Mumbai born Ayesha Dharker made her screen debut in 1989 in the French/Swiss production Manika: Une vie plus tarde (Manika: The Girl Who Lived Twice), directed by François Villier). From this she went on to perform in Roland Joffe's City of Joy (1992), which co-starred veterans like Om Puri and Shabana Azmi.
In 1998 Dharkar starred in The Terrorist (directed by Santosh Sivan). In the film it was her role as a young female suicide bomber which caught the attention of western film industry.
Soon enough Ismail Merchant cast her in The Mystic Masseur (2001). She then starred alongside Sanjeev Bhaskar in Anita and Me and then in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones in 2002.
Her most well-known and appreciated performance to date has been Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Bombay Dreams, which opened at the Apollo Theatre in London.
Did you know?
John Malkovich was so taken in by the film The Terrorist (film which made Ayesha an international name) that he decided to become its patron. The movie was then shown in the US as John Malkovich presents Santosh Sivan's The Terrorist.
The other side
She says: "I have always been very individualistic when it comes to my work-choices and I guess now it's paying off."
Of her diet she says: "I eat everything. Since I am not a good dieter, I exercise. You can't starve yourself and become anorexic. So the simple solution is: eat well and exercise well."
Ayesha on films: "I have never desired to be part of mainstream cinema…so in the genre that I do fall into, I've een pretty lucky so far."