Brazilian beauty catches SRK’s eye
"Actually, Shah Rukh had seen her work in Love Aaj Kal and was very impressed. So when I was struggling with the casting of a character called Aishwarya, he asked me to check her out," says Abbas. Immediately, the debutant director put the Brazilian actor through a couple of elaborate auditions.
Later, Abbas sent Monteiro’s audition video to SRK as he did for all other auditioned actors. "And Shah Rukh was equally impressed. He told me, ‘whatever qualities you are looking for in your character Giselli fits the bill perfectly.’ So obviously, she was on board," smiles Abbas. Monteiro plays a "pretty girl who every school boy loves."
In fact, Abbas is ecstatic with the female actor’s "sheer professionalism". "Once, she had to wait for a few hours to shoot her audition video but she didn’t complain," he says, adding she is a "chilled-out girl who mixes easily with others."
“And right from the start, Giselli honestly clarified that since she was still learning Hindi, she wouldn’t be very good at it,” says Abbas. Later, the makers hired a National School of Drama expert, Vibha, to brush up Monteiro’s Hindi. “We have to do it because in Love Aaj Kal, she was silent for most of her role. And we are very clear that we don’t want to get her lines dubbed. She is working hard right now,” says Abbas.
Who’s that girl?
*Giselli Monteiro was born in Espirito Santo, Brazil.
*Came to Mumbai in 2008.
*Had approached Imtiaz Ali through designer Anaita Shroff Adajania.
*Met Ali to audition for the role of Jo, Saif Ali Khan’s Caucasian girlfriend.
*On Ali’s wife’s suggestion, she was signed up as Harleen as Ali found it tough to find a girl for the part.
*She is also the brand ambassador of Wills Lifestyle, Movil Mobiles and PC Jewellers.
*She is also taking Hindi language and dance classes