She traces her roots to Maliana, a small town near Phagwara in Punjab. But most of her life, Mandy Takhar lived in the UK, having been born in Wolverhampton. Mandy is a pretty face who has gained recognition for her roles in Punjabi films such as Ekam - Son of Soil and Mirza - The Untold Story.
However, when she decided to step in the world of films, her family wasn't exactly excited. The actor shares the reason for this and her journey so far, while in Chandigarh for the music launch of her upcoming Punjabi film, Saadi Wakhri Hai Shaan.
"My grandfather was a professor, my father is into business and one of my cousins is a dentist, so there was no one in the family who had any connection with Indian cinema. They weren't being conservative when it came to my decision to join films, but were only worried as I knew no one in the entertainment industry," she elaborates, when asked about the reason for her family's apprehensions.
Mandy had moved to London from her family home when she was 17, to study drama at the Kingston University. Thereafter, she landed in Mumbai. "I moved to Mumbai at the end of 2007 and did a few TV commercials and two south Indian movies. Then, I landed the role opposite Punjabi singer Babbu Mann in the 2010 film, Ekam - Son of Soil. Two years after that, I was offered Gippy Grewal's film, Mirza - The Untold Story."
Not many know that Mandy was seen in a relatively unknown Bollywood movie called Bumboo this year, which brought her in the news for losing 10 kg to do a bikini scene. She says,
"Undoubtedly, I lost those extra pounds for the movie, but the hype surrounding such information is mostly directed at publicity gains." The actor's candid nature comes like a breath of fresh air when she modestly criticises her acting abilities. "I know that I didn't act well in the film, and admit that I could have properly gotten into the character," says she.
Remind her of the less-than-average fate of her other two Punjabi ventures, and Mandy reasons, "I think 99 percent of people feel that Ekam was a super-hit, and there are still some who consider Mirza to be the best Punjabi movie. I give my 100 percent to my films. If the film is not directed, edited, distributed or promoted well, then that's not my mistake. No doubt, it's important for the project to be a hit but I can only improve upon my acting and not other things."
Mandy's current projects include two Punjabi films. "I'm playing a Canada-based businesswoman opposite Sangram Singh in the film, Saadi Wakhri Hai Shaan. The second film, Tu Mera 22 Main Tera 22, which also stars Amrinder Gill, is really close to my heart. Its music is mind-blowing and the 'chemistry' between Honey Singh and Amrinder Gill is also hilarious. With a special appearance by Master Salim, there are many factors that made me enjoy this project to the hilt," she signs off.