Lauren Gottlieb, a dancer from Arizona, USA, has now become a household name, thanks to the sleeper hit, Any Body Can Dance (ABCD), in which she played the female lead. However, her popularity in Bollywood didn’t make finding a house in Mumbai any easier for her. Ever since she shifted base to the city seven months ago, she has been house-hunting.
“It was difficult. I checked out many places in Bandra, Andheri and Juhu. I wanted to rent a place by myself. But being a single, young woman, and a foreigner — people weren’t willing to rent flats to me. I’m thankful to the friends who I could bank on,” she says.
One of these friends is choreographer Punit Pathak (her co-star in ABCD and currently her partner on the dance reality show, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa), who let her stay with his family. Lauren says, “It was the perfect thing, to be around his (Punit’s) mom and live in their house. I connected with his family. His mom is like my mother figure. It felt good to be around her. Punit and I would talk to her about our show and she’d even give inputs at times.”
Lauren ended up staying at Punit’s house for a month-and-a-half before finding a place of her own at Yari Road, Andheri. “I finally found a place a few days ago, and I’m decorating it in my free time,” she says.
Meanwhile, the artiste isn’t bothered by tongues wagging about her living at Punit’s place. “It’s not like I was staying at a guy’s place. I was living with his family,” she says, adding, “I’m far away from home, so to find love and acceptance was a big thing. It would have been a lot harder if I didn’t have the support.”
Lauren Gottlieb with her choreographer Punit on sets of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa.