Tena Desae, the Indian crossover star of the year, is all set to star opposite the SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE star Dev Patel in John Madden's THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL. The two films old actress now talks about her Hollywood debut and her entire journey.
How did you bag THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL? I gave three auditions for this film. I was tensed for obvious reasons. However, after I gave my first audition I got little relaxed. The second time they called me was directly with my director John Madden. He's such a chilled out and a lighthearted person. As a result, my second audition was actually fun. In the third round I was asked to do some scenes from the film. After the third round I was very curious of what will happen. But finally I was told that I am in.
What is the film about? What is your role in the film? THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL is about a bunch of British retirees who travel to India to spend their retirement years. They decide to take up a residence in what they believe is the newly restored Marigold Hotel. But seemingly less luxurious than the advertisements, the hotel starts surprising the guests in an unexpected manner.
I play Sunaina who is one of the important characters among the stalwart casts. I play Dev Patel's i.e. Sunny's love interest. I am trying to deal with friction from Sunny's mother who opposes our marriage.
Were you comfortable doing a lip-lock scene with Dev Patel? The lip-lock scene? Well, I was very nervous...extremely tensed as to how I will be able to do the scene. However, my director John Madden sat beside me. He made me comfortable. Cracked jokes and made me totally relaxed. And then we started the shoot. And trust me before I could realize anything the scene was shot.
So you have no qualms regarding 'exposing' or doing intimate scenes if the script demands? I don't know. I mean I'll think about it. If the script demands again, then of course I'll reconsider because I am still edgy when it comes to the 'kissing scene'.
Are you continuing with modeling assignments? I have never stopped modeling by the way! I have done more than 100 ads till now. And when YEH FAASLEY came to me I looked at it as a training ground for me. So, basically I haven't quitted modeling so far.
Do you have any specific agenda like picking up any random assignments...you first chose Bollywood then Hollywood and then modeling for Kingfisher...So what's the plan? No, there's no such specific agenda. I love modeling and acting at the same time.
Before entering Bollywood or rather glamour world did you had to struggle? Not really. I started off with commercials and they proved to me as blessings. So, I can say that I was lucky enough that I didn't had to face much struggle.