Chit Chat

I didn’t change my name on Prateik’s insistence: Amyra Dastur

She has failed auditions ample number of times, her Hindi is as bad as it can get, yet 20-year-old Amyra Dastur did everything to enter Bollywood. A name change from Amy to Amyra did not deter her either.

I didn’t want ‘Amy’ to be used nastily
I was named after my paternal grandmother, my dadi. She died before I was born, which is why my parents named me Amy. My dad’s side of the family was very poor while growing up, but my dadi raised three kids, got my dad through medical school, sent my uncle to America where he wanted to work and helped my aunt become an accountant, because that’s what she wanted to do. and in the last few years of her life, her husband, my grandfather, went blind… she took care of him as well. So my dadi is more respected than any member in my family.

Now that I have entered this industry, I know how it is going to be. I understand that the press isn’t going to always say nice things about me, and I didn’t want my dadi’s name to be used nastily. in my family, Amy is her name, not mine, which is why we changed it. After bagging my debut film, my parents and I sat and discussed this (name change) and we decided to go ahead with Amyra. So, no, I did not change my name Amy to Amyra on Prateik’s insistence. All this is just a coincidence, unfortunately. I haven’t changed my name legally yet, though, but I will soon do it as I am going to be called Amyra from now on.

Failed auditions
Bollywood was never in my head. I haven’t even grown up on Hindi films because my Hindi is bad; I am a Parsi and we speak English or Gujarati at home. I never really thought I would be a Bollywood actress. However, I am a drama queen at home, so I guess Bollywood was bound to happen someday or the other. That said, I have been modeling since I was 16. Soon, I started auditioning for a lot of films, but somehow, I did not make it because of my weak Hindi. nothing good really came along and a lot of auditions didn’t go well either. I didn’t give up though, because in the process of going for innumerable auditions, I realised I loved to be an actress. Then finally, three-four days after I turned 18, I bagged my first film.

It’s a lot of hard work
Bagging the movie was just the first step, I guess, because what followed wasn’t a cakewalk at all. I went for workshops everyday, for six to seven hours, for three months, even on Sundays. Before that, I had never worked on a Sunday, and I kept telling Manish Tiwary, my director, ‘You took my Sundays from me!’ But it all helped, you know, the classes, the workshops as I ended up speaking only in Hindi, a month before the film’s dubbing. I even picked up the Banarasi accent so well that if I speak in Hindi now, you will find a Benarasi touch.

However, like I said, Hindi definitely is my weakness because I get very conscious when I speak the language, which I understand is not very good for an actor. But it can hurt me only if someone is not willing to work with me on this ground.

I promised mom I’d complete my studies
Acting is my passion, but I promised my mother that I will finish my education. I just have to get a da** degree! If I just get that stupid piece of paper in my hand, my family will be more than happy.


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