Dr Chandni Sharon : Actor, RAPA jury committee member


Name: Dr Chandni Sharon

Designation: Actor, RAPA jury committee member

Sun Sign: Virgo - 15 September


I was born in Africa; did my schooling in Karnataka; went to the US for post-graduation studies as my father works for the United Nations. I am a linguist who speaks eight languages - all the four South Indian languages in addition to English, Amhari (African), French and a smattering of Hindi. I have completed my doctorate (Ph.D in food and agriculture marketing).

In fact, my languages skills ensured that I was chosen the jury member for the RAPA awards for television. It was an enjoyable experience as there were so many entries (in varied media) in different languages.

Entry into the world of films:

My tryst with glamour started long back when I was in the United States. I won the Miss Photogenic title at the annual Miss India World 1999-2000 pageant held in New York. Bollywood veteran Dev Anand and Meenakshi Seshadri were amongst the panel of judges.

Someone in Bangalore saw my pictures and showed them to director Upendra who was launching himself in his debut film. 'A' broke records and created history by completing 275 days at a stretch. Critics loved my character of a pampered actress who has a change of heart towards the end of the movie when it is revealed that she has an incurable disease. 'A' was made in Rs 10 million and earned Rs 200 million.

I followed up my first success with a string of films in the South which performed well - AK-47 which completed 100 days; and a bilingual film with Om Puri, Girish Karnad and two different heroes (Shivraj in Kannada and Sai Kumar in Telugu).

I have also acted in a Gujarati film called Maru Ghar Kya Chhe produced by Venus music company and co-starring Rita Bhaduri. It was a women-oriented theme and I play a character who ages from 16-60 years. Actually, I feel as if this is the story of my life because I, too, don't know where I belong.

I narrowly missed co-starring opposite Sunny Deol in Zee Telefilms' Gadar-Ek Prem Katha (Amisha's dates were clashing and finally she sorted out the dates issues) and Shah Rukh Khan (Hrishita Bhatt eventually played the role in Asoka).

My debut Hindi film Wonderful Moments is with Kabir Bedi's son Adam. The film is being produced by Rajesh Sheth of Giriraj Music and Media Exim.

Impression of television:

I watch TV. The two channels I simply love are God channel and Hallmark which shows the kind of movies I love to watch.

I like the Simi Garewal show for all the guests end revealing something very personal - a true dimension of their personality. I also admire news channels that bring us "the world" at such a low cost.

Things I would like to change about Hindi film industry:

Bollywood is the only place where knowledge of Hindi is a barrier. Not knowing Hindi properly is seen as a handicap only in the Hindi film industry. So many aspiring actresses or actors haven't made it here due to this unjustifiable excuse given by film makers. No other film industry gives as much importance to language as acting is beyond language barriers. Also, it is a great experience to work with several TV, theatre and film artistes (Ashok Banthia, Nishigandha) in my first Hindi film. These actors are equally at ease in vernacular films or serials or theatre.

Five years from now:

I see myself touching peaks of popularity and working with famous well-known directors. I am getting some good offers from big names in the industry. I am getting a lot of offers from down south in addition to the numerous fan mail.

I am looking for modeling assignments which strangely didn't happen despite the fact that people say that my face is photogenic and camera friendly. I also see myself getting lots of modelling assignments.

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