How it happened

I worked on ad films during my college days. On one occasion, I acted with Amitabh Bachchan in an ad film for Parker Pens, directed by Priyadarshan. After the shoot, Priyadarshan asked me whether I was interested in feature films, and when I said ‘Yes', he gave me a role in his Hindi film Garam Masala where I co-starred with Akshay Kumar and John Abraham. Then director Vikram Kumar offered me the lead role of Priya in his Tamil film Yavarum Nalam which featured Madhavan as the hero.

How it felt

I didn't have any experience in films. On the day of the premiere of Garam Masala, I was standing behind my mother Neera Srivastava asking her all the time what people would think of my performance. But my mother reassured me that everyone would think highly of her little princess — that's me. I saw the Hindi version of my Tamil film in Mumbai and later saw the same film in Chennai with my family.

How life changed

My personal life has gone for a toss. After acting in feature films, I find it difficult to walk freely on the road. I knew these things would happen and was ready for it. I was happy to act in 11 Hindi films of which seven have been released and two have won national awards. In Telugu, I have acted in three films, and in Tamil, two films — Yavarum Nalam and Theeratha Vilaiyattupillai. Now I have done a dance sequence for a song with director Ameer in director Misskin's film. I am also doing four Hindi films and my co-stars are Sanjay Dutt, Rahul Bose and Paresh Rawal. I am waiting to do a challenging role in a Tamil film.

Keywords: Neetu Chandra

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