Beauty queens rule Bollywood but the title doesn’t guarantee a smooth ride. Miss India-Universe 2007, Puja Gupta, went through a two-year struggle before she landed her debut film, FALTU.
Gupta, who was involved with Donald Trump’s AIDS charity for a year after the Miss Universe pageant, returned home three years ago and started doing the rounds. “I would travel by autos to auditions and wait for hours for my turn. There were times when I would miss home and break down emotionally. Being a Delhi girl, I was alone in Mumbai with no support system,” reminisces the actor.
Things changed when co-star Jackky Bhagnani spotted her at a friend’s dinner party.
“Atul (photographer Atul Kasbekar), who handles my work, got a call from Remo sir (director Remo D'Souza) the next day, inviting me to a meeting with him, Vashu sir (producer Vashu Bhagnani) and Jackky. I went through five auditions before I was signed on,” she says.
Recently, her Economics teacher called and sang, Party abhi baaki hai from her film. “I was on cloud nine,” she beams. “I’m waiting to see how people react to me before signing on any other film.”