20-year-old Fagun Thakrar truly made the most of what came her way. She walked the ramp at the recent Cannes Film Festival during the premiere of Shekhar Kapur's film BOLLYWOOD: THE GREATEST LOVESTORY EVER TOLD. You might be surprised to know that she is actually a doctor. Read on to find more about her and her aspirations.
Tell us a bit about your background. I was born and bought up in Leicester, United Kingdom, after which I moved to London to study medicine at the University College London. I was also studying acting at the Royal Academy of the Dramatic Arts. Then, from pure fate, I decided to compete in a BBC competition Bolly Idol and won amongst thousands of contenders around the UK. These days, I live between Los Angeles and London, working in movies. I'm the international spokesperson for SAHARA - a non-profit organisation committed to serving the growing community of South Asians in Southern California. I have started my own fashion line the Fagun collection.
How did you land up at Cannes? As an actress, I'm always trying to keep up with the latest in cinema. Cannes itself is just so important for the art film scene, which is currently what my career is centered around. Officially, though, I was at Cannes to launch my fashion line, the Fagun Collection.
You are an MBBS. What made you choose modeling and acting? I've always wanted to pursue creative pursuits of film making and theatre. In my opinion, films are the art form of our century and I wanted to tell new stories to the world with my acting skills - by working on worthwhile projects. My modeling career came as a byproduct of my talents and skills.
Do you feel like going back and practicing as a doctor? Yes I feel I have a lot more to give to the world apart from my acting, this will evolve with my other charity work for which I feel passionate about. There is much on the platter presently where cinema and fashion is concerned. A doctor must give complete, undivided attention to the profession.
Will we see you in a Shekhar Kapur film? I hope we get the chance to work together in the future. Right now though, I'm not able to discuss anything quite yet.
What is the best part about your personality? I've a very optimistic young woman and I remain positive even in adverse circumstances. And if you keep your head above the water, sooner or later things come back in your favour; I've found out.
How do you react to reports linking you and Shekhar Kapur? I find these reports amusing as I've known Shekhar for long time and we're good friends. I always look up to him for guidance and advise and probably he laughs as well on these reports 'linking us'... but if you are in a public profile you have to get used to all suggestions and rumours otherwise you'll be wasting a hell of a time fielding these question. A lot has been written about Shekhar and me post the infamous red carpet act. We are both in the public eye and its best we deal with things like this with a pinch of salt. These rumours will not change the equation that we share.
Have you got any acting offers post your stint at Cannes? There are a lot of interesting things but I can't divulge anything just yet.
Who are your role models? Angelina Jolie is my role model - how she manages her career with family and her humanitarian work and withstands the pressure of a very public life all around the world. Back in India, it's Aishwarya Rai Bachchan. It takes a lot to become a name synonymous with ones country. I admire the elan in that woman.
Any actors with whom you would like to work with? Hrithik Roshan I would say without any thinking and reasoning. I have loved him ever since his first movie. I like Aamir Khan's work and more importantly his choice of films. There's always something fresh about Aamir's approach towards new subjects. Also I adore Shahrukh Khan for his charm and energy and willingness to give so much to the actor opposite him... I love his comic timing and I'd love to share screen with him.
Any directors with whom you would like to work with? I like the new generation of directors, Rakeysh Ompakash Mehra and Rajkumar Hirani - how they both manage to show social realism in current Indian society and the glamorous stories that we know our Bollywood is famous for. Shekhar Kapur, needless to say...he has a sense of world cinema.
Who do you think is the hottest actor currently? Hrthik Roshan is just gorgeous! I want to be one of his leading ladies.