To call Bollywood a melting pot of talent would be an understatement. Over the years, the film industry has attracted aspiring actors and technicians from far-flung countries and turned them into heartthrobs for millions of Indians.
Katrina Kaif, Amy Jackson and Fawad Khan are a few such actors who have made quite a name for themselves.
And the latest celebrity who got seduced by everything that Bollywood has to offer is Carla Dennis, a popular model from South Africa, who's all set to make her Hindi film debut with Abbas-Mustan's upcoming film 'Machine'.
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Born and brought up in South Africa, Carla, whom GQ once called the sexiest export since Charlize Theron, first came to limelight when she was went to watch an IPL match in South Africa back in 2009, where she was scouted to be Miss Kolkata Knight Riders. And there has been no looking back ever since for her.
"Back then, I was a student at The University of Pretoria, where I studied BSc Computer Science and LLB Law. After I was spotted at one of the IPL matches and scouted to be Miss Kolkata Knight Riders, I was approached by numerous modelling agencies in India to come over and work here. I took the plunge and followed my long-lost dream to be a fashion model," Carla recalled.
She fell in love with Mumbai, although the first few days were anything but a breeze. "At first, I experienced a bit of a culture shock to be honest. I was alone in a new country with a completely different culture, but after a week of adjusting I totally fell in love with Mumbai and its amazing energy," she said. Eventually, she got plenty of TV commercials and other print shoots for big brands and she shot to fame after she became the brand ambassador of Whirlpool.
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Five years later after she moved to India, Carla realised that she was quite passionate about acting and thus began her journey into Bollywood which finally came true when Abbas Mustan signed her up for their upcoming action film 'Machine'. "I loved modelling and I wanted to reach a good point in my career before I commenced acting. I firmly believe that if we do anything in life we should do it to the best of our ability. I had been offered a number of films before, but I never felt comfortable with the characters offered to me or the scripts. When 'Machine' came along, I knew this was it," she said.
The actress plays Serena Alter in the action drama, which stars Mustafa and Kiara Advani in lead roles. Carla is all praise for Abbas-Mustan and says that she has been a huge admirer of their work even before she began working with them.
"I have been a fan of the director duo for many years and loved all of their films. I was surprised at how warm and compassionate they are to work with. They have an infectious positive aura which radiates towards everyone on set," she said, adding: "I'm playing the second lead in the film, but I will never forget how well I was treated on the set.
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The best moment of the whole experience of shooting for 'Machine' was when Abbas and Mustan told me they were both proud and impressed by my performance. I'll never forget their compliment."
Although she didn't quite get to do the gravity-defying action sequences in the film, Carla confessed that she's an adrenaline junkie in real life. "I love skydiving and shark cage diving," she said.
And she's a big time foodie too and that turned out to be an excuse to bond with her 'Machine' co-star Mustafa while shooting for the film. "Mustafa is a top notch guy and I got along with him instantly. He's funny and easy-going which made the shoot a breeze. We are both foodies so we bonded on the amazing cuisine Georgia had to offer."
Ask her if she has a wish-list of the actors and directors that she wanted to collaborate with, pat came the reply: "The list is pretty long to be honest," she laughed, adding: "I would love to work with Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Tarun Mansukhani, Karan Johar, Farah Khan, SS Rajamouli, Shah Rukh Khan, Aamir Khan and Rajinikanth!"