In Lekar Hum Deewana Dil, I played Karishma Shetty, a Manglorean girl from a traditional family. She is born and brought up in Mumbai and on a personal level, leads a very modern lifestyle. Although she is spunky and full of fun, she is also mature and responsible at the same time. She is pragmatic and has the will to stand by any decision taken by her. Karishma feels cornered when her parents want to marry her off and she retaliates by taking a strong decision, to stay with her friend Dinesh, played by Armaan Jain. The story then explores their journey and how their decision backfires.
I was in Mumbai for another meeting and just when I was on my way, I was informed that some auditions were in progress for a film, which was to be helmed by Imtiaz Ali’s brother. I thought, why not give it a shot? I finished with my audition and got a call the very same evening, stating that ‘the director (Arif Ali) has loved the footage and he would like to meet you tomorrow’. After that, there were few more auditions. Then came a time when I was sitting at the Illuminati Films office, where producer Dinesh Vijan told me that I was 99 per cent confirmed, but I had to give a look test with Armaan to see our chemistry, since the film was a love story. But, when I was told that A.R.Rahman sir is doing the music of this film, I knew I had to do this project. Then, it was on my birthday a couple of days later that I was informed I am on board and we started off with the workshops.
Since my father has a transferable job, I have lived in various cities. I was a complete brat. I have studied in different schools, but finally passed out from Mayo College, a boarding school in Rajasthan. After that, I came down to Mumbai for further studies at HR College. Honestly, acting was never on the cards for me. If you don’t belong to a film family, things are different. In school, I would participate in every activity, be it elocution or theatre. I think every child in India lives on Bollywood and at some point, they all want to be seen on the big screen. During one of the college events in 2009, I tried my luck at the Femina Miss India pageant, after which I was offered a few projects down South. I finally got my big break in a Telugu film titled Vedam in 2010 and that’s when I realised, this is what I wanted to do!
On the mahurat day, we filmed the song Tu shining at a college in Mumbai. Finally, my shot came up at 6 pm, just five minutes before pack up. Otherwise, I was just chilling in my vanity van.
I had to re-learn a lot of things. There was a method of acting that I got comfortable with and when I started working on this film, I had to be more natural, since they wanted our performance to suit the realistic set up. The process of re-inventing yourself has been my biggest learning.
There was no big hurdle, but my audition scene, where my character is high on life and is proclaiming her love to the world, gave me some jitters. Despite the fact that I am personally someone who is always high on life, enacting the scene was nerve-wrecking.
I don’t look up any actor, but I am more in awe of iconic characters. Rani in Queen was one such example that inspired me to give a good performance in the future.
I have a two film deal with Illuminati Films, so I am hoping something good will happen soon.