From the Ramp to the Reel


Supermodel Mrinalini Sharma gets the Bollywood bug

Hot and photogenic, Mrinalini Sharma is not new to the world of showbiz.  A popular model, she has been the face of several prestigious campaigns. But like many other models she’s made the jump from the ramp to the big screen. The leggy lass graduated from ramp to reel with a scintillating dance number in Prakash Jha’s Apaharan opposite Ajay Devgan, and now Mrinalini makes her debut in the world of acting with Mohit Suri’s eagerly awaited Awarapan releasing later this month opposite Emraan Hashmi, in which she plays Reema Zaidi, an alluring Pakistani beauty.

The aspiring actress reveals all about her new role.

Was it easy for you to land a role in Awarapan?

For Vishesh Films (the Bhatts’ production company), which has produced Awarapan, is different, the script is bigger than the actors, and they depend on a tight and gripping story to bring in the audience. That has worked for them on all their recent films ( Zeher, Woh Lamhe, Kalyug, Gangster, etc.). As soon as I auditioned for the film, Mohit Suri, the director saw that I was perfect for the character of Reema Zaidi, and signed me on instantly.

What excited you most about doing Awarapan?
Working with Mohit! I had seen his Zeher, Kalyug and Woh Lamhe and loved his sensible and sensitive style of filmmaking.

Did Mohit  live up to your expectations once you started working with him?

Oh yes! Mohit is exceptionally intense, one who is very passionate about his work. His forte is his clarity in terms of his characters for which he works out each and every nuance. He was so clear about the mannerisms and get-up for my character of this innocent-looking girl from Lahore.  

Could you elaborate a little more about your part in Awarapan?
I play a Pakistani girl, a victim of human trafficking. She is brought to Bangkok for sale but lands up being confined by a gangster who happens to fall in love with her. She loves someone else, and entices the gangster’s aide Shivam, played by Emraan Hashmi, with her charms to escape.  

How is Emraan as a co-star?

I was very intimidated by him on the first day of the shoot, but he turned out to be such a fun person that soon I was at ease. He also has this habit of playing pranks on everyone. I was at the receiving end of many of Emraan’s pranks on the sets of the film!

With Emraan around there is sure to be a kissing sequence in the film right?
I can’t reveal that! Watch the film to find out! You might just be in for a surprise!

Films made by the Bhatts are always synonymous with very earthy and catchy music. What is your take on the hit soundtrack  of Awarapan?

The music is mind-blowing, to say the least! It is a chart-topper! Every singer on the soundtrack hails from Pakistan, which is a first for a mainstream Bollywood flick! From all the songs my favourite is Mahiya which has been rendered by the 22-year-old Pakistani singer, Annie!

Any other firsts of Awarapan?

Yes, of course!  That it is the Bhatts’ biggest and most expensive film till date, that it is the first film to shoot a part of its climax in Lahore and it is also the Bhatts’ first film to have a theatrical opening overseas!  

What are your expectations from Awarapan?

I am keeping my fingers crossed! Each one of us has given a lot of ourselves to the film. We shot in steaming temperatures in Bangkok without complaining. At one time there was a flu epidemic  and one by one,  every member of the cast and crew  including Emraan and I fell sick!  But that did not stop any one of us from working non-stop.

What are you working on next?

I am excited about Raju Khan’s directorial debut for Vishesh Films, called Showbiz in which I am paired opposite newcomer Tushar  Jalhota. He plays a rockstar while I play his manager! And I am expecting a whole lot of offers once Awarapan is released!

It seems you are dating Tushar Jalota?

No comment!


Awarapan is released nationwide on June 29


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