Last week was the big US premiere of “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” in NYC. The film was received well by all in attendance, including myself (see review here). The event was attended by some of the main cast from the film including Judi Dench, Richard Gere, Dev Patel, and Tina Desai. Desai who essays the role of Sunaina (Patel’s character Sonny’s fiancé) tasted box office success with the first movie in the series, and has continued to do justice to her role/character. She is an actress to keep an eye on, as she is sure to continue to make her way in film both in Hollywood and Bollywood. Post-premiere, the gorgeous gal gave an interview to media and spilled all the details regarding filming the movie and what lies in store for her future. Check out the interview below!
What was it like to reunite with the film’s cast and crew a few years later to shoot this new story?
We were all overjoyed! A lot of us from cast and crew kept in touch over the years and met up when we were traveling too. So we came into this one as friends, not just colleagues. The maturity and understanding that comes with knowing someone over time helps with your work too. It was a big party that we all got to enjoy a second time!
What do you find new about Sunaina and what her story involves this time?
Sunaina isn’t a secret in Sonny’s life anymore. She’s now a legitimate member of his life, she now works and also manages affairs at the Marigold Hotel, she’s preparing for the big Indian wedding while also having to deal with Sonny’s ambitions and imaginary problems. She has a lot going on but she still holds it together. I had a lot more to play with in this part. There’s dancing, has more shades to her character, and is a lot busier in this one.
Any funny moments on set with any cast members?
Dev is an incredibly funny person so everyday on set with him was tremendous fun and I was always in splits. But Tamsin Greig is hilarious too! So on days when both actors were on set, the place was on fire! It’s not so much about an incident….more about how funny and entertaining they were together.
Can you tell us about your premieres in London and New York and how you prepared for them?
Both Marigold premieres in London were fantastic! The first one was the first premiere of my career and will always be a grand experience for that! It was a freezing February night and I was wearing a lehenga, but the thrill factor was so high for me that I didn’t need a jacket all night! The second one was even bigger with Leicester Square turned into mini India with Bollywood music playing as well! I arrived on the red carpet in a tuk tuk that was specially made for that evening. Meeting Prince Charles and Duchess Camilla was incredibly special! It was altogether a magical night because my family was also present for it.
New York was snowing but had a different set of actors; mostly the ones who couldn’t make it for the London premiere. The audience loved the movie and in spite of it being a cold, snowy night, people showed up for the event. Prep for these nights involved weeks of emailing to choose a team who would dress me and they did a fantastic job. I wore an Indian designer for London and a Thai designer for New York. My family spent days working on their outfits too, haha!! Also, the protocol we had to follow for the meet with Royalty was fun and quite detailed. All in all, a most enjoyable experience. Extremely special!
What is up next for you?
A Netflix series titled ‘Sense8’ and a Hindi film named ‘Dusshera’. I’m also just back home [in India] and will begin meeting for new projects again.