The 5th of June is World Environment Day and actress Neha Dhupia extols the virtues of going vegetarian, what it was like shooting for PETA’s new campaign in just leaves and vegetables and what she cooks for friends and family. Listen in:
What was it like shooting this campaign for PETA?
Well, we’ve just launched this brand new PETA campaign literally on the eve of World Environment Day. It means a lot to me to be vegetarian and it means even more to me to be a PETA supporter.
About the campaign, well, this was pretty interesting because I don’t have too many clothes on and instead, Im wearing leaves, for a change. The entire look has been styled by Little Shilpa. She thought of a dress and then she conceived it with leaves and vegetables and made it really interesting.
I remember when I first walked on to the set, there were all these leaves on the floor and at first I thought this was a PETA tradition since this was the first time I was shooting for them. So when I asked about it, they told me – This is what you’re going to wear. It’s not a PETA tradition. We don’t have leaves and vegetables lying around when people come on set.
All in all, it was very nice. Vishesh Varma, the photographer, shot the campaign for us and it made complete sense when it all came together and when I finally saw the final look of it.
The visual of the ad is meant to convey to you to go vegetarian because you end up doing a lot of good to yourself, to the animals, to the environment – just everything put together.
What does your diet consist of?
I have a very healthy vegetarian diet. I wake up to vegetable juice or lots of fruit. Today I woke up to lots of fruit. Then I have oats – but in water – which makes it better because you stay off the dairy. Then for lunch, I have a nice healthy salad with a lot of greens or a couscous salad or pasta with a leafy salad. As for my dinner, I eat early at 7pm, so I can afford to eat a little more. I eat dal and vegetables with rice or rotis. So my diet is extremely vegetarian and another thing I’m very particular about in my diet is that I don’t eat out of a bag, like chips. I don’t eat anything that has preservatives because it does a lot of harm. I also don’t have aerated drinks.
My vices are black coffee and green tea!
Do you cook for friends and family?
It’s the easiest thing in the world to make a pasta or a salad and when I have friends over, then it’s French fries and popcorn for a quick fix snack. But I’m smarter that so when friends drop by, I usually end up calling for food and don’t really cook for them.
I’m a very tentative cook – some days I’m good and some days I’m pretty bad. So I go between being good and bad. Like today, I tried out a couscous and raw mango salad and it turned out pretty OK.
I’m not somebody who eats less. I don’t believe in being skinny but I definitely believe in being healthy and I work towards it every day of my life.
Pix: Khyati Gandhi for MissMalini