Actress Evelyn Sharma, who is of Indian and German origin, believes NRI artists get recognised in Bollywood due to their "Indian connect" rather than the tag of being 'outsiders'.
Born to a Punjabi father and German mother, Evelyn, who will next be seen as a "simple Indian girl" from Himachal Pradesh in "Ishqedarriyaan", refuses to describe NRI talent as "niche actors".
"Katrina Kaif, Jacqueline Fernandez, Sunny Leone and Nargis Fakhri, myself have found a place in Bollywood because of our Indian connect rather than the fact that we have grown up abroad," she told IANS.
She says starting out in Bollywood by playing an NRI in "From Sydney With Love" was "the easiest" as it "comes naturally" to her. But she does not feel "glamorous" is the right way to describe her on screen characters.
The "Kuch Kuch Locha Hai" actress has also never shied away from exposing on screen -- whether it was donning a bikini in the song "Sunny sunny" from the 2014 film "Yaariyan" or her "sexy" role as Lara in "Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani". But in real life, Evelyn calls herself a "simple girl".
"Wearing a bikini for 'Sunny sunny' was not to show skin, but to swim in the ocean. Of course it looks nice too, and why not flaunt it if you have a sexy body? As for myself, I'm a simple girl from a small town in Germany.
"I was never called 'sexy' or 'glamorous' until my role of Lara. So all credit for my new found sex appeal goes to Ayan Mukerji and Karan Johar, who cast me in 'Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani'," Evelyn added.
To cement her space in Indian cinema further, Evelyn has also worked upon her Hindi diction.
Asked whether speaking Hindi is a problem for her, she said: "Initially it was quite difficult because I was learning a completely new language. I'm proud, however, that I have dubbed even my first film with my own voice.
"Hindi now is not a problem to me anymore. I have a fantastic Hindi teacher and whenever I get a new script, I go through it with him to correct diction and sound wherever needed."
"Ishqedarriyaan", which will release on Friday, will be Evelyn's first "solo lead film".
Talking about it, she said: "'Ishqedarriyaan' is going to show me in a completely different light than all my previous films. I'm extremely excited about the fantastic response the trailer has received so far. I play a simple Indian girl from Himachal who runs a school for less fortunate kids.
"'Ishqedarriyaan' is when friendship grows to love, and what true love means. It's a beautiful musical love story about friendship, love and sacrifice."
Directed by V.K. Prakash, 'Ishqedarriyaan' also stars veteran actor Mithun Chakraborty's son Mahaakshay.
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