From TV journalist to catwalk queen...
How did you start your catwalk career?
I actually used to work as a journalist on a TV station in Sri Lanka. It sounds like a cliché, but modelling is something I just fell into. I certainly didn’t seriously think I was going to win the Miss Sri Lanka title!
All beauty queens talk about charity work, but you actually do it, don’t you?
I’m part of an organisation called Habitat for Humanity, which helps build homes for societies. I went for my first trip with John Abraham and Madhavan, and my next build will be in Sri Lanka, which will be even more special for me.
And you’ve done the model-turned-actress thing in style too…
I was in Mumbai modelling, and someone mentioned me to the director of Aladdin. The next thing I knew my agency was sending me to a ‘small audition’. I had no idea what the movie was or who was in the movie. I knew it was a Bollywood movie, so I thought ‘what the hell, let’s see what I can do’. They were looking for ‘a college girl type’ so I went in my flip-flops, and my glasses, looking totally casual. Then I find out Amithabh Bachchan and Sanjay Dutt are starring in it, and I get the role of Jasmine!
You’ve walked the ramps for many a top Indian designer. Who are your favourites?
That’s hard – I’ve done so many fashion shows for so many great designers! Okay, Satya Paul has been there from the beginning, and the first photoshoot I did in Mumbai was with Deepika Gehani. I also really like Anamika Khanna, Tarun Tahiliani, and Sabyasachi is just too good.
You don’t shy away from bikini shots. Any controversy?
It’s really important to understand the difference between vulgarity and indecency, and to know the aesthetics of the shoot. I’ll ask for references first, or I’ll sit with the photographer and gauge what the shoot will be like, but mostly I go with my gut instinct. I have to feel comfortable in what I wear and sense the end result will be elegant not trashy.
Favourite piece of clothing in your wardrobe right now?
My new Ralph Lauren jacket – it seems to go with everything! And my new Burberry flats are just too comfortable.
Your winter / spring essentials?
I love those new puffy sleeved jackets, but when it comes to winter fashion advice, seeing as we don’t have a winter in Sri Lanka and India, I think you should tell me!