The Telegraph
Thursday , November 22 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Claudia Ciesla shakes it with Akshay Kumar

Yes, I’ve done the item number Balma with Akshay sir in Khiladi 786 and I’m so happy that people have liked me in the promos. My Facebook message box is full (of compliments),” gushed Claudia Ciesla when t2 spoke to her on the phone.

The German supermodel known for her au naturel assets got a call from the production house to do an item number in director Ashish R Mohan’s film, starring Akshay and Asin in the lead. “I auditioned for a song and they liked it. But when I was told I would have to shake a leg with Akshay sir, I got nervous. I calmed down once I was on the sets where choreographer Ganesh Acharya took me through the steps. Akshay sir is very professional. He didn’t rehearse but all his shots came out perfect! He is a great dancer.... We didn’t interact much; it was not like we sat down for a chat after each shot. Instead, after each shot he took rest in his make-up van,” added Claudia, who settled in Mumbai three years ago.

“I stay in a rented flat in Lokhandwala and all these years I wanted to break into Bollywood. It’s very difficult because there are so many talented people here. But I didn’t sulk or sit idle at home. I hired a Hindi teacher and enrolled to learn Bollywood steps. Isliye (that’s why) I never felt bored,” she laughed.

But Claudia still misses Calcutta where she shot for Arin Paul’s 10:10 (2008) four winters ago. “Calcutta is the first city I visited after landing in India and it will always remain special. I have made some great friends there and I love the city. I hope someone gives me a film soon (in Calcutta),” said the former Bigg Boss (2010) contestant. “But now Bombay is my home. The Balma number is already a hit and I got many offers for stage shows when the promo went on air. Next year I will perform in Punjab, Jodhpur and Jaipur,” she added.

Dancing with the original Khiladi has boosted her confidence. “I love dancing and I hope I get more offers to do item songs in Bollywood.”

And what about her friendship with “good friend” Salman Khan? “Oh, I will not share gossip,” she laughed. “I bump into many Bollywood stars at various award functions.”

Kushali Nag

[Khiladi 786 releases on December 7]