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5 years of Cocktail: Diana Penty says Imtiaz Ali recommended her for Meera’s role

Her career as a top fashion model notwithstanding, Diana Penty initially wasn’t confident about pulling off her Bollywood debut as Meera, a shy and traditional character in Homi Adajania’s urban drama Cocktail.

bollywood Updated: Jul 20, 2017 18:06 IST
Diana Penty,Cocktail,Deepika Padukone
Diana Penty was a top fashion model but very new to acting when she made her Bollywood debut with director Homi Adajania’s Cocktail (2012).

Diana Penty became an overnight star after she played Meera, a shy, demure and traditional girl, in Homi Adajania’s Cocktail (2012). It was an acclaimed debut performance by an actor who was already a top fashion model.

As the film completes five years today, Diana goes down memory lane and says that she wasn’t sure whether she’d be able to pull off Meera’s character. “It was my first film and with no background in acting, I wasn’t sure if I could play the part. But Homi and Dinesh (Vijan, producer) were confident and believed in me. Thanks to their training, I could make Meera look convincing. The character still remains close to my heart, as I’m a lot like her in real life,” says Diana.

Interestingly, it wasn’t Cocktail with which Diana was supposed to make her Bollywood debut. That film would have been Imtiaz Ali’s Rockstar (2011). That didn’t work out as she didn’t fit the part. “But Imtiaz kept me in mind. And when Dinesh and Homi were casting for Meera’s role, Imtiaz recommended my name,” she adds.

Saif Ali Khan, Diana Penty and Deepika Padukone in a still from the film Cocktail.

Diana remembers how nervous she was while working on the film. “Coming from a modelling background and then doing a film with Saif and Deepika, and that, too, in my debut venture… I was literally nervous. But on the sets, neither of them, nor others, made me feel like a newcomer. The way in the film Gautam (Saif), Veronica (Deepika), and Meera become friends, we came close to each other in real life,” shares Diana.

One of her favourite songs from the film is Tumhi Ho Bandhu, for which she danced. Diana says, “I have several defining moments of my life from Cocktail. I learned acting, worked with some of the best in the industry in my debut [film] etc. Cocktail completely changed my life; suddenly everyone knew about me.”

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First Published: Jul 13, 2017 11:33 IST