to break into Bollywood? Win a pageant
By Shilpa Raina
New Delhi, Feb 8 (IANS) Dream of a big Bollywood break but
daddy's not a film star? Well, your best chance of a breakthrough
may be via a beauty pageant.
Many stars in Bollywood, including Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka
Chopra and John Abraham, have gone down this road and carved
out successful careers for themselves.
Former Miss India-turned-actress Tanushree Dutta admits that
winning a pageant was a stepping stone for her career.
"I became a national face after winning the pageant and
was recognised by everyone. It was not only a launch pad but
also a great training ground," Dutta told IANS over phone
"This does help in entering the (film) industry but after
that you have to prove your acting mettle because there is
no shortcut to success," she added.
Zoya Akhtar's directorial debut "Luck By Chance",
which took an insider's look at the film industry, pointed
out that to get a lead role in a movie one either has to be
a star kid or else a model who has won a beauty pageant.
Actor-turned-director Deepak Tijori agrees and says winning
a pageant gives recognition but one has to utilise the opportunity
in a "wise" manner.
"Winning a title brings unknown faces into the limelight,
which in turn helps them in building their career. Media is
such a strong medium today that you are bound to get attention
and such attention really helps only if used wisely,"
Actors like Sushmita Sen, Dino Morea and Rajniesh Duggall
have respectively titles like Miss Universe, Gladrags Manhunt
and Mr India which helped them realise their Bollywood dreams.
These days many modelling agencies like Elite Modelling Agency
and Shoot Talent Management are helping Bollywood aspirants
fulfil their dreams.
Shoot Talent Management's business head (north) Sonia Karan
Dikar told IANS that it was a natural progression for most
models to aspire for Bollywood.
"Modelling gives you fame but not as much as Bollywood
and today's generation wants to become famous and earn money
very quickly. This can happen only when you are a well-known
face or a celebrity," Dikar said.
"Winning a title helps in giving you global exposure
that in turn gives you good opportunities and assignments."
Mehar Bhasin, who also runs a grooming and modelling academy,
Mehar Bhasin Academy, agrees with Dikar and says that a grooming
or modelling school does wonders to improve the overall personality
"Winning a title definitely helps in boosting the confidence
of the aspirant and the fact that you are already groomed
also saves a lot of energy and efforts for directors as they
know that you can confidently face the camera," Bhasin
Talking about the advantage winning a title has had on his
career, Mr India Rajniesh Duggall told IANS over phone from
Mumbai: "It takes a person three steps ahead of where
he is. It helps him in crossing basic hurdles like directly
meeting a producer or director rather than waiting in long
queues. But at the end of the day what matters are the choices
that you make in your film career."
Duggall added: "The Grasim Mr India title helped me to
the extent that any producer I wanted to meet used to call
me directly to his office whereas at the same time if my friend
approached the same producer, they used to make him wait for
at least a month."
But model-turned-actor Rahul Dev dismisses the idea that a
majority of the actors who are doing well in the tinsel town
are winners of some title or the other.
"All actors in Bollywood are not necessarily winners
of any pageant or title. There are some (pageant winners)
but they too have worked hard to reach where they are,"
"Winning a title gives you media attention. And the way
you are projected on screen, the perception of the whole world
about you changes," he added.
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