British actress Amy Jackson is all set to make her Bollywood debut opposite popular young heartthrob Prateik in A.R. Rahman’s new musical romance EK DEEWANA THA which releases in theaters on Friday, February 17. Having already starred in a successful Tamil film, the former Miss Teen World winner won a modeling contract in the U.S. which led to her being discovered by the Indian film industry at the remarkable age of only 17.
Jackson sat down to talk about her new film which features Rahman’s latest hit song “Hosanna” which has reached #1 on the music charts in India! Check out this interview with Jackson where she talks about adjusting in Bollywood!
Q: Can you tell us about your character Jessie in Ek Deewana Tha?
AJ: I play a Malayali Christian girl in Ek Deewana Tha. We have shot the movie in New York, India, Kerala and Chennai over five months. It was a great experience working with such a young and talented actor like Prateik. And Oscar-winning composer A.R. Rahman did the music!
Q: How is the change from Britain to Bollywood?
AJ: I was new to acting before my role in Madrasapattinam. Though I was familiar with Bollywood since there are many in Britain who watch Hindi movies, I hadn’t watched any of these films before I came to Chennai. I have been away from home since I was 17. I went to the US to start my modeling career at a very young age. So, venturing into films and handling the pressure isn’t a big task. I feel more comfortable in saris than gowns. Unlike Madrasapattinam where I wear gowns, in Ek Deewana Tha, I wear saris and kurtas. I had never worn one before I started shooting for the film and believe it’s the most elegant outfit for a woman.
AJ: The British accent is hard to miss. Ever since I decided to shift base to India and made Mumbai my home, I have made an effort to learn Hindi and even take diction classes. I couldn’t understand a word of Hindi earlier. Though my voice will be dubbed in the movie, it was easier to memorize Hindi than Tamil. Before takes, I used to practice my lines for almost an hour to get it right. Prateik did help me with the Hindi. =)
Q: How have your friends in the U.K. responded to your international movie career?
AJ: I had no prior training in acting. Once Madharasapattinam released, we had a premiere in Liverpool for my friends and family. They were surprised to see me on screen! Even today, many of my friends who are in university back in England find it tough to believe that I am part of Indian cinema. Some of them think I am crazy. For me, this has been a dream come true!
AJ: A couple of weeks before we began shooting, we did a workshop to understand the personalities of the characters we were playing. Gautham gave me a lot of freedom. He is such a calm and collected director who gives his actors the freedom to experiment. It was nice to be able to give my opinion.
Q: What are your plans for the future?
AJ: I will be starting work in a Tamil film opposite Vikram in March.
Be sure to catch Ek Deewana Tha in theaters February 17th!