British beauty turns Bollywood babe

London: Despite never having acted before, a British teenager has bagged a lead role in the latest Indian blockbuster.

Amy Jackson, a Miss England contestant, 18, became the first unknown British girl to appear in a Bollywood film, starring as the heroine Amy Wilkinson in the movie `Madrasapattinam`.

Jackson was hand-picked for the role by top Indian director A L Vijay, after he spotted her picture on the Miss England website.

"I couldn`t believe it. I`d never acted in my life - I didn`t even know I could act," the Telegraph quoted her as saying.

"Beauty pageants are big over in India so the director saw me on the competition website. He liked that I was white but had an Indian look so he tracked me down."

Within a month, she was whisked off to film in the teeming Indian cities of Chennai and Hyderabad.

"The cast and crew made me so welcome. I was worried about the language barrier but everyone made such an effort with me I settled in fine," she said.

"Filming was so nerve-wracking though. I`m used to modelling shoots where there`s about ten people on set, but I had to act in front of hundreds of cast and crew members.

"That`s real pressure when you`ve never acted before. But it was amazing working with A L Vijay because he is so passionate about his work. This film was his dream and I feel honoured that he chose me to help him fulfill it," she added.

The film is set in the pre-independence India of the 1940s and tells the love story of a Madrasi man, played by Bollywood star Arya, and the British daughter of the governor of Madrasapattinam.

The film topped the Bollywood box office on its release last month, making former Jackson an instant superstar.


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