NEW DEHLI: Sydney-born Emma Brown Garrett, who made her big screen debut with the Bengali movie Shukno Lanka, has gone blonde in her Bollywood avatar and even picked up Hindi – all for the love of Indian cinema.
Emma, who wants her age to be a guarded “secret”, is upbeat about her new projects – the Abhishek Bachchan- starrer Dum Maaro Dum and Dharmendra-Sunny Deol-starrer Yamla Pagla Deewana.
“Though I was first discovered by the Bengali film industry, it was a good ground before venturing into Bollywood,” Emma told IANS in an interview.
“I have just finished my first in Bollywood. It’s called Dum Maro Dum with Rohan Sippy and I also star in Yamla Pagla Deewana. I play Sunny’s wife in the second film. I had dark hair but I went blonde for both the roles which are typically gaudy,” she said.
“I speak Hindi in Yamla Pagla Deewana and I speak Russian and poor English in Dum Maro Dum,” she added.
Emma was in the capital for the screening of Shukno Lanka that hit the screens Friday. Co-produced by Mumbai Mantra Media Ltd and the Moxie Group, it is directed by Gaurav Pandey and also stars Sabyasachi Chakraborty and Debashree Roy.
Emma says she was a huge fan of her co-star Mithun even before she met him on the sets of Shukno Lanka.
Describing how she came to Indian shores, Emma said: “My husband and I decided to come to India to work and we’ve been here for two and a half years now. My husband runs a financial business and I thought I can come to India and try out acting and it worked. We’ve both been very successful here and we’ve kind of settled in India nicely. I landed my first job only after two weeks of arriving here. I got myself an agent, auditioned for the role and director Gaurav Pandey was very happy,” she said.
“I was a huge Mithunda fan even before I worked on this film. My husband and I would sit and watch Hindi films and I loved Disco Dancer and Hum Paanch,” she added.
So did she take language lessons for Bollywood? “I have a Punjabi guru in Mumbai who taught me from the very beginning – a mixture of both Urdu and Hindi. I see her from time to time since I arrived here. So I speak a little Hindi.
“I can read and write Hindi as well, but my conversation gets a little scattered sometimes. I am very good in communicating slowly. I see a lot of Hindi films and I pick it up from there too. I don’t know that much of Russian though. It was just a matter of learning the script and then I had a voice coach,” added the actress, who is also open to work in other regional films.
Asked if she knew the meaning of Yamla Pagla Deewana, she said, “Of course. It means ‘crazy crazy crazy’. I know the song. I did my research.”
Probed more on her Bollywood ventures, she said: “I’m so sorry but I can’t talk much about my characters, as I have signed a confidentiality agreement.”
Having studied films and acting and pursued singing back home, Emma is now eyeing a Bollywood career.
“I have got an opportunity to work with veterans in my early days itself. People like Mithun Chakraborty and Dharmendra ji, who has just completed 50 years in Bollywood.
“It is so different for me to be involved in these films as I don’t have the history and the background. It’s so new for me to come into the country and experience it from a fresh perspective. I am falling in love with Indian cinema every day,” she added. IANS
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2010.
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