Bangalore: All eyes will be on the much sought-after 5 ft 9 inch leggy lass, who is joining the bevy of Mangalorean beauties in Bollywood. As model-turned-actor, Pooja Hegde, gets set to act opposite Hrithik Roshan in the upcoming Hindi film Mohenjo Daro, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, we speak to her in a free-wheeling interview. Pooja talks about her journey from modelling to acting down South and landing up in tinsel town.
We immediately plunge to the question of her Bengaluru connect, as she was trained for a national beauty pageant under the city’s fashion guru, Prasad Bidapa. She nods, saying, “Bengaluru is home for me. Being from Udupi, Karnataka, I have many relatives in Bengaluru. I used to come down for Bangalore Fashion Week. It was a lot of fun and I had made so many good friends. Recently, one of my friends kept referring to a Narendra Modi show and we were all extremely confused what we’re really going to do, until we all realised he was talking about Narendra Kumar’s show.
We all just cracked up and we never let that friend forget that moment and even today, we have a good laugh, when we talk about it.”
Pooja has acted in a Tamil film Mugamoodi and a Tollywood film Oka Laila Kosam with Naga Chaitanya and will also be acting in a Telugu film with Varun Tej. The fresh face that oozes charm, promises to take on the Bollywood bandwagon with gusto. Ask her how she got her dream role in Ashutosh’s film and she answers, “Sunita Gowariker, Ashutosh’s wife spotted me in an advertisement and called me for an audition and I got selected. I’m extremely excited and honoured to be a part of the movie. To be able to do a debut film with such a visionary director and such a huge star like Hrithik is a dream come true for me. I’ve worked with some really good directors in Telugu and I hope that all the effort we’ve put in bears fruit, and the audience loves the films. I will continue to do South-Indian films and also films that are challenging for an artiste.”
Talking about how she entered the glam industry, she spills the beans, saying, “I got into the industry after Miss India, but I actively started modelling in 2010. I never even dreamed that a simple girl like me could act, let alone become an actress. Slowly as I started giving acting a shot, I realised how much I enjoyed it and how happy it makes me. Besides acting, I love reading books, dancing, singing and following a few sports. My favourite sport is tennis,” she says, adding that she’s also a globetrotter. “I love travelling and I see a new place every year. Luckily, my job helps me do that very easily. In my spare time, I also spend time watching English TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, House MD and a few others,” she says.
Pooja, who was recently spotted in a commercial with actor Ranbir Kapoor, is also a big fan of Bengaluru boy Rahul Dravid. Revealing her idols, she says, “I love Madhuri Dixit, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Leonardo Di Caprio and Sandra Bullock.”