Confessions of a diva

SHOW STOPPER Outspoken Sherlyn Chopra gets talking about things her counterparts generally wouldn’t — sexuality, liposuction and the casting couch. PREETI RAGHUNATH

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“Bollywood is my battle-field; I’m the soldier.” Hers is a story of metamorphosis — of a chubby girl into a damsel who steals hearts. Sherlyn Chopra was down in Hyderabad, at ITC Dublin, as a part of the seven-city tour to promote her video album “Dard-e-Sherlyn”. NXg caught up with this outspoken and bold babe who believes and trusts none save only herself!

“Coming back to Hyderabad evokes nostalgia in me. Memories of school, college and Church and the warmth and affection of the Hyderabadis keeps me wanting to come back,” Sherlyn gushes. She studied in Stanley Girls High School and St. Ann’s College for Women, Mehdipatnam. It was during college that she won the Miss Andhra contest.

The journey begins

Sherlyn was a book-worm all through school and was “perceived as a rather boring person”. “I felt I had had enough of the bookish knowledge. I wanted to make it big in the glam world,” she says. She was snubbed and ridiculed for choosing this profession. “I was fat then and did not possess the personality that an actress requires,” she says. This is a thing of the past now, as Sherlyn marched ahead in pursuit of her dream. “When I’m not working, I dream. And then I work towards realising these dreams,” she gushes.

On family and friends

Sherlyn attributes all her success to God and her perseverance. “My mother was never supportive of my decision to enter the industry. She hails from an orthodox family and I understand what she thinks. However, it is about time she understands that the world is such that I need to battle it out to stand on my own feet and make my presence felt,” she relates. In fact, her friends in school and college do not identify with her anymore, because she has evolved immensely in terms of her appearance. What, then, is her back up and who is her punch bag we ask and pat comes the reply, “God. I surrender to Him and talk to Him after my day’s work. It is sad that people here mix up sexuality and morality. Just because a girl wears skimpy outfits, it does not mean she is not good at heart.” Half-Muslim and half-Christian, Sherlyn is very religious and reads the “Word of the Lord” every day.

Beauty and fitness mantra

In today’s glamour world, where actresses only talk about special work-outs and yoga classes and non-toxic diets, Sherlyn is utterly forthcoming, as she says frankly that she visits the doctor regularly to maintain her figure. The once-60 kg Sherlyn is now almost lesser than size 0, as she puts it! She has no qualms accepting that she went in for liposuction. Her diet is again devoid of non-fatty and oily food and she “takes very good care of herself.” Her favourite designer is Manish Malhotra, she says.Sherlyn is all excited and jubilant over the fact that she managed to impress none other than Yash Chopra and has bagged a role in a Yash Raj Production. Besides this, a couple of videos boasting of some big names of Bollywood are in the pipeline. “My dream role would be that of Julia Roberts in Erin Brockovich — a sexy lawyer who sues a big business house.”

Learning the way

Talking about the girls who are mesmerized by the glitz and glamour of cinema and end up getting lured by the wrong people, Sherlyn says, “If you hear a voice from your heart that eggs you on to follow your dream, just go and get it. But be careful about the predators that are on the prowl. If you are real good, only then should you get into this industry because there is absolutely no place for people who are below average.” The casting couch is one aspect of the industry that is a deterrent to a number of talented individuals. Sherlyn, talking about her experience thus far says, “Initially I was very naïve. I did not know what producers and directors meant when they asked me what was for dinner. I would innocently say dinner is whatever the cook has made!”After spending a few years in the industry, she surely knows how to handle such sleazy characters. “I can proudly say that the films I have signed now are solely by merit of talent and competency.” She signs off, saying she would be ready to enter Tollywood, “when the film makers here are ready to rise to the level of my sex appeal!”That’s Sherlyn Chopra for you…

Preethi is a III Year student of Mass Comm and Journalism at St. Francis Degree College for Women, Hyderabad.

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