I'm lucky. I don't know whether I'm deserving or not. All I know is that I work damn hard for everything.And God helps those who help themselves. Every day is like an exam. I believe destiny and hard workgo hand in hand. I was studying to be an engineer when my mom and my brother sent my pictures forthe Miss India contest. I didn't even know about it. If that isn't destiny, what is?
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Flying is my favorite time in the world. When I'm sitting in a plane, it's amazing because it's quiet and there's no cell phones and no one to talk to you. It's my favorite time. I read all my scripts. I catch up on my movies. I sleep. It's the best. There's no one telling you, "Time to go!"
Every movie that I do, I always try and better myself in the next one and try and find a part which is more challenging. It's a little vulnerable to do that, to always push the envelope. You position yourself for a lot more flack or a lot more critique because you're trying to do something different. Sometimes you're good at it and sometimes you're not, but it's a chance you have to take to make life exciting.
The great thing about cinema is that it's a great binder. It brings people from across the world together, often erasing the lines between geographies, languages, familiarity, and the like. Cinema is art and art, they say, is a reflection of life and society, so the way we tell our stories is the main differentiator for me.
There are cliques in Bollywood, and people stick together, but I have always tried to stick to my work. As an industry, Bollywood is very competitive, and I'm very competitive as a person, but I've never been a part of any clique, and I've always worked with all actors and directors, all camps.
Financial independence is paramount. My mom always says that when a woman is financially independent, she has the ability to live life on her own terms. I think that was the soundest advice that I ever got. No matter where you go in life or who you get married to, you have to be financially independent - whether you use it or not.
I lost my dad two years ago to cancer, and before he died, I asked him to write 'Daddy's Little Girl' on a piece of paper for me. I told him it was for an album. He practiced and practiced and then sent it to me, and I had it tattooed onto my wrist and surprised him with it. He cried when he saw it, happy tears. This way I always carry him with me.
Art should not be bound by barriers or language. The Hindi film industry is a testament to that. We speak only Hindi, but we premiere in Germany and Japan. Our films do phenomenally well there. We transcend the barriers of language and culture. We welcome you in. I think that's what art should be, and I hope America reaches that place.
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In my 20s, I used to have a lot more energy! I was this skydiving, bungee-jumping adrenaline junkie. I don't know what happened to me! Now that I'm in my early 30s, I've put all that energy into my work, although I'm still a little ridiculous. In your 30s, you're sensible enough to know better, but still stupid enough to do stupid things.
I've always had a glam squad to do my makeup because of Miss India and Miss World, so I never really learned much about doing it myself, unfortunately. I do try to pick up what I can, though! The most incredible product that has ever been discovered in makeup, according to me, is mascara.