Nargis Fakhri is no stranger to compliments. But being one of the prettier faces in the film industry obviously comes with its fair share of unsolicited admirers. Some incidents, the Rockstar (2011) actor reveals, however, have been rather scary. “I was out on the streets recently, when five guys ran up to me. I was so terrified that I started screaming,” she recalls. “But then I realised that they recognised me from the movie, and just wanted to take a picture.”
The New York native admits that despite being a movie star, she can’t kick the habit of walking around unaccompanied, as opposed to taking chauffeur-driven rides. “I feel safe in Mumbai,” she says. “But in Delhi, I would never step out of my hotel after dark. There are always too many men on the road. I have good street instincts, and they tell me not to be on Delhi streets.”
So how does the Vogue Beauty Awards judge turn down unwanted male attention? “Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve learnt to ward off guys by making a joke and laughing off their advances. Though, I haven’t encountered too many Indian men. The moment I came here, I was put in a space where I only worked with and met very few people,” she says.
Adjusting to life as an actor has offered some surprising revelations. “Models are so natural. We wear skinny jeans, tank tops, high heels and that’s it. Now, I have to wear fake eyelashes, a hairpiece and so much make-up. It’s a lot harder,” says Nargis. Not to mention the paparazzi, constantly on the lookout for embarrassing, intimate photos. She recalls, “I came off a 16-and-a-half-hour flight from New York to Mumbai. I had gained weight, so my love handles were showing, I had sweat stains, and the next day they had my photos in the paper. It’s out of control.”