Cover Story

Strictly Diva

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Jacqueline

CONFIDENT, SENSUAL AND A STYLE DIVA, JACQUELINE FERNANDEZ dazzles you with her gorgeous smile and more. Crowned as Miss Universe, Sri Lanka Pageant in 2006, Jacqueline Fernandez found her break in the Hindi film industry, while visiting India on a modelling shoot in 2009. It was Sujoy Ghosh’s fantasy drama Aladin, which marked her acting debut and while the movie was panned by both critics and the masses, it did prove to be the entry stamp to Bollywood that this Bahrain-born, Sri Lankan beauty needed.

Not letting this initial set-back deter her, she tasted commercial success in Mohit Suri’s psychological thriller Murder 2 (2011), where she enacted the part of a lonely model with boldness and sensuality that made her sizzle on screen. Her performance was praised by media and fellow-industry members alike. This was followed by her taking on highprofile films with some of the biggest names in Bollywood, such as Housefull 2 (2012), and the action thriller Race 2 (2013), both of which were box-office successes. While the latter saw her in a glamorous avatar opposite Saif Ali Khan and Deepika Padukone, in the former she was part of an all-star ensemble cast including, Akshay Kumar, John Abraham, Rishi Kapoor etc. Even though it was not a meaty role to boast of, Jacqueline’s presence in Housefull 2 was noticed and it didn’t hurt her career that the film went onto become one of the top grossing productions of India that year.

Jacqueline-Fernandas

THE FACT THAT SHE IS A LOOKER WITH A STUNNING FIGURE (one that has a record number of tweets and queries about fitness tips and how to stay in shape), is indisputable, but this is one beauty with brains as well. This super model graduated with a degree in mass communication from the University of Sydney. Her intelligence is reflected in her perseverance and belief in herself that didn’t let her lose hope in a brutally competitive industry, which is especially critical of an outsider, much like her. With no god-father in tinsel town, she has stood her ground and despite a few bad choices early in her career, she has grabbed every opportunity to shine and be noticed, whether it is as a cameo appearance in a bigbanner movie, an item-number or stage shows. Show-biz is all about visibility and presence and this savvy girl knows that.

Her breakthrough role came in 2014 in Sajid Nadiadwala’s directorial debut—the action film Kick, where she got to star opposite none other than Salman Khan. Her association with the super star, who is known to help and guide newcomers, has benefitted her immensely and she is clearly not concealing her gratitude and admiration for him:

“Salman is my inspiration, my mentor. I thank my lucky stars to have Salman Khan in my life.”

SHE PROVED HER ACTING METTLE IN A WELL-ROUNDED ROLE in the first half to a more restrained mature woman in the latter part of the film. The film became a blockbuster and despite it being a “Salman Khan” film, Jacqueline’s histrionics in front of the camera and dancing abilities were applauded and established her as one of the more popular faces of Bollywood.

Her following release Vicky Singh’s Roy, a romantic thriller saw Fernandes play a double role, co-starring Arjun Rampal and Ranbir Kapoor. India TV called it “her best act till date” and her song and dance number “Chittiyaan kalaiyaan” went onto become a super hit chartbuster.

Her educated and non-filmy background also are reflected in her non-controversial profile so far. She gets on well with all her co-stars who have only flattering stuff to say about her and she has also done the unthinkable- befriended a female co-star who is her peer and competitor! The fact that she and Sonam Kapoor are besties is no secret and it is refreshing to hear an actress speak so fondly about another without any insecurities.

“I could not have asked for a better friend in Bollywood. She [Sonam] really has my back. And I really love that girl because of how genuine she is.”

AS A YOUNG, BEAUTIFUL GIRL, JACQUELINE is no stranger to the vagaries of love and her much-hyped romance and later much-publicized break-up with director Sajid Khan, is public knowledge. The fact that she never denied it or made false pretenses of it is another example of her self-confidence and chin-up attitude. Her professionalism and maturity belie her age and years in the industry.

DESPITE SAJID KHAN’S POINTED COMMENTS, FOLLOWING THEIR “break-up”, a classy and composed Fernandes chose to maintain a dignified silence and refused to be drawn into a verbal spat. Kudos to her on he restraint, as it’s not an easy feat in Bollywood where controversies are only too tempting to resist.

For one so young and new to the industry, Jacqueline has proved that her focus is on her career and she won’t let anything distract her from her path. Hers has been a journey so far with ups and downs and moderate success but also one that promises her a lot more in the offing in the future and that’s what we look forward to as well.

Her up-coming release the sequel Housefull 3 is an upcoming Indian romantic comedy film co-produced by Sajid Nadiadwala. The film features Jacqueline alongside Akshay Kumar, Abhishek Bachchan, Riteish Deshmukh, Nargis Fakhri and Lisa Haydon in the lead roles. Being the third installment to the movie Housefull, the promos promise yet another entertaining product from the makers with fun, frolic and laughter. The story revolves around a father of three daughters who does not wish his daughters to get married. What follows is a riot of comedic twists and turns accompanied by catchy music, with the Punjabi wedding song sung by Mika Singh already becoming very popular.

 

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