We heard you are writing a book. What is it about? Give us a clue.
I can’t divulge too much, but it’s inspired by the story of a person extremely close to me. It’s a hard book to write because it’s a painful story. I don’t know if I will ever finish it, but it’s my childhood dream to write a book, so I have to push through.
Did you meet your Korean restaurateur and part-time DJ husband in Paris? Tell us the love story.
Yes, I did meet him here, but the first meeting wasn’t romantic at all. We met at an after-party, and he was three sheets to the wind. I don’t drink so I really couldn’t handle his jokes, but something about his smile and the goodness that came through his eyes made me want to know him more. After that everything has been one big adventure. He stretched the gamut of my experiences, built me up and destroyed my fears. It might sound sappy but I think before him I just existed, even if it was a happy existence, but now I feel like I’m really living life.
We’re going to Paris soon and want to take a special girl on a date. Do you have any recommendations?
I’d start with taking her to dinner at Le Dôme du Marais. It’s a great first-date restaurant. Then you can move to L’Experimental, a cool cocktail bar and follow that with dancing at Le Baron, one of the coolest spots in Paris. If you get a second date, take her to La Lucha Libre. It’s a really cool place where you can eat tapas, fajitas and even insects, and then descend to a cave in which you can slip on fat suits and have a sumo wrestling match.
Are French men hotter than Indian men? Be honest. We can take it.
I don’t subscribe to the whole French-men-make-good-lovers theory. It’s all subjective. A tall, statuesque man from north India can give any French man a run for his money.
You wanted to direct films at one time, didn’t you? Do you still harbour those dreams?
I have always maintained that modelling is just a means to an end for me. I am not ungrateful. I recognise all that it has given me, but I’ve always known that this is not it for me. Right now, I don’t think I have what I need to direct a film, but I would love to be involved in any aspect of film-making, be it scripting, assisting a director or anything else. I may be assisting a talented director on a project next year.
What are your all-time top five films?
Today my picks would be Boys Don’t Cry, Giant (the 1956 one; there are a lot of other movies with the same name that are terrible), The Gold Rush, Memories of Murder and Good Will Hunting. But, ask me tomorrow and I will have a different list.
What was the first thought that crossed your mind when you were cast in your first ad?
At first I didn’t want to do it. My cup of confidence runneth low during those days. But, when you intern in a production house, you don’t really have a choice. So, I did it. It didn’t completely suck and I secretly wanted to do it again.
What are the top three myths about models and modelling?
We don’t eat, we are stupid and we want to marry rich. Those clichés are all BS. If another person offers me a Diet Coke or gets baffled because I know about Unit 731 I’m going to bite his head off.
Do you get hit on more in Paris or Mumbai?
Paris, definitely. I think here I’m considered to be exotic whereas in India I’m of the too tall, too thin variety. Also, presently, I’m into this whole homeless chic kind of dressing, so that might be another downer for Indian men.
What’s the plan now? Personal line of shoes and clothes, singing, acting… or everything?
I’d rather be buying shoes and clothes than manufacturing them. I want to model for another two years. I’m starting to work on other projects so as to enable a smoother transition once I quit modelling. I’m still very passionate about films. I’ve also started to write articles for grooming sites such as Jossbox and am working on setting up a website for smart women with strong opinions.
What is the No. 1 thing the Indian glamour industry needs?
To look inside the country for a myriad of treasures that we already possess instead of looking to the West for inspiration. I think designers such as Rajesh Pratap, Rahul Mishra and some others do this well. They take something intrinsically Indian, such as our embroidery, and turn it into something new, so that a woman anywhere in the world can connect to it and find beauty in it.
Hair & makeup b Kritika Gill