn the Hindi language first of all, which is going to take me a few months if not a year or two, just for my own personal interest. I think once I have mastered that I will definitely consider it. I think for the Bollywood industry it is definitely a must to do that and also to move freely, which is so difficult for me.