Love’s young dream

Love’s young dream

British actress Amy Jackson reveals the truth behind those romantic rumours and how she’s adjusting to life in India

By David Light

Published: Wed 15 Feb 2012, 9:41 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 10:19 PM

When the then untitled Ben Kingsley came to the world’s attention playing Indian nationalist Mohandas Ghandi in 1982, few could have predicted the northern English native could turn in such a convincing performance as to win an Academy Award.

Yet he did. Not to take anything away from the now Sir Kingsley’s tour de force portrayal of the great leader, but when you delve into his biography and read the Yorkshire man was actually born Krishna Pandit Bhanji, it is a little more clear that he had a natural advantage in taking on another nationality’s characteristics.

The latest British thespian to give the same metamorphosis a go does not possess such a head start. Former model and Miss England contestant Amy Jackson’s ancestral roots hail from Liverpool, the actress told us, for as far back as anyone in her family can remember. However, in her latest role as Jessie in Bollywood romantic adventure Ekk Deewana Tha she takes on the part of a Keralite girl brought up in Mumbai.

Her second Indian movie, Amy’s break came in mid 2010 when she was spotted on a modelling website by Tamil film director A.L Vijay and cast in his period drama Madrasapattinam. Here she played an English girl in India at the time of partition. This time around Ekk Deewana Tha sees her pair up with up and coming actor Prateik Babbar (pictured, right) in a full Hindi production.

Here Amy tells us about the film, her future in India and puts to bed those constant rumours linking the artist and her co-star.

What can you tell us about the movie and your character?

It’s a story everybody can connect with. It’s a romantic film that anybody who has fallen in love or wants to fall in love will get and treasure.

My character Jessie is a Malayali Christian girl. She’s from a very orthodox family. Going out to parties and just falling in love is out of the question. So, when she meets Sachin (Babbar) her whole world is turned upside down. The roller coaster starts because she is a conservative girl dealing with all these emotions. It’s a very different role to the other female roles you see in the more racy films in Bollywood at the moment.

How does a model from Merseyside end up in one of the most exotic film industries in the world?

I ask myself that all the time. It’s been a whirlwind for me. When I was modelling I had no intention of acting whatsoever. When the opportunity came for my first movie down south it was all a bit daunting because I had never done it before. Thankfully I took the opportunity because it has led to such an adventure. My first film was a huge success and now I’m here, living in Mumbai. It’s crazy.

How are you adjusting to life away from England?

At first it was very different. Everything was a shock to the system, but now I feel very settled here. I love the people and it’s a place that never sleeps. It keeps you going and enthusiastic. You always want to do more.

How are you finding the languages?

Hindi is easier compared to the other Indian languages. Tamil was very hard and the Telugu I’m learning for my next movie in March is also very difficult. But I am learning as much as I can and my ambition is to get as good at the language as possible.

Much has been made of the time you spend with your fellow actor Prateik. Where do you guys stand at the moment?

Truthfully Prateik and I are the best of friends. He’s very special to me and we have mutual friends so we hang out very often. But that is it. The off-screen chemistry is not the same as the on-screen chemistry. In the film it is a complete romance, but away from the cameras we are just friends.

Have you managed to follow the Bollywood trend and make your way over to Dubai for a break?

I came to Dubai for a holiday before I got to India for the first time. A lot of my friends from back home go every year for a holiday. I love the shopping and sunbathing and can’t wait to come back.

What does the future hold? Are you planning more Bollywood roles?

I am very open to the work that comes around. I had the intention of staying in Bollywood after this one, but then I got an offer I couldn’t turn down. My next film will be directed by Vamsi Paidipally (Yevadu) and I really want to work with him. And the film after that will be Tamil (Thaandavam), down south again. I am very keen to do more Bollywood, but the south gave me my first break and I owe a lot to the place. I’m very happy wherever the films take me.

Is there anyone you’d like to emulate in the movie business?

I’ve got a stack of DVDs to watch to get in touch with the history of the films. I started with Jab We Met last week because I met Kareena Kapoor. She’s one of my favourite actresses.

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