Not your average item girl | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Not your average item girl

chandigarh Updated: May 08, 2013 11:03 IST
Navleen Lakhi

For someone who is just a few movies and a couple of item numbers old in the industry, tantrums are not the way to go. After a conversation with her, however, you realise that the attitude problem lay with her manager — clearly the one to blame for the one-and-half hour delay. After a word here and an ear there, we discover that the man supposedly gave a hard time to even the producers who brought the pretty damsel to Punjab.

Bodyguard fame, London-born Hazel Keech is currently in Chandigarh to shoot an item number for upcoming Punjabi movie, Heer & Hero. Known for her recent item number, Aah Ante Amalapuram (Maximum – 2012), Hazel lets us know that her upcoming item number has been sung by Master Saleem and Miss Pooja. She, however, has loved the Indian film industry since childhood, says she, “Despite being in London, films like Mother India have been a distinct part of my childhood. I have grown up watching Madhuri’s dance numbers.

I like how she established a balance between being an actor and an amazing dancer. When Aah Ante came my way, I knew I was made for it.”

Wasn’t she afraid it was going to typecast her as an item girl? “See, I’m not the Rakhi Sawant sort of an item girl. I belong to the Madhuri Dixit and Sridevi bracket. Bodyguard has proved that I’m an actor as well. Also, item numbers open doors to a lot of shows. That’s how an artiste usually earns his bread and butter,” says she.

Born to an English father and Indo-Mauritian mother, how did Bollywood happen? “At the age of three, I joined a dance school and learned Bharatanatyam, Kathak, bhangra and western forms of dance. At 13, I did small roles in the Harry Potter series (2,3,4). At 18, I came to India to travel and ended up doing my first song in 2005, followed by a three-year modelling contract. In 2007, my biggest song — Kahin Pe Nigahen — was launched, and then came an item number in Tamil movie Billa.”

“But, I went back to London in 2008 and happened to meet Salman when he was shooting for London Dreams. I shared with him that I’m trying in Bollywood. He believed in me and asked me to come back,” she adds.

Though the big break came with Bodyguard, Hazel wasn’t happy with the response the movie got. “What I liked about the movie was that after it, people knew who I was. I think the PR of the movie made all the difference. I didn’t take part in promoting the movie; the makers asked me not to, because had I been a part of the promotions, the plot of the movie would have been revealed to a great extent,” shares she.