Daisy blossoms

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Bollywood dreams Daisy Bopanna has bagged another Bollywood project
Bollywood dreams Daisy Bopanna has bagged another Bollywood project

Daisy Bopanna tells SHAILAJA TRIPATHI TANEJA that she has big Bollywood ambitions

Daisy Bopanna made her cinematic debut in a de-glamourised role in “Bimba”, Kavitha Lankesh’s film which explored the exploitation of child artistes in the film industry but her later work earned her the tag of “spicy Daisy”. The actor, however, is rather surprised on her moniker. “I have never done glamorous roles for the heck of it. In the past, I have refused lot of roles where I was required to wear skimpy clothes. The role may be glamorous but it has to have a scope for performance,” says Daisy.

Daisy made her bollywood debut in Priyadarshan’s “Garam Masala”. Her first scene required her to kiss John Abraham. “Bimba” may have made a mark in the film festivals’ circuit; but failed to get Daisy any roles. “I played a mother in the film and then nobody was ready to sign me,”says Daisy, whose second film “Bhagwaan” was opposite Darshan. But it was Ramesh Aravind’s “Raama Bhaama Shaama” that revived her career in Kannada film industry.

She however has no regrets about “Bimba”. “I learnt to face the camera. It was produced on a very tight budget so we had to do all the scenes in just one take.”

Born and brought up in Bangalore, Daisy studied in Aurobindo School. She holds a bachelor degree in fine arts from Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. While hosting a show on telly, she realised acting was her true calling. She has done more than 150 ad films, English and Kannada theatre with B. Jayashri’s theatre group Spandana, in order to improve her Kannada diction.

Yograj Bhatt’s “Gaalipata” established her as a serious actor. In the film, she plays a widow staying with her in-laws who Ganesh falls in love with. ‘Gaalipata’ has changed Kannada film industry’s perception about me. I had very few dialogues and it was challenging,”says the actor, who now shuttles between Bangalore, Mumbai and Hyderabad. However, even after proving her mettle in “Gaalipata” the majority of roles that came her way were glamorous ones. “I am sceptical of working with newcomers. I am being choosy because I don’t want to do something which I am not convinced of. Money is not a problem. If you do good work, you will get money.”

In Mumbai, Daisy has just shifted to a new house and is busy realising her Bollywood dreams. She is all set to star in a Hindi romantic comedy and has recently finished with the photo shoot. Another Telugu film “Hrudayam” directed by Jai Akash is also on. The actor had earlier done two Telugu films “Chanti” opposite Ravi Teja Sharma and “Relax”. In Sandalwood, Nagathihalli Chandrashekhar’s upcoming film has Daisy in a cameo. Her Tamil film “Chakravyuham” directed by Udayabhanu Maheshwaran was also released recently.

The pretty Kannada hudugi is dabbling in different regional film industries. But Bollywood is where she wants to be.

“Every South Indian actor wants to make it in Bollywood and so do I. Just one film has given me so much recognition. South Indian films may be way beyond the Hindi films in terms of its budget, but Hindi cinema reaches the largest audience.” It hasn’t been a smooth ride for Daisy. First, it was the spine dislocation which happened during the promotion of “Garam Masala”.

“Some cysts had developed in my spine. In Mumbai, they do film promotions really well and I didn’t want to miss out on that. I even attended one of the promotional events with crutches. After the surgery I had to take a break for a year. I couldn’t walk, bend or do anything. I ate and watched television and put on so much weight, I had to let go off some good projects. Even now, I can’t do heavy dances or vigorous movements. I can’t even gym. My health is jinxed. Something or the other keeps happening.”

Ask her about the recent controversy with Tamil film director Udhayabhanu Maheshwaran alleging that Daisy refused to co-operate and delayed the project: “I have worked with so many people and nobody has ever said that.”

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Daisy’s mother tells us that she is a tomboy. The first vehicle she bought was a motorbike. She drove it all around the city. “I still have it. Though my mum planned to give to my cousin, I vetoed the plan. I want to show it to my grandchildren,” Daisy says

Daisy loves animals. She picked up a sick stray pup in her colony, nursed it back to health and finally took it to Mumbai. “Then to give her company, she picked up another dog and took it to Mumbai. She says one is her son and the other her daughter-in-law. She takes care of them like her children,” says Daisy’s mother.

“People think, I am an extrovert but the truth is I am an introvert. I don’t make friends easily. I am anything but spicy,” says the actor.




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