Lisa Haydon made all the noise but the model who had the meatier role and grabbed more eyeballs in Aisha was Amrita Puri, who played Shefali, the behenji who is transformed by Sonam Kapoors Aisha. We spoke to the lady on the experience and the road ahead.
What were you doing before Aisha?
I was modelling for two years in Mumbai. I was looking for a break in Bollywood and Aisha gave me that break. I was also working with O&M as a copywriter and doing freelance journalism.
How did Aisha happen?
I was doing ads and going for movie auditions for two years. I got a Facebook message forwarded by a friend with whom I had done theatre. I sent my pictures to the production team. They really liked my pictures. And then I had to give a couple of auditions. Thats it.
Were you okay with debuting in a four-girl film where you are not the main girl?
Yeah... I thought about it before I signed on. But my character has such an integral role to play. Aisha gives me a makeover in the film and thats a major part of the script. And then she keeps trying to match-make me. Also, the scope I had... you know, first playing a behenji and then evolving into this really modern girl. The emotional graph too was exciting... because she learns to stand her own ground by the end of the film.
Was it tough playing a behenji?
Very, very, very, very tough. Because I am not like that in real life. In fact, very, very far from what I am. So I had to understand what she thinks like, how she would walk and talk. I did a lot of character work. My Hindi was terrible. I had to work on my Hindi. I had to wear only Indian clothes one month before the shoot. I was running from pillar to post from character workshop to diction classes to the gym to lose weight.
It must have been a relief to transform into your natural self on screen?
Oh, it was great! I was actually very excited with the transformation. I was waiting for the choti to come off and get those bushy eyebrows off. The makeover song, directed by choreographer Terence Lewis, was so much fun!
Will it be a career in the movies then?
Oh yes, if people cast me! You know one year back I couldnt have dreamt of giving an interview to a journalist. Come on, I used to review art exhibitions and my beat was art (laughs out loud)! So yes, I really hope it is a career in the movies for me.