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All Up to Me

Every year sees newcomers being launched in our Hindi film industry. Some are industry kids and some are not. The next few months will see Mandana Karimi, a foreigner making her debut in Kya Kool Hai Hum 3. Over to her:

Background

My mother is a Parsi from Iran and my father is Indian, and I lived in Hong Kong, where I started my modeling career. It was in 2010 when I first visited India for three months for a modeling contract. I don’t why but I felt an instant connect. And, much to my surprise, everyone here pronounces my name correctly!

Offers pouring in

During my three-month stint in India, I was flooded with commercial offers. But I had to go back. After I returned home, I thought I would have to move to India to make a career. I hadn’t really thought about acting, just being in India. So two years ago, I shifted to Mumbai and since I had no idea about acting, I joined Barry Johns’ acting school. During that time, I also learnt Hindi.

On auditions

Since I landed in Mumbai, I had gone for every audition possible, whether I suited the character or not. People used to laugh at me but, believe me, those auditions helped me understand the camera, performance, Hindi and how to say my lines. It was those auditions that gave me confidence to act.

First film

My first Bollywood film was Bhaag Johny directed by Shivam Nair. The character demanded a firangi girl and that’s why I was chosen. Working with Kunal Kemmu was interesting.

Breaking the mould

Ever since I landed in this industry, I have wanted to act, not become a show-stopper. That’s why, in the last two years, I must have rejected more than 20 offers for item numbers. I didn’t want to become an item dancer. It is not my cup of tea.

On getting Kya Kool Hai Hum 3

One of my friends had told me about auditions at Balaji for Kya Kool Hai Hum 3. I auditioned and bagged the role. I believe it was Ekta Kapoor who saw potential in me and had the confidence that I could act. In this film, I play a Punjabi-Indian girl, so I did all my research and prep to play a Punjabi girl. In fact, Ekta was surprised to know that I could speak Hindi.

On her role

Kya Kool Hai Hum is a superhit franchise and that’s why a third installment is being made. But the difference between this part and the earlier two parts is that they had two heroes and two heroines. In this part, I am the only actress opposite Tusshar. So I have my own screen space and that’s what makes this film close to me. Also because the director and the producer showed faith in me for a role that is completely different to my personality.

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