No, I did. I have agencies in Europe & Australia. I was working globally. But I settled in Australia then the agency asked me to come over. And I felt like my roots, my grandfather is Indian so I had a look at the country. I didn’t really think to stay. I certainly didn’t think to stay for eight years. So, I just planned to stay for a few months and then things just happened. It’s very fast and Bollywood is very fascinating. So, it’s maybe not as professional but, on the other hand, I could influence the fashion there. When I started off in magazines, I think I really influenced the fashion there in the magazines. I was part of a big part of the change I think. That was really exciting.
About four years ago I was based in Sydney, Australia but pretty much working across Asia. After doing a cover for L’Officiel on one job in Mumbai, I was invited to do a season in India. My Mum’s side of the family is part Indian and it seemed like a perfect opportunity to mix business and pleasure. Three years on and I still love the excitement of working in India and it’s great to be involved in an industry while it’s growing in so many positive ways.
I have been able to relive all those beautiful moments of my life once again during the making of this film. Ravi, James and the entire team were very passionate about this project and it was an exciting and a fruitful experience working with them. James has weaved his magic into ‘Sachin – A Billion Dreams’.
“I do a lot of clothes for film stars for red carpets and other events such as magazine shoots. Also, on a personal level, they love my shows, but I stay away from films because I can’t follow the schedule, they are very expensive for films. There are designers who manage to do clothes that look beautiful onscreen, but actually they are not when you feel or touch them. I can’t do that. I wish I could do designs, but I can’t. I have incredible friends in Bollywood; so for me Bollywood films are no, but Bollywood people yes.”
I am who I am. I am desi, and I am videshi. I’ve been brought up in America, I’ve been brought up in India, and I think the amalgamation of that is what I want to be. I don’t want to be too western or too Indian, or too here or there. I want my work to reflect that. It always has in my movies and I want my music to do that too.
For me, it’s the reactions from the audiences that are golden. If they enjoy it, then half the battle has been won. If my films do well or not, I am glad that the audiences appreciate my performance. Other than that, as an actor you do look for a certain amount of critical acclaim and recognition from your peers and the industry at large. When that recognition comes to you, it’s a special moment that you cherish and you always feel successful despite what the box office says.
My career means the world to me and it’s something I’m very proud of. We all work to succeed in whatever we choose to do in life, so every success only pushes me to do better and I am constantly trying to improve my craft as an actor. I’ve chosen films that are different compared to the conventional Bollywood films we all know and love. As professional actors, it’s our job to entertain our audiences while setting benchmarks for ourselves as well, creatively and intellectually. Films like ‘Lakhshya,’ ‘Guzaarish,’ ‘Jodhaa Akbar’ and many more are projects and experiences that pushed, shaped and defined me as a performer and this is why I chose to do them.
The formula for a successful film is simple: good script, good direction, a dedicated cast and a fantastic crew. If you have all of these elements then the rest will fall into place. More specifically, I look for the essence of a story and a human angle that I think audiences can relate to. I also look at how the dialogues flow in the film as a whole and between the characters, and most importantly I always consider what I can bring to the character from a creative point of view.