I did most of the stunts myself
Model-turned-actress Nargis Fakhri made her Bollywood debut in 2011, starring alongside Ranbir Kapoor as his love interest in the movie Rockstar.
Now, the 33-year-old Pakistani-American plays an international reporter in the spy thriller Madras Cafe, which also stars award-winning actor John Abraham and opens in India this month.
Fakhri speaks about her experience while shooting for the film, which is set against the backdrop of the Sri Lankan civil war.
As your second film, what does Madras Cafe mean to you in terms of your career plans?
I was originally a fashion model from America. One day, to my surprise, I was offered a role in Rockstar and I went to India on a work visa.
I wanted to be a farmer, but life had other plans for me. Life was calling me for films and here is yet another offer, Madras Cafe.
What is it like to play a journalist?
The role is a really intense one. I worked very hard for it and tried to (absorb) myself (into it) as much as I could.
What would have been your alternate career choices?
I have always had a soft spot for others' needs. This made me think that I wanted to be a doctor or a psychologist. I would have been very happy with my decision.
How was the experience while shooting for Madras Cafe?
It wasn't that easy.
There was one particular scene where I was sitting in a car. The other actors were firing guns and some pieces of glass hit me in the face, though my eyes were safe. That was indeed quite dangerous.
This is the first time you have worked with Abraham. What do you think of him?
John is a very hard-working actor. I could see that while shooting for the film.
I was quite impressed with his work. He is also a very good human being.
What is your message to the audience?
I want the audience to not miss this movie, as we want to convey a strong message about the dangers of the war.
What do you have to say about acclaimed journalist Anita Pratap, who is the inspiration for your character?
Learning about her made me more connected to my role. I believe I have done justice to her by putting in as much as I could.
Are you comfortable doing stunts in a movie?
Most of my stunts in Madras Cafe are performed by me. I am happy and, at the same time, proud to perform such difficult stunts.