Ente Malayalam nallathanu. Eniku Malayalam samsarikkan ariyam!” says Bollywood actress Gizele Thakral, currently in Alleppey, Kerala, visiting her mom’s house. She has a clear Malayalam accent, which is causing some surprise! Sensing this, she clears the air. “My mother Poonam Thakral is originally from Alappuzha; her given name was Ponnamma. I love the greenery, rich culture, and delicious food of Kerala,” says Gizele who was born in Rajasthan and brought up abroad. Right now, she lives in Mumbai.
“My father was a Punjabi. I lost him at a very young age,” she says. Gizele started modelling when she was just 13. She was crowned Miss Rajasthan while studying in Class IX, started walked the ramp for international shows, and later arrived in Bollywood. “In Bollywood, it is easy for a model to get an entry,” she says.
She debuted with the adult comedy Mastizaade. “One day in Mumbai, I got a call from the Mastizaade director on Facebook asking whether I would like to star in a movie. Realising that he is reputed director, I gave it a shot. He later suggested my name for Kya Kool Hain Hum 3. I am neither a big star nor have a filmy background to boast of, so I cannot be choosy. The reputation of the production company matters a lot. I wouldn’t have accepted any other banner,” says Gizele, whose modelling background and comfort with cameras helped her as an actor.
Gizele follows Mollywood closely. “I learnt Malayalam by watching movies — my mother always watches them. She is a fan of Mammootty sir, but Mohanlalji is my favourite. Of the younger actors, I really like Prithviraj,” adds Gizele, who is looking forward to sharing the screen with Mohanlal and Prithviraj.
She laments the demise of Kalpana and Kalabhavan Mani — “Kalpanaji was one of my favourite actors. I was shocked to hear about her and Maniji’s demise. It is sad to know that such talents are departing.” Gizele’s next B’wood project, a thriller, will start rolling soon. Meanwhile, she is also doing a web series Badmam, in which she plays ‘Gizele Thakral, the hot sensation’. “It is a Viacom project and will see many veteran actors like Rishi Kapoor, Jackie Shroff, and Farah Khan in cameo roles. I also have one from Telugu. But, Malayalam is my priority,” she concludes.