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POISED & SPIRITED

Bollywood star, Instagram sensation, model....there is no end to the adjectives attached to this Liverpool-born actress Amy Jackson. She scoffs at being called an outsider and believes in forging a strong bond with her staff and managers. She never gives up on hope and believes that nothing is impossible. And now, her teaming up with the Superstar for 2.0 has only upped the ante for her. In conversation with the energised and appealing young actress.

How did it feel to bag 2.0?
Awesome! Working with Shankar is a once in a lifetime thing. He doesn’t repeat the artistes, so it was unexpected of him to call me again. Rajini sir is one gem of a person. The first day he spoke to everyone, inquired about their families. I needed retakes. He comforted me saying, “Please don’t worry.” He has an aura which is not overpowering.

His best trait.
He is simple and unassuming. He would patiently wait for hours while the shots were being set up with no complaints. You hear stories of actors walking off the sets, throwing tantrums but you can never imagine him doing that. He is a gentleman to the core. No matter how big you are you are a human being first. His humility gives you a reality check.

The buzz is that you play a female robot in the film.
No! Definitely not! I cannot say anything more about the role. It is quite a challenging one and if I talk about it, I would give away the entire plot. It is a role I have never done before.

You are living a life, millions of girls dream of everyday.
I did not realise I wanted this lifestyle until I became a part of it. It wasn’t easy. I was just 16 and away from home. I wanted to go out with my friends but instead I had to learn Tamil dialogues and was stuck in a hotel room all alone. I would get homesick. But I knew something good would come out eventually so I wanted to give it my best shot.
I enjoy pushing my limits.



Would you like to eventually move to Hollywood?
Acting is my passion and I love working in all film industries. But yes, I wish to work in Hollywood. Deepika Padukone is already a superstar there. Priyanka Chopra too is doing well. She is all about girl power with her top-notch performances. I have just taken the opposite path. I hail from UK, but chose to work here.

Are there any directors you aspire to work with?
Of course! The list is too long. AR Murugadoss is on top of the list as I like the kind of scripts he deals with. I also want to work with Karan Johar. I love the colours and tones he uses.

Do you do your stunts?
Action comes very naturally to me. For Singh is Bliing, they had a lady all the way from Bangkok as my stunt double. I said, “No, I’ll do it”.

Many Indian actors complain of racism in the West. Have you ever faced it?
This is a problem globally and it is not just about actors working in different countries. It is a general thing. I get trolled on Twitter but then again, it is not just happening to actors only.

You made your Hindi debut with Ekk Deewana Tha. Were you disappointed that it did not do well?
I was disappointed with the box office and a few reactions. But I was happy with my performance. I am not ashamed of the movie or how it did. Gautham Menon is a great film director. I would love to work with him again.

What made you pack your bags and return to the UK after Ekk Deewana Tha?
I was just 19 and living in Mumbai. I did have people who supported me through everything. They advised me to go back and take some time out for myself because Mumbai is such a buzzing city that it can actually make you feel lonely. Also my film didn’t work out. I wasn’t sure of my next move, although my projects down South were going fine. I thought of going back home to figure things out. That was when, Shankar offered me the film I. It made me hungry for work again.

You went through an ugly bout with boxer boyfriend, Joe Selkirk, who used to assault you. How did you deal with it?
It turned me into a strong and independent woman. It made me realise not to trust or rely on anybody. Yet, I still believe in love and can’t wait to fall in love again. But there comes a point where you realise what you deserve and what you want. Love isn’t always happy and lovely, it can be painful sometimes. It is nice to be away from love for a while & focus on different stuff.



Is it tough to nurture a relationship being an actor?
Travelling is the biggest issue. Being an actor, work is intense and hectic. I find it impossible to balance two things at a time. Often people say that they would never date an actress. It is a profession no one understands.

How do you deal with the constant scrutiny that comes with being a celebrity?
Earlier, I had no clue on how to deal with negativity & criticism. But now I enjoy that side of showbiz as well. It is a part and parcel of the game.

How do you manage to deal with failures?
I do think about them but I don’t dwell on it. Criticism is somebody else’s opinion and they are entitled to it. But it is very hard to accept. That comes with growth and confidence. I just want to be the best at my work.

How much does screen time matter to you?
The role matters. I want to be remembered, not lost in the crowd. I don’t think much about screen time, but the impact it can have. In his first film, Brad Pitt had a five minute cameo on a horse. From there, he went on to become a superstar. That is what’s important- what you come across to the audience.

Do you still face rejection?
Rejection is something you have to accept in life. When I would go for modelling castings and not get a call back, I would get upset because I was only 15 but my aspirations were high.

Yes, my mom would take it more to the heart than I would. But this industry gives you a thick skin. You get to know your worth and eventually learn to be happy with yourself. For the last 12 months, I have only grown as a person.

What do you miss the most from home when you are working abroad?
I spend the majority of the year travelling a lot for commercials and film shoots. But I spend a lot of time in Mumbai, shooting obviously. Basically, I miss my mother’s cooking. Her roast dinners are the best. And then London for shopping.

Stylish actor and actress
Sonam Kapoor. I think she has one awesome style. Even Siddharth Malhotra.

Heels or flats?
A bit of both. For a night out most definitely heels - the higher the better! But then throughout the day, especially when I am travelling, I like a good pair of sneakers.

Beauty tips?
It is all about fresh dewy skin and a really nice glow. Hence, I drink lots and lots of water.

I use a good face cream and remember to take my makeup off before going to bed. What you put into your body is what you are going to get out of it. A good diet, workout & the right vitamins is all that you need.
Advice to the youth It is a tough world out there.
So remember that you can’t please everyone. As long as you believe in what you are doing, there is no stopping you. Trust yourself, know that you are good enough, and remain true to yourself.

 
 
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