Model-turned-actor Nutan Rai says that, “She hopes that people change their views about modelling”. The actor, who did a cameo role of Shanella, Singaporean indian girl friend of the main lead’s son in ‘Saath Nibhana Saathiya’ says that people often felt that modelling promotes anorexia and size zero, however this is not true. “I think many people have the wrong idea about modelling these days. I personally believe that modelling tries to promote healthy living. But people misunderstand and and become anorexic. The people I have worked with ask for toned and fit models. If you want to be a model and keep fit, it’s important go to a trained person or visit a gym or fitness place and get the right coaches to guide you. They will aid you with a proper diet and workout regime. Don’t start to starve yourself to get a good body, that is totally wrong,” she says.
Talking about how she got into modelling, she says it wasn’t planned. “I was replacing a model during a show as she couldn’t make it due to some reason. My friend called me up and told me to go and just smile and follow the instructions of the crew and leave. That’s exactly what I did, but after the show got over I was approached by a few people who asked me if we could do a shoot and if I would walk for runway shows. I wanted to give it a try. From then on I started getting more and more offers,” she says.
Modelling has its ups and downs, says Nutan. “Pros would be that modelling really helps in teaching you how to carry yourself and look better. You get good money for sure and also get a chance to work with and meet established people in the industry. Cons for me are those 6 inches heels. They look good but are so tiring to walk and run in. In the modelling industry or in fact any industry, there are quite a number of funny people you might meet, so models need to be very careful and do their research about them and their work,” she says.
People often feels that models are shabby actors. However Nutan disagrees with this. “Unfortunately, I disagree. Given a chance there are quite a number of models who can act and there are quite a number of models who have turned actresses. One of the biggest examples is Deepika Padukone. She is a magnificent actress and swept every one off their feet with her commendable acting in Om Shanti Om, Piku and Baajirao Mastani. Anushka Sharma, also a model, has done so many amazing films,” she says.
Nutan says that acting was always part of her plan too. “Since the time when I was young, I always wanted to be an actress and wished to act with great actors like SRK, Salman Khan and of course my favourite Amir Khan. That is why I planned to start off as a model and then try to act in films. I would definitely want to be part of an epic love story like DDLJ,” she says.
She has a few heroines in Bollywood, who she derives inspiration from. “Kajol and Deepika Padukone are my role models, I fell in love with Kajol in DDLJ. She is so natural when it comes to acting. She has done various roles, even as an antagonist in Gupt. Deepika is my next role model for the same reason. She does an amazing job in every role that is presented to her, be it in Piku, Baajirao Mastaani or Chennai Express. She is phenomenal. And Amir Khan, of course, because his one movie can move the entire nation or even the world. Everyone is just waiting for his next film, one after another,” she says.
The actor, who is from Singapore, says she took time to get used to Mumbai. “As I come from Singapore, which is known to be one of the cleanest countries, I needed some time to adjust here. However, if these issues are settled Mumbai will beat any country anytime,” she says.
Talking about her family, she says, “My dad, Ramesh Rai, is a Singapore citizen but he was brought up in India, as for my mom, Pushpawati Rai, she was born and brought up in India as well. They shifted to Singapore after they got married. My dad opened up a transport business in Singapore. I have two brothers Ravi and Sushant and one sister Anupam. My older brother is helping my dad with the transport business here in Singapore. My sister is getting married this August and my younger brother is still completing his studies.”
Besides family, Nutan has some other friends in the city as well. “My cousin Utkarsh and his friend Simar, were with me the whole time trying to take me around the beautiful city, when I had come to Mumbai. I also made some great friends like Vishal Seth, Abhishek, Rahul Shetty, Gaurav, Khushbu and Ekta,” she says