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Let’s Break The Ice, is coffee your morning drink of choice?
It would be my first cup this morning, I can promise you that. I’ve literally woken up and come to meet you.
We are at the Martinez, it’s absolutely gorgeous. What has been your highlight of the Cannes Film Festival so far?
I haven’t seen a lot of movies yet but I hope to. I’ve been busy working with Grey Goose and I’ve been attending a lot of parties – especially one last night that was hosted by Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas- they are both very lovely. It’s been fun and I love to dress up, I mean who doesn’t?
Tell me about this new series that you’re in -“Leila”, you’re the lead, you play a strong female character – are you able to tell us more?
To be honest I can’t really talk about it yet but the trailer is out on Netflix. It’s exciting and it was a huge challenge for me but it’s too early to talk about it as it comes out on June 14th. But thank you, I’m so glad you appreciate it and I can’t wait for the show to drop globally and for everyone to see it.
How did you prepare for the role?
The same way I prepare for every role – one just has to listen to the director and basically work instinctively. I’m a very instinctive actor, no matter what the role is, it’s always about instinctively trying to feel that correct place and play it as authentically as I can. That’s what drives me about acting. It’s beautiful to watch something that’s authentic and real.
In a nation of 1.3 billion people, how did you manage to stand out?
It’s because of those 1.3 billion people, not in spite of them. India is such a rich diverse country with so many different languages and people – it’s massive. Literally every 2 kilometers the language, the way you dress, the way you eat, the way you speak, changes and that’s amazing. India can be a really chaotic country but it’s also very spiritual – that dichotomy is what makes us who we are and makes me who I am.
Do you have any advice for aspiring actors who are trying to make it in the industry?
Acting is hard but no matter what industry you are trying to break into, it’s always going to be difficult. Having said that, it’s just about keeping your head down, having patience and keeping yourself inspired – that’s really important. If you’re good and you keep working hard, opportunities will come. What’s very important between one job and another is how you keep yourself inspired. I’ve had many days where I’ve wondered if I’d get another job and it can be very chaotic, but if you can figure out something else that inspires you, whether it’s reading, writing, producing your own stuff – it will really help. I don’t think enough actors (who are prepping to become actors) understand the importance of having another skill. They think it’s all about seeing yourself on the big screen but the work starts way before that and it always continues – there’s never a break.
If you could Break The Ice with anyone past or present, who would it be and why?
Arya Stark, lol! No, but seriously, there are so many people – I don’t actually want to Break The Ice with just one person. But if I had to pick… maybe Leonardo da Vinci. I would want to ask him if he was for real and if he was one person or multiple people. Did he actually make all those designs and all that poetry and paint all those paintings. I want to know who he really was because I’m a massive history buff. I mean, is it even humanly possible to do all those different things? So that would be my person to Break The Ice with.
Videography: Cors Medi
Talent: Huma Qureshi
Host: Kendal Olivia Barrett
Location: Martinez Hotel Cannes