Akanksha Puri, who plays one of the lead actresses in Madhur Bhandarkar's forthcoming Hindi drama "Calendar Girls", says the film is not just about the world of modelling, but has a very strong emotional core too.
"Contrary to people's assumption, this isn't just about calendar girls and modelling. It's an emotional journey of five girls from different economic backgrounds and how their lives take a detour when they participate in a calendar shoot," Akanksha told IANS.
Brushing aside similarities with Bhandarkar's earlier film "Fashion", she said both the films are poles apart.
"What you may find similar in all his films is the element of reality. All his stories are quite realistic; easy to relate with and hence, people assume they're similar. But none of us felt so while working and I'm sure the audience won't too," she said.
Akanksha was shooting for a Malayalam film when she got a call from Bhandarkar's office.
"I didn't take the call seriously; I was under the assumption that super models will be required for the project. When I got a call from the casting director, who informed about a meeting with Bhandarkar, I dropped everything and went to see him," she said.
In the first meeting, Akanksha was sure she'd be a part of the project.
"He was very clear about each character and was extremely positive about the movie. In that instant, I knew I was part of the project. I had mentally prepared myself to become Nandita Menon, the character I play," she added.
On working with the National Award-winning filmmaker, she said it was so much fun.
"Since he had mostly collaborated with established actresses like Kareena Kapoor Khan and Priyanka Chopra, I assumed he'd be difficult to work with. But when I landed on sets, the environment was so much fun and he turned out to be extremely friendly," she revealed.
She said he gives his actors a lot of freedom and lets them be themselves while performing.
Having starred in a few southern projects already, one might get the feeling Akanksha may have waited long for her Bollywood debut. But she begs to differ.
"I've been offered several Hindi projects, but they weren't as good as the south projects. I waited as I didn't want to start my Bollywood innings with a bad film," she said.
"Calendar Girls" releases on Friday and also features Avani Modi, Ruhi Singh and Kyra Dutt.