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One thing that sets apart- Sixteen, a movie about lost innocence and teenage heartache, from the other similar attempts, is the fact that the star-cast actually looks like teenagers!
But for me, one character that stood out from rest of the others was that of Nidhi, which was played by Delhi based model/actor Mehak Manwani. With a charming smile and eyes deep enough to keep you looking at them with intensity, you might be forgiven for a moment for forgetting the point that she is just sixteen years old.
That’s right! Just sixteen!
I got a chance to talk to this new young bubble of the silver screen. Here are the excerpts…
Starting Of The Journey
From the very beginning I was like this poser who would stand in front of the mirror and admire myself. Being a huge Kareen Kapoor fan and in absolute love with the ‘Poo’ effect, I guess I was born to do this. My father noticed this and coupled with advices from his photographer friends, while he was working with TOI events, he decided to get my folio done. In literally no time after that, I was shooting for Panasonic, which also happens to be my first-ever shoot in modeling.
On Being Part Of Sixteen
I actually had gone for an audition that was not for Sixteen, but for some other movie. However, when I gave my audition the director and the team thought that I would best suit in Sixteen because of my age (she was a little over 15 than), and that’s how the ball started rolling.
Getting connected to the movie and layering into the character- Nidhi, was pretty easy because of my age. I could relate to the story and the apprehensions that teenagers have in their life in regards to certain things, be it physical or mental, as I have seen my friends going through similar situations in life. Sixteen is all about one thing; Being Sixteen- that’s it!
Difficulty In Managing Studies And Shoot
It wasn’t actually! The shooting for Sixteen happened during my winter vacations, so it was all easy to manage. Plus, I have never compromised on my education for modeling. My father have been very supportive from the very first day and have stood by the fact that good education has no replacement in life. Even I believe that and am concentrating hard to make sure that I do well on the education front.
I do follow certain magazines nd websites to keep myself updated with the latest trends in the market. I am studying fashion in my school and if not an actor or a model, I have plans to make my name in the industry as a designer or stylist. Let’s be honest, acting is something that might work and might not, but you have knowledge about things that can complement it well, it is an add-on, right?
Not at all! I am sure, I can carry all sorts of clothes, be it from a luxury store or from the flea markets of Lajpat Nagar. One needs to understand their body and have confidence in what they wear, rest all just falls in place automatically.
Good Model vs Bad Model
I have been protected by my family till date, so I haven’t seen the bad part of the industry yet. However, I guess what differentiates a good model from a bad model is ethics and how you stick on to them. Whatever meaty might be the project, but till the time you don’t compromise on your ethical values, I am sure you do fall into the category of a good model.
If Casted Again Shah Rukh Khan
That would be like dream come true! I mean, he is so charming and an amazingly witty person, sharing the same screen with him would be some experience.
Though I don’t think about it with great depth, but I do know that acting and modeling is a career that might work and might not work. That is precisely why I am concentrating on my education also, and if not an actor, I am sure I would do well as a stylist or a designer!
I would also be taking up new movie projects soon, but only when they don’t collide with my study schedule.
– Sandeep Verma