Elli AvrRam: Lived in an apartment where lizards and cockroaches would be roaming around, made them my friends

Updated: 30 July, 2020 08:09 IST | mid-day online correspondent | Mumbai

Bollywood star Elli AvrRam recalls her struggling days in Mumbai, how it was difficult for her to come to the city and succeed, and the days of living in an apartment with lizards and cockroaches.

Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Elli AvrRam
Picture Courtesy: Official Instagram Account/Elli AvrRam

It's not easy to be an outsider and make it in Bollywood. The journeys have been extremely tough for a lot of actors, and one of them is Elli AvrRam, who has also spoken about her share of struggles in an interview. 

Talking to Pinkvilla, she first talked about her efforts to come from Sweden to India and said, "It took me three years to move from Sweden to India as my dad was very strict. I used to convince my dad that I want to be a Bollywood actress. I worked at a jewellery store and saved money to come to India. My dad was impressed by my efforts, and also scared that his daughter was going to a far off different country."

She then spoke about how it was difficult for her to rent an apartment in Mumbai, and how she had to live in an apartment with lizards and cockroaches. She said, "It's very difficult to rent an apartment here. You're a foreigner; you're a single girl, and an actress also. It's like a big 'No'."

And then she shed light on the apartment she stayed at with no air conditioner and stated, "Lizards and cockroaches would be roaming around, and I made them my friends."

On a lighter note, the actress had taken to her Instagram account on the eve of her birthday and shared a video where she showed her fans how the celebrations happened when she was young, have a look right here:

Elli was seen this year in Mohit Suri's Malang. She also participated in the reality show Bigg Boss and made her Bollywood debut in 2013 with Mickey Virus.

Also Read: Elli AvrRam Opens Up On Facing Casting Couch And Being Replaced In A Big Bollywood Film

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    Born on July 29, 1990, in Stockholm, Sweden, Elli AvrRam is the daughter of veteran Swedish actress Maria Granlund and Greek musician Jannis Avramidis. Her birth name is Elisabet Avramidou Granlund. (All photos/Elisabet Elli AvrRam's official Instagram account)

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    Elli's mother Maria has worked with Ingmar Bergman in Oscar-winning film 'Fanny and Alexander', while Elli did a lot of theatre in Sweden too, before entering Bollywood.

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    In 2013, Elli made her Bollywood debut with Mickey Virus, starring Maniesh Paul. Director Saurabh Varma zeroed in on Elli after auditioning 200 young women. Little did he know that the actress was the daughter of the veteran Swedish actress Maria Granlund.

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    After Mickey Virus, she worked on improving Hindi, dance moves and acting. She can communicate in Hindi now. Elli then participated in Bigg Boss - Season 7. It wouldn't be wrong to say that Elli truly gained fame after her Bigg Boss stint.

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    In one of the episodes of the reality show, when actor Sunny Deol came to promote his movie, its host Salman Khan praised Elli saying, "Paanch saal pehle ki Katrina Kaif lagti hai (Looks like how Katrina used to look five years ago)".

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    After Bigg Boss, Elli bagged her second Bollywood film Kis Kisko Pyaar Karoon, which marked the debut of Kapil Sharma. However, she later went on to only grab "special appearance" opportunities in songs and films.

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    She has been a part of the Hindi film industry for a while and became a known face due to her participation in the controversial reality show, Bigg Boss. However, she still hasn't got her due as an actor.

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    To succeed in Bollywood is tough, to make it big sans a Godfather is tougher, and that's why perhaps Avram isn't there just as yet. But there's a lot more to her than what meets the eye.

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    In a no-holds-barred manner, she revealed in an interview her experience in the so-called glamour industry. "I was told I needed to lose weight. They said I'm short and I was told about my forehead and my teeth. One girl who was connected to Bollywood told me, 'Oh, but sweetheart you can never become an actress because you're too short."

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    "I choose not to listen to that. Within two months of me being in India, I felt I don't have it. Some felt I looked old like an aunty because of my long hair," added Elli.

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    Talking specifically about facing the casting couch, Elli said, "I had gone for a few meetings. I met these two directors who especially shook my hand and scratched it with one of the fingers. After that one meeting, I asked my friend about it. He was shocked and said, "Oh, no did he do that? Do you know what that means?' I didn't know and he told me that he wanted to sleep with me."

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    Elli, however, is still thankful to Salman Khan who guided her after her Bigg Boss stint. "I am grateful for whatever he has done for me. The way he was praising me (on the show) is like a blessing as it was coming from a superstar like him. I feel happy to be noticed. I am happy that I have someone, who I can contact. He loves to help people I am glad I am one of those who he is helping," she said.

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    Elli created waves with special dance numbers in various films, such as Chamma Chamma in Fraud Saiyan, and Zilla Hilela song from Jabariya Jodi, besides her role in the Netflix series Typewriter.

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    Elli's last Bollywood outing was the hit film Malang. Directed by Mohit Suri, Malang also featured Anil Kapoor, Aditya Roy Kapur, Disha Patani and Kunal Kemmu. She played an important role in the film and her character Jessie impressed the audience.

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    Here's wishing a very happy birthday to Elli AvrRam!

First Published: 30 July, 2020 08:00 IST

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