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  1. #1

    Default Giselle Monteiro as Harleen in love aaj kal

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    Kissa kudis ka

    Why should this Brazilian model, Giselle Monteiro, play a Punjabi kudi, when we have so many kudis in India? Ask Imtiaz Ali

    Giselle Monteiro
    Anyone who’s seen Love Aaj Kal, has come away wondering who ‘Harleen’ is. Her name hasn’t appeared in the credits. Evidently there’s a good reason for it. This Punjabi kudi isn’t a Punjabi kudi at all. She’s a 19-year-old Brazilian model called Giselle Monteiro who couldn’t speak Hindi or dance to save her life, at one point in time. And director Imtiaz Ali didn’t want to let out that a Brazilian was playing his Punjabi kudi — and so put off audiences.

    In the film, she’s the one who is wooed and won by the Sardar Saif. And yes, the sequence showing her dancing at her engagement drove the entire unit up the wall. Apparently our Brazilian babe just couldn’t get the steps right. Says Imtiaz, “We wanted to put her through the paces with Sarojji (choreographer Saroj Khan). But it never happened. Sarojji didn’t have the time. For a foreigner to get the Indian adaa right is very tough. We take for granted those nakhra-jhatka-matkas which we’ve seen our sisters perform at weddings. Indian girls have those adaas without being trained. But for a foreigner it is tough. Giselle could’ve done with a bit more training.”

    She’s Brazilian!

    Giselle Monteiro

    Even when Harleen became visible in the trailers she remained inaccessible to the public. Imtiaz says, “Why a Brazilian girl to play an old-fashioned Punjabi girl? Well, I was auditioning girls from all over the country to play the Punjabi girl opposite the Sikh Saif. I couldn’t find the right girl to play the 1965 ki gali mein rehne wali ladki, purane zamane ki.”

    Then one day Giselle walked into Imtiaz’s office for another part. “Giselle came to me to play Jo, Saif’s Caucasian girlfriend in the second-half. She wasn’t right for Jo. But my wife who was there suggested Giselle for Harleen. I turned and looked at Giselle and realised she is Brazil’s Harleen. She didn’t know how to speak Hindi. But she had only two lines to speak, which we dubbed.”

    Significantly Giselle understood the old-world values of her small-town character better than an urban Indian actress would have. Says Imtiaz, “The small-town mentality in every part of the world is similar.”


  2. #2
    Retired Staff
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    London, UK


    thanks alot for sharing!



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