She calls herself a chatterbox and says people have to warn her not to talk too much but she exclaims ‘I love talking.’ Erika, who is from Poland will, will be making her Bollywood debut alongside Ajay Devgn in his directorial venture, Shivaay.
So how did a Polish girl end up being cast in a big Bollywood production like Shivaay?
It started at the end of 2014, when I went for an audition to Warsaw (the capital of Poland). The producers of Shivaay were scouting for a new face -- they needed an European and thank God they came to Warsaw. I was invited for the audition, as were many other famous actresses from Poland. The scenes that I had to enact were written in English and Hindi. We were supposed to speak only in English, but I made an extra effort and learnt a couple of lines in Hindi too, and that really helped. That’s what they were looking for and I fit the bill.
Learning the language must have been a challenge.
My character in the film speaks fluent Hindi and the entire movie is shot in Hindi...so it was a big journey for me language wise.
Did you always want to be an actress?
I have done my Masters in economics. I was a complete nerd; I would study and was neither into dancing nor singing. I did modelling in high school but it was a hobby, I never considered being a professional model. I had never thought of doing anything artistic but whenever I watched a movie, I would always analysis what the actress was doing. My family wanted me to do economics and I did as they wished and later went to work for a very big company. Yet, I think I always wanted to be actress ... when I was young, I would say, I want to be an actress ... but I never did anything about it. Finally, when I was 24 years old, I called my mom and told her ‘Mom, I want to be an actress’. She told me I had gone crazy. I have huge respect for artistes because it takes great bravery to tell the world that you want to be an actress. Maybe I would fail, maybe I would be a terrible actress but I still wanted to try. I would wonder whether I would get into drama school but luckily everything fell in place. In the beginning, I was very scared of failure.
Today, are you scared of failure?
Not anymore. Not because I did Shivaay, but because I have started enjoying this profession.
Before coming to Bollywood did you have any clue about this industry?
Not really. I haven’t followed any movies as such but everyone in Poland knows Bollywood is a huge industry. But apart from Kajol we don’t know Indian stars, she is well known everywhere.
I didn’t know anything much and Ajay (Devgn) told me it’s an advantage. He wanted me to be that way. But now that I have finished the movie I am allowed to watch films. I have already made a list of films that I am going to watch, and the first film I am going to watch is Pyaar Toh Hona Hi Tha.
As an actress do you have strict do’s and don’t’s?
Yes. I know I am just a beginner but nudity is quite a strong issue for me. I can’t say I will never do it because you can never predict the future. What if I get a beautiful character to portray in a film who is required to be naked ... you never know. I see many actress use their body as a marketing tool, lot of photographs with cleavage; too short shorts, My character in Shivaay wears sexy outfits but to use ones curves for ones advantage is wrong. I don’t like this sexual promoting part. I don’t want to attract attention because I am pretty and the way my body is. But when Beyonce does it, I don’t mind at all because she has the innocence. She is one of my role models -- she is a family girl, she has a husband, she is decent and she has a good body ... I really admire her.