I’m glad I came to India because my heart lies here,” says Emma Brown Garrett, the Australian actor, who made her Bollywood debut opposite Sunny Deol in Yamla Pagla Deewana that released on Friday. “If I had stayed back in Australia, I would have limited myself to certain shows or movies only. Here, I’ve worked in a Bengali film with Mithun Chakraborthy, worked with Sunny Deol in a Hindi film and now, will be playing a Russian lady in Dum Maaro Dum. I can read and write Hindi, and have learnt a bit of Punjabi and Russian too,” says Emma.
When asked which of three Deol men she was closer to, the actor from Down Under refuses to pick one. “Before taking on Yamla Pagla Deewana, I had watched Apne which featured them together. I was impressed with their chemistry,” says Garret.
Shooting with the trio
“On the sets, Dharamji would treat me like his own nu (daughter-in-law). He’s a thorough gentleman. I loved his company. I don’t think anyone can do what he does. He’s got great sense of humour,” says Garrett, who felt her co-star Sunny Deol is a typical Punjabi man who is unbeatable. “Sunny is like a coconut, he’s a gentle guy. Bobby is cute and has a great sense of music. We connected on that.”
Given that a large portion of the film was shot in Patiala and the actor was shooting with Bollywood’s Punjabi trio, didn’t she have a Patiala peg with them? “I don’t drink when I work. And I really thought that a Patiala Peg in Punjab during winter would just work too strongly on me. So, I avoided drinking, but I relished the spicy Punjabi food,” says Garrett. “In hindsight, I think I should have tried the Patiala peg.”
Garrett, who lives in the city with her husband, feels that she’s lucky that despite debuting in a comedy film, she didn’t have a gaudy item numbers and cheap one-liners to deliver. “After working with India’s finest desi boys, I’ve started understanding Punjabi jokes. Some of them are really funny,” she adds.
The actor’s happy with the response to her first Bollywood film. “I couldn’t have asked for a better start. I’ve been appreciated by everyone. That makes the experience worth it,” smiles Garrett, who’s excited about working with Abhishek Bachchan. “He’s Amitabh Bachchan’s son and a great actor to work with. Besides, in the film I have dialogues in Russian, English and Hindi. It’s a cool crew and I love the work I’m doing.”