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Rising starlet Kristina Akheeva talks about her Bollywood debut

She only went to India in 2010 and has since snapped up some A-list modeling projects, worked with Shah Rukh Khan and has now bagged a leading role in the Deols’ upcoming film Yamla Pagla Deewana 2.


Pukaar News caught up with the former model on the film set in Leicester. Speaking about her role, Kristina said: “I am very excited. I have always wanted to act ever since I was a little kid so it’s not completely a surprise as it’s something I’ve always been working towards.”


Born in Russia, Kristina moved to Australia at the age of seven and started modeling around five years ago. She has travelled across the world and was only introduced to Bollywood when she landed in India.


“I wasn’t sure if Bollywood was for me because it was very different to what I was used to. But in the span of one year I started to fall in love with it – especially the colours and the music,” she said.


She admits to watching films like Taal, Omkara and Om Shanti Om and is a real fan of Aishwarya Rai.  Kristina said: “I think she’s absolutely stunning and is the total package. I’ve seen a lot of her films.”


While her parents always pushed her to follow in the footsteps of other foreign beauties like Amy Jackson and Katrina Kaif, Kristina wasn’t entirely sure it was for her. But despite leaving India and heading to Thailand, work was still flooding in for her from the country.


She added: “While in Thailand I kept on booking work in India – it was always calling me back. In India they really appreciated my look and a lot of times I would get told you should get into Bollywood so I started to think about it. I decided to come back and give it another shot. I got asked to audition for the role and they liked me.”


In Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 she is playing the role of Reet and is paired opposite Sunny Deol. Her character is an intelligent, well-read girl with a good education and job. When asked if she identified with the character, Kristina said: “I’m actually happy that I’m playing this role because she is quite similar to me. Like her, I know what I want and have quite a strong personality – so we are similar in that respect.”


The actress admits that she faces a new challenge every day as the whole environment is new to her, however one of her biggest challenges is to learn Hindi. “I don’t speak Hindi very well yet but I’m learning and I do know the basics and obviously I’ve read the script. By the end of the film I’m hoping I’ll be a lot better,” she said.


With three generations of the Deol family on set (the third being Sunny Deol’s son Karan who is working as an assistant director), Kristina has a lot of support. She said: “These guys have been in the industry for a very long time and they have a lot to teach me as I’m just starting out. I’m happy that I’m working with people who can guide me and who I can learn a few things from.”


Although the crew have been busy filming during the majority of their stay in Leicester, Kristina said she is looking forward to exploring the city when she gets some spare time.

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