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    Sep 2011


    Default Saif and Deepika are fantastic at what they do: Diana Penty

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    Diana Penty talks about films and fashion in a candid chat:

    How did you bag Homi Adjania's Cocktail?
    By chance! I was modelling full time at the time. In fact, I was in Rome on a photoshoot when I got a call from Illuminati Films saying they wanted to meet me for a movie. The day I flew back I met Dinesh Vijan and Homi Adajania for the first time. They asked me to do a screen test and 24 hours later they told me they would like to cast me as Meera!

    How did you react when you bagged the film?
    I was completely shocked! First of all, I didn't expect it to happen so quickly. And secondly, I didn't expect it to happen at all! I had no acting background or formal training. So when I was told that I was cast in a big Bollywood film opposite Saif and Deepika, over one screen test, I couldn't believe it. It seemed so untrue!

    Describe your experience of working for Cocktail?
    Cocktail has been a great experience and a wonderful journey. I was really lucky to get to work with such an amazing team - Dinesh, Homi, Saif and Deepika were all so nice to me. They helped me every step of the way - right from the training and preparation before we started shooting (which Dinesh and Homi made sure I got the best of), to when we were actually on set and even after. I really feel very lucky to have gotten a chance to be a part Cocktail!

    Are you similar to Meera?
    Yes, a lot. Her personality, her mannerisms, the way she reacted to situations, etc. She was very me! So from that point of view, it wasn't very difficult to slip into the character.

    How has your life changed since the release of Cocktail?
    I'd like to believe it hasn't! But there have been a few changes, yes. It's not as easy to walk around unnoticed anymore. And that really takes some time getting used to. But other than that, I'm still me, I still do the same things and live the same life!

    Wasn't it difficult working with two senior actors - Saif and Deepika? Did you fear being compared to Deepika Padukone?
    It was a wonderful experience working with them . Being new at this I was very nervous, but both of them were very helpful and patient with me. Both Saif and Deepika are fantastic at what they do, and very professional. So for my first movie, I don't think I could have asked for a better cast and crew to work with.

    You started your career as a model and then went onto doing films. Describe your journey
    Well, modelling happened by chance, it wasn't really planned, and neither was films. When I got my first modelling job, its seemed like a good way to make pocket money. When you are in college, working at the same time feels pretty cool. So I stuck with it and slowly got into it full time after college. I have always enjoyed fashion, so it was a great learning experience. A few years later, my manager told me that people were interested in meeting me for films. That's how I met with Illuminati Films and soon after, 'Cocktail' happened!

    Tell us something about the big bad world of modelling? Is it similar to that portrayed in the film 'Fashion'?
    It really wasn't all that dramatic for me. I can't speak for everyone but my experience working in the fashion industry was great. I got to work with some wonderful people, travel to beautiful places - everyday was a new learning experience.

    Did you family support your decision of getting into films?
    Yes, they did. I think as long as I am comfortable being a part of something or taking up something new, they're fine .

    You made a debut when many other new faces were also being launched? What are your chances like?
    I am very new to everything in this industry so I don't think I can answer that!

    Your BFF in the industry?
    Like I said I am very new to the industry, so while I do have a close group of friends, they're all from my growing up years in school/college!

    Define your sense of fashion.
    Simple, classic and understated. I stick to minimalism!

    Being a part of the industry is constantly being under the radar. How does it feel being noticed and criticised all the time? Its hard especially in the beginning. It's a bit pressurising. Scary actually! It's like having stage fright, all the time!

    What is your fitness regime like?
    My mother is a huge health freak so I think that's rubbed off on me a lot. Having said that, I love food and I love to eat! I eat pretty much everything. No strict diets for me. But I think it's important to keep fit from a young age . So I follow a basic gym routine - light weights and maybe some cardio.



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