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Meet Amitabh's 19-year-old heroine

July 25, 2006
Jiah Khan is a 19-year-old English literature graduate and a trained Western dancer.

But what really sets her apart is that she stars opposite Amitabh Bachchan in Nishabd, Ram Gopal Varma's interpretation of Russian writer Vladimir Nabokov's controversial novel Lolita.

In conversation with Patcy N, Jiah talks candidly -- about her life, her first brush with the camera in a swimsuit, why she finds Saif Ali Khan sexy and just what it is like to share the screen with the Big B.

This is Jiah's story, in her own words:

Early years

"I was born in New York but when I was two years old we shifted to London. My parents were divorced when I was a little child. I never asked my mom anything about my dad because I felt it might hurt her. My mother Rabia Amin has acted in about five movies like Meri Jung and Locket. Now she is a producer and a writer.

I always loved India. I have been coming to India for holidays since I was three years old. I think I am still very Indian, though I live in London. I watch a lot of Hindi movies.

I have two sisters. They are more into Hollywood movies. My mom divides her time between us -- they are studying in London and I am working in India.

I chose acting because films take people away from their own life and problems and give them happiness in a fantasy world. Acting doesn't take problems away, but what you can't do in real life you can do it on celluloid. That's what fascinates me. I like watching movies, irrespective of genre.

After graduation, I joined a one-year acting course. When I went to New York for the course, it was the first time I stayed alone. It was a learning experience for me. In London, you are exposed to all types of things at a very small age -- be it drugs, sex or alcohol. If you don't have a firm head on your shoulders you will ruin your life.

I never went through any of these things; I had my Indian mother to guard me.

London is good for partying, going crazy and no one knowing about it; New York is good for taking you back to reality; India is good for working and being a good girl.

Also Read: A peek at Nishabd, in pictures


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