For Amrit Maghera, 2015 is ending on a happy note. Not only isshepartofthelatest season of the British
drama Hollyoaks, available on Hulu in
the United States, her internationally
acclaimed film Angry Indian Goddesses released in India December 4.
The actress, who started off her
career as a dancer with big names
like Kayne West and Guns N’
Roses, chats with India Abroad
about her new film, her television show, and more.
After your film debut, Mad
About Dance last year, you only
signed Angry Indian Goddesses. What took you so long to
sign another Bollywood film?
During that time, I shifted
back to London and changed
my entire life — I studied acting
there at this place called The
Actor’s Temple. I shifted countries and basically started
again from scratch.
In England I did modeling,
commercials and things and
shot Angry Indian Goddesses last year.
This year, everything has
just suddenly kicked off for
me. I’ve just signed a big TV
show in the UK. So everything
is happening at the same time
I just needed a little time to
kind of have a breather and also
move out of India and settle
You’re playing the role of an
upcoming actress in AIG, how
relatable was this character?
She is relatable. I have drawn
some of on my own experiences
and things I’ve felt in the past
and situations I’ve been
through. It gave a lot of substance to my character. I know a
lot of friends who are NRIs and
are working and living in Mumbai. I was
able to join their experience as well. (But)
I wouldn’t say Joanna is completely me.
Tell us something about your character in
She is Indian and her name is Neeta. She is 25
years old. She is little bit of an airhead.
She has a boyfriend who is 25 years older than her.
She is the landlady of a pub and owns it with her
boyfriend. Her boyfriend has three children and her
step kids are of the same age as her, and one of
them, the daughter, isn’t too happy about this.
Neeta is really bubbly and nice to everybody.
How did you prepare for Hollyoaks?
She wants to make friends and enjoy life and be
happy. It does rub people the wrong way and
sometimes she says things which she does-
n’t realize can be offensive. She is very
different from Joanna from Angry Indian Goddesses. She
is always impeccably dressed, extremely fashionable,
wears a lot of makeup, pristine, polished. I also changed
my voice and body language.
I feel like I’m still learning about her — the more my
story is getting developed and the further into the show I
get. I mainly based her on someone in my life, so I pretty
much got the gist straight away.
How different is it working in India and working for a
television show in the UK?
They’re completely different genres. (But) to be honest
there is not much difference. I am lucky that I’ve worked
with a lot of professional people in India and the UK.
Was an international television show something you
always wanted to do?
No, I thought I would carry on doing films and then this
came up. I thought this will be an amazing experience
because, in the UK, this television show is huge, it is
watched by millions of people.
It’s been brilliant so far, but films are something I’ll go
Since you’re half Indian, do you get typecast into playing
Because I’m half Indian and half English, I think I get to
have the best of both worlds. I used to feel so confused
about where I belonged and now I’m proud of it. I feel like
it goes in my favor as I am able to play Indian, European
and English/South American, etc, roles.
I find it really interesting that in Hollyoaks I bring in my
Indian roots and in AIG I have used my Western roots.
What kind of roles are you being offered in Bollywood
and in the West?
So far, it’s going really well. I love Joanna and I love
Neeta. They are two totally different sides of me. AIG is
generating some interest from other places in the world
too, which is really exciting. Let’s see what happens.
How has life in the UK been over these years?
Brilliant and unpredictable. I’ve gone from being in a
girl band and a professional dancer to moving to India to
now again living in England and working in one of the
biggest daily TV shows.
My massive family is also a huge part of my life there as
well as my friends. I’m lucky to have a big support network.
Now with even Indian actresses like Priyanka Chopra
breaking ground in Western television, do you think the
competition is intensifying?
I don’t really see it as competition. It inspires me, and to
be honest I’m surprised it’s taken this long for an Indian
actress to do something like this. She’s smashing it and
Apart from Hollyoaks, what else are you working on?
I’ve also done a Punjabi film called Goreyan Nu Dafa
Karo opposite Amrinder Gill. It’s a comedy and did really
well. It was such an experience going back to where my
mum is from.
My TV show keeps my extremely busy as it’s a daily, and
of course going to Toronto International Film Festival and
promos for AIG.
I’ve recently moved cities for this show too so that’s also
been keeping me very busy.
One Bollywood actor you look forward to work with?
I’d love to work with Ranbir Kapoor or Randeep Hooda.
You’re a trained dancer as well. Do you have any plans of
going ahead in that field professionally?
I have already done that and had my hay day as a professional dancer, dancing with Kanye West, etc. Now I’m
on another route. I think it’s something that I’ll be able to
use for roles that I play. n
I bring in
I used my
‘I get to have the best of both worlds,’Amrit Maghera,
the new British-Indian actress on our screens,
tells Jahnavi Patel/India Abroad.