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Rediff News  All News  » Movies » Meet the Victoria's Secret Angel in Guzaarish

Meet the Victoria's Secret Angel in Guzaarish

Last updated on: November 9, 2010 13:37 IST

Image: Monikangana Dutta
Patcy N in Mumbai

The sexy supermodel Monikangana Dutta is ready for two important roles in her life -- playing Hrithik Roshan's ex-lover in Guzaarish, and modelling the lingerie line as the latest Victoria's Secret Angel.

The dusky beauty tells Patcy N how her shift to the movies happened, and how it felt to be directed by the sensitive Sanjay Leela Bhansali.

How did Bhansali zero in on you for Guzaarish?

He saw my pictures in magazines and a Kingfisher calendar and called me. Initially, I thought someone was playing a joke on me because I couldn't believe that Sanjay Leela Bhansali himself would call me.

Anyway, the very next day, I met him for my audition. He asked me to act out something that I would like to do from any genre I was comfortable with. I chose something intense and dramatic. After that, he narrated the script and asked me if I wanted to do the role.

'Even if I had to run around trees, I wanted to do it perfectly'

Image: Monikangana Dutta

Have you learnt acting?

You can't learn acting, you can't learn emotions. I tried enrolling in Anupam Kher's acting school as my friend had joined it. I did one acting course but realised a month later that acting cannot be learnt. What I did learn, however, were some technical things that changed something in me. After dropping out of the course, I got this offer. Things just happened.

What is your role in the film?

I am not really supposed to talk about my role. All I can say is that I am playing Hrithik's love interest and it is beautiful role. I play Estella.

Did you prepare for the role?

Sanjay Leela Bhansali signed me up for ballet and contemporary dance classes. (Choreographer) Ashley Lobo also helped me. But Bhansali did not tell me to brush up on my acting skills. I think I had the emotions that they were looking for.

I'm a very intense, sensitive and dramatic person. At the same time, I like fun. I needed all these emotions to play the role.

My body language during my modelling days was very different. But after going to Anupam Kher's school, that changed. I wanted to transform my body language from a high fashion model to an Indian actor, so I watched many old movies of Nargis and Audrey Hepburn.

I wanted to learn real acting. Even if I had to run around trees, I wanted to do it perfectly. It was not easy to change my body language. In the process, I gave up many big modelling assignments. I don't think anyone will have the guts to make such a big sacrifice.

'Hrithik and Aishwarya treated me like a baby'

Image: Monikangana Dutta

How was the experience of working with Hrithik and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan?

It was a tremendous learning experience. They were extremely nice to me and treated me like a baby. They were the ones who made the first move -- they broke the ice, so to speak.

Did Ash or Hrithik give you any tips say how to face the camera?

No, I am a model so I know my camera angles.

'I had to fight with my dad to go to Paris'

Image: Monikangana Dutta

How did modelling happen?

I am originally from Guwahati, Assam. I moved to Delhi for further studies when I was just 17. One day I was standing outside my college when three people approached me. I was a bit scared as I thought they have come to kidnap me. But they started taking (supermodel) Noyonika Chatterjee's name. They gave me a brochure and asked me whether I was interested in the Metropolitan top model contest.

I came to know that Noyonika was going to groom models in India for the contest. I participated in the contest in Delhi and won.

Then I went to compete in the French Metropolitan agency's Top Model Contest in Ecuador and won that too earning myself a three-year contract with them in Paris.

What was your parents' reaction when you got the offer?

I come from an academically strong family so obviously my father was shocked. He said I couldn't go, that I had to finish my college first. But I was determined to go ahead with modelling and told him that this kind of opportunity does not come everyday and that people won't be waiting for me to finish college. But my father was adamant. My mom was completely against it too.

I got into college to do economic honours; I hardly went to college for a month after I got this offer. I had to fight with them first to go to college in Delhi and then I had to fight with my dad to go to Paris. After a point I saw my father was not going to agree so I told him that I would go ahead without his permission.

After that my father came to Delhi and met everyone. I have never seen my father so emotional. He told everyone to take really good care of me. After a few days, my mother called me asking me to come back as they missed me. It was really hard to say no, but I knew that there was no looking back.

'Bollywood and acting was completely out of my agenda'

Image: Monikangana Dutta

You were doing very well in the modelling industry. So why the career change?

Yeah, you are right. I was doing really well. I was very happy. When I was modelling, I got so many big movie offers where I could have played a solo heroine. But I did not take them because I was just not interested. Bollywood and acting was completely out of my agenda.

After a while though I got fed up of modelling in India because the scene here is so different from that of Paris, Milano or New York. There was no competition for me in India any more. I really believe that if you want your thirst for life to continue, you need competition. I was not doing anything for two to three months. It was at this time that someone suggested I try something different.

So when Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who I am a big fan of, offered a role in his movie, I immediately agreed.