She has been crowned Miss Liverpool, Miss Teen World, Miss Teen Great Britain and Miss England (runner-up).
Amy Jackson made her entry into the South Indian cinema with the movie Madharasapattinam and debuted in Bollywood with Ekk Deewana Tha, opposite Prateik Babbar. Jackson, who is now working on her next movie Thandavam opposite Tamil superstar Vikram, speaks to Kanika Tandon about how fate brought her to India
What do you think is your unique selling point?
What works in my favour is that I don’t take myself too seriously. Everything up until now has happened so amazingly and I haven’t had to worry about anything; it has all just fallen into place. I think that if I continue with a relaxed but focused attitude I will hopefully make my mark here in India.
Modelling, or acting — what do you prefer?
I had no idea I wanted to act until the opportunity from South Indian director A. L. Vijay came along in 2009. Now that I’ve completed two movies, there is nothing that comes close to seeing the finished product on the silver screen. So definitely my acting career beats modelling.
Why did you choose to work in the Indian film industry?
It chose me. I had no acting experience and no idea about the Indian film industry. India always fascinated me but I’d never visited it in my life, until I started shooting for Madharsapattinam. It is literally fate that I’m here!
How did Ekk Deewana Tha happen?
After the release of Madharsapattinam in 2010, A. L. Vijay, the director, took me to meet Gautham Menon. I was very nervous because Gautham is huge in South India and I wasn’t sure why he wanted to meet me. It turned out that he had a Tamil movie project in mind and thought I’d suit the role, but a week later he wanted me to fly to Chennai for a look test for his Hindi project. Needless to say I went and after the shoot he said to me, “How do you feel about becoming a Bollywood heroine then?” I was ecstatic! I had no idea I wanted to break into Bollywood, until it actually happened.
How different are the Tamil and Hindi film industry to work in?
If I’m completely honest I can’t say that there was too much difference. For both movies, I’ve had a South Indian director (Vijay and Gautham) so there was no change there. In both movies, music played a huge part with A.R. Rahman composing for Gautham’s Ekk Deewana Tha and A.R. Rahman’s nephew, G.V. Prakash, composing the music for Vijay’s Madharsapattinam. The only thing I have noticed is that I had a lot more dialogues and heavy scenes in my Hindi project but both movies were performance-based ones. What I can say is that the climate was much better in Mumbai compared to the 42 degree heat we shot in Chennai for my Tamil debut!
What do you like about India?
With Madharsapattinam and Ekk Deewana Tha I got the chance to travel all over India. We shot in Agra, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Mysore, Delhi, Kerala, Goa, Trivandrum, Madurai, Mumbai, Pondicherry — it was fabulous. What I like most about India, is that in one country you have so many different things to see and experience. I could see the traditional Indian culture in places like Kerala and Madurai and the new metropolitan vibe in cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
Have you learnt any Hindi words?
I’ve learnt quite a bit of Hindi over the last few months. I’ve made it my New Year’s resolution to work on my diction and Hindi for upcoming projects and hired a Hindi tutor to help me.