Interview with Kelly Dorji

Posted by Vivek under Industry Interviews

A little about how your journey started in the world of modelling and perhaps also onto films and television?

Modelling started for me when i started getting many requests while in college at St Xaviers in mumbai.So i began by posing for the cover of apopular weekly at the college festival, then i began walking the ramp for lubna adams, and when i met then photographer boman irani, who is a well celebrated actor today, he convinced me to start posing for the camera… television started when i returned from my two year stint in the Uk . in 1999 star tv was looking for a couple to host a show for them…so Lisa Ray and i teamed up to present Starbiz, the only programme in english to be regionally produced at the time.
Around that time i met a genius ad film maker called shamin desai he invited me to make an independent film with him- essentially about me andthe turmoil of a character slowly decaying! depressing but the most liberating experience of my life. my stint with bollywood began three years later, when bobby deol nominated me for the role of villain in tango charlie.

You have dabbled in all three worlds, films, television and modelling? What are the pros and cons of each, which is that you’ve enjoyed most?

As much as i enjoyed modelling, one must move on to other expressions. i would not be averse to earning from endorsements but i really am so settled in my role as actor… as lead antagonist! television come close, and all in all, i enjoy being in front of the camera.

Being South Asian in Hollywood is a distinct disadvantage, cause South Asians don’t look like the majority of the US population and this affects their chances of being cast in lead roles (although that is gradually changing). Has being Bhutanese and not looking like the average
Indian (whatever that means) ever come in your way, while modelling or in television or films? If so, how have you managed to overcome those odds?

Yes, i was at a serious disadvantage when i first started…. so i chose a liberal avenue to excel in ( fashion), and after having made a name for myself there, i was better received in the commercial world of media. it certainly took me three times the amount of time anyone else took.

Talk to us about some upcoming projects, in films, in television, in theater and in fashion?

I am also filming i telugu. two films coming november and jan.With television i am trying to get a project together with my friend Bill Cusack in L A…… where i will host a tv show about Bhutan and the east for the American market. Fashion is a distant past suddenly…all i have is style now!

The one advantage that you do have over the average Indian actor, is that you can easily pass of in western films and television. How open would you be to taking on non Indian, films and television?

Very open! being so picky in a narrow market has really seen me doing so little…so my agent is so frustrated with me!!!!!! she has stuck by me for years.

What has been your experience in non - Indian fashion shows,as a South Asian model? Are there adequate opportunities?

Yes internationally its better…but one needs a lot of other factors to come together.

What do you aspire to be doing 3 to 5 years from now? What other areas of the creative and fashion world, excite you?

Frankly, i would like to be more international- i really am trying a path out into Hollywood and the far east, as an actor.

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