‘Working with Akshay sir excited me’

‘I don’t want the praise to go to my head or the trolling to go to my heart.’

Miss World 2017 Manushi Chhillar has been waiting for a long time to make her big Bollywood debut.

And it’s certainly one worth waiting for.

Chhillar will be seen in the period film Prithviraj opposite Akshay Kumar and directed by Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi (of Pinjar fame).

Produced by Yash Raj Films, it was completed almost a year ago, but the pandemic delayed its release.

Now, with theatres set to open, Prithviraj is scheduled for a January 21, 2022 release.

“It has been a long wait and I’ve needed all the patience in the world to wait for its release,” Manushi tells Rediff.com Contributor PS Aaryan Khanna.

How has your life changed after winning the Miss World title?

Life has changed completely.

Apart from the whole experience of travelling and working with them, people knew about me at a scale I’d never experienced before.

I was only 20 and it felt like a big change.

I have definitely grown and learnt so much and am grateful for all those experiences because I don’t think I would’ve otherwise had those at such a young age.

You’ve been waiting for Prithviraj to hit theatres for a long time. Are you getting restless?

It has been a long wait and I’ve needed all the patience in the world to wait for its release, but no one could have predicted the pandemic. Everyone has suffered, some much more than the others.

I’ve worked very hard for Prithviraj and I definitely would love for people to watch it soon.

Do you like period films?

I’ve always loved period, fantasy fiction, films.

It’s like getting transferred into another time, another world.

Growing up, I used to love the Lord Of The Rings trilogy and have watched it a million times. It’s not exactly period, but it did create a different world.

How nervous were you working opposite a superstar like Akshay Kumar?

I was genuinely nervous about acting in a film for the first time, but working with Akshay (Kumar) sir, YRF and Dr Chandraprakash Dwivedi sir made me feel excited more than anything else.

Any recent film from Bollywood which you saw and wished you’d been a part of it?

There are so many! My pick would be Andhadhun.

What has been your lockdown learning?

My biggest learning about the lockdown and pandemic has been that life cannot just be about work.

There are so many other facets that make life interesting.

Happiness will only come from within, not an outside source.

How do you tackle trolls on social media and stay away from the negativity?

I don’t think trolls are a recent phenomenon for me.

They have always been there in some form or the other.

Now definitely a lot more, and it will probably increase, but that’s just noise.

There are so many people who love me too.

Irrespective, I believe that whatever is another’s opinion — good or bad — shouldn’t matter to you.

I love my life and will keep living it my way.

I don’t want the praise to go to my head or the trolling to go to my heart.

Any tips for young girls who hope to participate in beauty pageants?

Always look presentable.

Have your own individuality and be comfortable with whatever you wear.

You need to love how you look and feel confident more than anything else.

Most importantly, style should be fun not stressful. So enjoy!

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