She was enamoured by the glitz and glamour of the Indian film industry back in Australia. But living her Bollywood dream hasn’t been a cakewalk for Sydney-born actress Emma Brown Garrett, who has danced to bhangra beats in “Yamla Pagla Deewana”.
“This is my first dance sequence and it was a great experience! Bollywood dancing seems very exciting, but I have realised it is very difficult and tough,” Emma told IANS on phone from Mumbai.
“Hats off to the choreographers and all Indian actresses for pulling off the steps so well and that too with perfectly coordinated expressions. It takes a lot of hard work,” she added.
The actress, who came to India over two years ago with her husband, plays Sunny Deol’s Canadian wife in “Yamla Pagla Deewana”, releasing Jan 14. She has matched steps with Punjabi boys Sunny, Bobby and their father, veteran actor Dharmendra, in the peppy title track of the movie.
“My dance is a mixture of traditional and contemporary. The choreographers had a challenge not just with the song, which is a remix version of an old song, but also my limitations as a dancer. But they have done a wonderful job,” she added.
Emma said she had a whirlwind of a time while shooting for the movie in Patiala.
“We spent a couple of months shooting in Patiala and it was fantastic! Since Mumbai doesn’t have too much of a tourist culture, Patiala was a very welcome change. Punjabi culture is so warm and colourful, people are forever dancing and singing…the men look great with their turbans in myriad colours and so do the women…all decked in fancy suits,” she said.
The Patiala schedule of the shoot also burnt quite a hole in Emma’s pocket.
“Oh my god! How much I shopped there! I bought beautiful churidar-kurtas and bought tonnes of jooties – fabulous jewelled and coloured ones. I have stocked them all up,” she said in an excited tone and also mentioned the oodles of fat she piled on thanks to “mutton curry, barfi, panipuri and chaat papri”.
But she isn’t cribbing one bit. On the contrary, she is glad that she is getting a chance to experiment with each of her films in Bollywood.
She made her debut with Bengali film “Shukno Lanka” with Mithun Chakraborty, and after “Yamla Pagla Deewana”, she will be seen as a Russian girl in Rohan Sippy’s “Dum Maro Dum”.
“I am glad that a ‘gori’ coming from abroad has been welcomed with open arms in such a huge industry. I have been lucky to have worked with fantastic actors like Mithunda, Dharmendra sir and Abhishek Bachchan already, and I definitely look forward to more masala films in India,” added Emma, who likes to keep her age secret.
The brunette beauty went blonde for Hindi film projects, and she is now taking lessons to pick up the language to widen opportunities for herself in tinsel town. She says she would love to play an Indian some day but quipped she “would have to go back to being brunette!”