Foreign invasion in Bollywood is an unending saga. After Antonia Bernath who tried her luck in Subhash Ghai’s Kisna, Alice Patten who made waves as Aamir Khan’s object of affection in Rang De Basanti and Annabelle Wallace, Karan Sharma’s leading lady in Dil Jo Bhi Kahey, it is now Linda Arsenio who is crossing borders for Kabir Khan’s Kabul Express.
On a roll:
Linda plays Jessica, an American photojournalist in the film, a kidnap drama set in post-9/11 Afghanistan. “It was exciting to shoot in a volatile region like Afghanistan with 60 men around you,” says Linda.
Kabir’s directorial debut is the first international film to have been shot entirely in Kabul over a period of 45 days. The crew moved around the interiors of the war-torn country — a scary, but daring attempt for the crew, says Linda “Kabir would make it a point to hunt for the most interesting locations. Initially, we were scared but as the days passed by, we became comfortable.”
Her character in the film is said to be an ode to all those Americans who lost their lives in the war against terror. “It is a multinational cast and I am proud to represent America.”
Ask about her co-actors and Linda sums up the experience as enjoyable — full of fun and frolic. “It was in fact a journey together for all five of us. The diversity added to the chemistry. While Hanif Hum Ghum, an Afghan, is truly a man with a heart of gold, Salman Shahid who hails from Pakistan is a very distinguished person and John Abraham and Arshad Warsi on the other hand are typical Indian men, blessed with sense and sensibility.”
Having made her debut in Bollywood, Linda can’t stop raving about the beauty of the land and its people. “I am in love with India and Indians. And this film gave me an opportunity to understand things better.”
Besides Kabul Ex press, Linda has done two Tamil films and a Hindi film called Twinkle Twinkle Little Stars. “I am based in Chennai but will soon move to Mumbai.” And what about her native country? “I have an agent in New York to take care of my projects there but I am quite keen to work in Bollywood.” Is Subhash Ghai listening?