Avani Modi: I don't think I should go nude as of now
The realistic cinema maker Madhur Bhandarkar has now come up with his glamourous and sizzling hot CALENDAR GIRLS! We exclusively interviewed one such ‘Calendar Girl’ Avani Modi and asked the gorgeous debutante about her journey from southern cinema to Bollywood, debut film CALENDAR GIRLS, filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar, doing bold scenes and much more. However, this is only the first part of Avani Modi’s interview. Stay tuned for the second part which will be out subsequently…
Here are the excerpts:
|AVANI MODI WALLPAPERS|
How did acting happen to you? You have also worked in many South Indian films.
Yeah. I even wanted to be an actress and I was doing theatre in my college days in Gujarat. And then I thought of taking it professionally. So I told my parents about it and they told me to come to Mumbai. So with their permission, I came to Mumbai, where I started doing theatre again because I didn’t have any contacts in the industry. Then, I took up small modelling assignments and all. That’s how I started and I got an opportunity to work down south in one of the Tamil films. I have done two Tamil films and one International short film ‘Gulabee’ which has won many awards. Last year, I met Madhur ji and it took me one and half months to get through CALENDAR GIRLS. That’s how CALENDAR GIRLS happened.
''It’s a dream-come-true for every actress to work with Madhur Bhandarkar''
Since you have worked in Tamil movies, how is Bollywood different from southern cinema?
It isn’t really different. Nowadays, after seeing BAHUBALI, you can’t differentiate. Because Tamil and Telugu industries are equally important and you can say that they are the next competitors of Bollywood. So the only difference is the culture difference. In Bollywood, we have north culture; the films made here belong to north Indian culture. But in south industry, heroes are given more priority. 95% films there are hero-oriented. So, being an actress and to make your own identity over there, it’s just like heroines are there only to play heroines in the film, whereas in Bollywood, we have place for female-centric films, a single heroine can run the film on her shoulder. That isn’t the case in south film industry, I mean it’s very difficult. Apart from that, the people are very punctual over there. In Mumbai, we are little bit pampered. In south, they work really very hard and they are very strict because you can’t show tantrums and act smart. You have to be humble, polite and co-operate. Whereas in Bollywood, staff is given more priority and pampered, have more liberty as compared to Tollywood. So yeah, that’s the difference.
How was your experience working with a maverick filmmaker like Madhur Bhandarkar?
Oh it was a lovely experience! It’s a dream-come-true for every actress to work with Madhur Bhandarkar. Moreover, I got that opportunity in my first film. So it’s wonderful working with him.
'If I wouldn’t have done CALENDAR GIRLS, then I would’ve been called a fool'
Was CALENDAR GIRLS your dream project?
Of course. I was trying and looking for at least a good production house and a good filmmaker to direct me when I started. It was a dream to work with Madhur Bhandarkar. I never dreamt of working in CALENDAR GIRLS, but yes I always wanted to work with Madhur ji, and when I got this opportunity how could I miss it. If I wouldn’t have done it, then I would’ve been called a fool.
What were your parents’ reaction after you signed CALENDAR GIRLS?
They loved it. My family is very supportive so both my parents are very happy, and they’re just looking forward to the film. They’ve not seen the film yet so they’ll be watching it now.
|AVANI MODI WALLPAPERS|
There were reports that you are playing a model who is being launched by Vijay Mallya. What do you have to say on it?
No it isn’t like that. Since the movie is about CALENDAR GIRLS, all five models are launched by same company in the film. There’s only one company, the name of which I can’t reveal as of now. So there’s this company who is coming up with calendars every year.
So is your character fictional or based on real life?
There are no real life characters in the film. All are fictional, but there are inspirations. So you can say that they are inspired by one or the other character or the incident. But it isn’t based on any other particular actor or actress. They are inspired by the society we belong to.
''What actually is similar between CALENDAR GIRLS and FASHION, is the backdrop''
Madhur Bhandarkar has already made FASHION – a story that seems very similar to CALENDAR GIRLS (as from what we saw in the teaser and trailer), do you think it will affect your debut, since Priyanka Chopra has already set a benchmark through FASHION?
Yeah, it’s a good thing that she (Priyanka) has set the benchmark, but the stories are not similar actually. I’ve seen the film, so what is similar is the backdrop. Both these belong to the modelling industry set in the glamour world. But in FASHION, it was more of a struggle period of a girl’s life, how to be a supermodel. CALENDAR GIRLS is not about struggle. In CALENDAR GIRLS, the focus is on what happens to those who become Calendar Girls. The main thing in this film is destiny - about how destiny plays an important role in all five girls’ lives. Because they all have started their career and their life with the same platform in the film. It’s about how destiny leads them to different paths of life.
So can we safely say that it’s a mix of Madhur Bhandarkar’s FASHION, PAGE 3 and HEROINE, since it’s a story about model-turned actors?
Yeah, but it’s not a mix of any of his films. You can again say that it’s a realistic cinema kind-of Bhandarkar brand associated with it.
Why was CALENDAR GIRLS being kept under closet? There wasn’t much buzz as compared to Madhur’s earlier films.
That’s because for the first time Madhur Bhandarkar is launching five beautiful girls. (Giggles) Well, it was a mutual strategy of our producer Sangeeta mam and Madhur ji, that they wanted to keep all five girls under the wraps.
''Naznin and me are emotionally on same page''
How much you relate with your character in the film?
Not at all. I’m totally opposite of the character that I play – Naznin. She’s a Muslim girl, and coming from a very conservative Muslim family, and she has to face a lot of ups and downs in her journey in the film. So unlike me, Naznin didn’t have any support in the industry. But emotionally, Naznin is very sensitive, the way I am. So, I can say Naznin and me are emotionally on same page.
Any unforgettable incident that you would like to share?
Well, many. The shoot was unforgettable, because it’s my first film. Everybody’s emotionally attached with it, right. Especially when we went to Mauritius for shoot, that entire shoot was incredible. We loved it and had lots of fun.
How open are you to doing bold roles? Would you go nude on screen if required?
It depends on the character, the story, the idea behind it and who is making it is especially important. If I’m comfortable with the team and the concept of the film, there is no harm. I would like to try anything which is bold in terms of content, but I don’t think I should go nude as of now.
Would you prefer hero-centric film or women-oriented film in future?
I prefer doing different genres. So I don’t want to just work in hero-centric film or female-centric film, but where I can challenge myself as an actor, then I’ll prefer that.