It’s a great start to the year 2014 for Daisy Shah. Playing the leading lady opposite Salman Khan in the upcoming film, Jai Ho, this young actress is the first newbie to make her Bollywood debut this year.
Team MissMalini chatted with Daisy about her journey to Bollywood, her future plans and of course, what she learnt from Salman Khan.
Team MissMalini: Tell us about your journey to Bollywood.
Daisy Shah: My journey has been a long journey but it’s been quite entertaining. I have enjoyed each and every phase of my life – from an extra, to a dancer, to an assistant, to modeling and now, to acting!
Team MM: So did you have a plan to become an actress?
DS: I’m actually the kind of person who takes whatever comes to me, in a positive way. I had never thought that I would ever get in to acting. Initially, it started off as something I did for pocket money and eventually, it has become a profession.
Team MM: Are you formally trained as a dancer?
DS: I am not at all a trained dancer. I’ve just gotten better and better by dancing. The only dance training I have received is by assisting Ganesh Acharya. As they say, anything that you keep doing, you keep getting better and better and better.
Team MM: So which dance forms do you prefer to perform?
DS: I’m comfortable doing any kinds of dance forms because I can follow the dance steps quite easily. But the main form of dancing which I’ve usually practiced is Bollywood masala, which is basically a mix of all the forms of dancing.
Team MM: How did you bag the lead role in Jai Ho?
DS: It was a complete surprise for me. It was completely unexpected. I knew Salman Khan because of my work as an assistant to Ganesh Acharya and I had a little bit of interaction with him in the past.
It was only on the sets of Jai Ho that he had told me that he’d seen a clip of mine on the video assist when we were shooting a song for one of his previous films, in South Africa. That’s when he thought that if I ever get into acting or if I even think about getting into acting, then he would definitely give me a chance.
Team MM: What kind of roles would you want to play in Bollywood films?
DS: Honestly, I have not thought of it as of now because I’m more focused on Jai Ho since it is about to be released. But if I think about it, I would rather do more entertaining movies instead of going into experimental cinema because it’s just the starting phase of my career and I cannot get too experimental.
Team MM: Tell us about your role in Jai Ho.
DS: I’m playing the role of a girl-next-door. She’s just a normal girl whom you will see in your everyday life. She is happy-go-lucky! Very expressive! Very straight forward! She is happy in her own little world.
Team MM: Did you face any difficulties on this, your first Bollywood film?
DS: No, I didn’t face any difficulties. In fact, I found it rather easy working on Jai Ho because I’ve worked in south films as well. And that being a language completely alien to me, this was easier because I knew the language (Hindi). Hence, it was easier to understand things, to relate myself to everything, including all the technical details of the film.
Team MM: What have you learned from Salman Khan?
DS: There are many things to learn from him but the one thing that he always told me is that every actor and every technician who is working on a project, has their own involvement, their own talents to give to a movie. But if you don’t show your involvement, then the others might think that you are disinterested and not willing to do more than the basic minimum expected of you. And so, showing your deep involvement in the biggest thing you need to do when you’re working on a project, regardless of whatever field it might be.
Team MM: Tell us about your metamorphosis for Jai Ho.
DS: I actually had to work out more because even though I was a dancer, who would dance eight to ten hours a day, I had to lose weight and look toned. So we had work-out sessions of six hours a day on days when we didn’t have to shoot and when we were free.
I have to push myself beyond my limits to lose weight/tone up. I do cardio and weights. Cardio is to increase the BMI of my body and, weights to tone my body. Both go hand-in-hand. You can’t be doing one and not the other.
Team MM: What’s the secret to your flawless skin?
DS: I am blessed with good skin and good hair. But when it comes to taking care of my skin, I just moisturize and drink lots of water since it’s very essential to keep yourself hydrated all the time. But make sure you use a good moisturizer.
Team MM: Tell us about your personal style.
DS: My dressing sense is very comfortable. Given a chance, I would wear pajamas most of the time. But when it comes to easy dressing, then I prefer wearing jeans and a t-shirt.
Team MM: Are you on Twitter? How do your fans reach out to you?
DS: My fans can reach me on Instagram @shahdaisy. I’m not on Twitter or on Facebook but whenever I join those social platforms, I will definitely let my fans know.
Pix: Ranjit Rodricks for MissMalini
Special thanks: Esha Amin