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Interview With Supermodel Jesse Randhawa

Tell me how did your journey begin in modeling?

Jesse RandhawaTook part in Miss India in 1994 and then from there modeling took off. Actually the desire to be a model is what made me join the Miss India contest in the first place.

The fact that you have been ruling the modeling industry for the last decade, what do you feel about your decision to become a model (smiles)?

Yes (smile) it’s been fun.

Tell us about the changes that you have seen in the modeling industry from when you started to now, also about the fashion designers that you have worked with?

When I first started, there were not too many shows, not too much of work for us. Now this business is flourishing. Earlier there were not as many models as there are now, this has increased competition, which is good because it pushes everyone up, as we reach the international levels in modeling. Basically the top designers, for the last decade, have been pretty much the same. The new crop is good too, but I don’t see them exceeding the high standards set by Rohit Bal, JJ Valaya and Shahab Durazi. In the current crop I like designers like Manish Arora, who has been very distinct in his style, like Wendell Rodricks, who has his own style, again very distinct. So yes, there have been the new crop that has come out in full force, but as far as the basic structure of Indian design, which has been set forth by Rohit, JJ and Shahab, those have still to be exceeded.
The other thing with the designers is that now they have come to accept my short hair. When I first started there was nobody else who had short hair, so the designers were unaccustomed to that, but now there is an acceptance among the designers. They had this concept of the typical Indian woman, with long hair, light eyes, fair complexioned. Dark skinned or tanned models were not that acceptable, back when I started, but now things have gradually changed. This included my own acceptance as a popular model, now as I see it, everybody wants to work with me.

From Jasmeet Kaur Randhawa to Jesse….?

I’m still Jasmeet Kaur Randhawa (smiles) and still request people to call me by my full name, but from the beginning people have been shortening my name, so I guess I’m ok with that.

Many models from your time have switched to television or films, what about you?

Because of my body structure, that is my height (5 ft 11 inches) and my short hair, the practical truth is that I might not fit into the film and television world of India…

So you think you would not fit into the mould of conventional roles?

That’s right, and they don’t as of now, make too many unconventional roles…..

But you have done a couple of films?

Jesse RandhawaYes, but those directors have been bold in every aspect. There are others who, even if they want to cast me, are at a loss on what types of roles to write for me. Some suggested that I wear a wig, with longer hair, but I absolutely am against doing that. This does not have as much as trying to hold on to my identity, but more because I don’t believe in doing roles, merely to fulfill the conventional mindset, of which a lot of the female character roles are written. I did do a film called CHOT, by Nabhkumar Raju. I was kind of surprised that he approached me for the role, of basically enacting journalist Barkha Dutt. But he believed that my look was just what he wanted for the role. His confidence in me, convinced me to do the movie. Second one was GULAAL and Anurag Kashyap approached me for the role, I told him I don’t want to do movies. He asked me to just come and read the script once and then if you don’t want to do the movie that is fine. This was even before CHOT, Anurag had approached me first. When I heard the narration, I thought this role was very interesting and not the usual running around trees, which would not suit my personality, so I decided to do it. Actually, that was a similar criteria for my role selection in CHOT. Then I have done some songs here and there. I did a song in NO SMOKING, which again required a different kind of look.
I play a college lecturer in GULAAL, which is all about Rajasthan college politics. It is going to be my next release, about time it came out, has been in the works for too long now. I enjoyed essaying that role and wish for similar kind of roles from our filmmakers.

Interviewer: So anyone looking for a tall girl, with short hair and having stunning, beautiful and expressive eyes, should call up Jesse Randhawa at ……..

Unlike a lot of your contemporaries, you have chosen dancing as your calling and that too Ballroom Dancing. How and why?

Jesse RandhawaI never knew dancing would come my way so easily. I have been modeling for a while and suddenly wanted to do something different in my life. The chance came when Sandeep Soparkar approached me for a film, because Pooja Bhatt wanted me for a film called Holiday, but that did not fit in well since my height was again an issue. I was to be cast opposite Dino. So I was not given the role, Kashmira Shah eventually did it, but then Sandeep approached me for a show after that and I rehearsed and the show was paying me well, so I thought why not. But during the dance sessions, I realized that this is a lot of fun and this was within me. Till then I was only dancing for rave parties and I had not really thought that I could dance, but I had a rhythm in my body and I could really dance. Then I enrolled in Sandeep’s classes and gradually he gave me more shows and I was enjoying it more and that is how it came to be. I discovered myself as a dancer. Also I had not seen too much of Ballroom dancing in India. This dance form is more Latin American and Western. It was something different for me. Not something you see in Bollywood or on Indian Television. I like Rumba, Salsa, and Viennese Waltz.

What does the future hold?

I think I need to discover my inner self a little more, to think about where I intend to spend my time in the future

Tell us something about Jesse Randhawa that the world does not know? What else is there to the persona, other than the ramp, the glamour and the dance?

I see myself as a little too honest in today’s world and am a simple human being. Oh and my voice does not go with my personality (smiles). I am given to understand that the words snooty, snobbish and reserved are often associated with me, but for the people who really know me, I often times hear positive comments like, "we never expected you to be how you really are, as opposed to the persona that is perceived."



2 Responses to “Interview With Supermodel Jesse Randhawa”

  1. 2
    sherry Says:

    wow! jessy is a rockstar!
    what a simple person!
    thanx for the lovely interview

  2. 1
    sherry Says:

    wow she dances!!!
    wow she walks well!!!
    hope she knows…she is lucky!!
    i very much enjoyed reading about her.

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