Salman was super pissed with me when i said NO for Bodyguard: Daisy Shah
Daisy Shah is a Gujarati with a Catholic name as her dad was raised in Sion among Catholics. She considers herself the boy in the family and is emotional, sensitive and responsible. She has been constantly working ever since she dropped out of college and given a chance, she would love to sleep. Her being good-hearted may just be one of the big reasons for the good-hearted Salman Khan to have chosen her for his upcoming film with a heart, Jai Ho. In her first-ever interview, after being hand-picked by Salman, she talks to TOI about the similarity of Salman’s nature with her father, her special connection with Salim Khan and the accident that changed her life. Excerpts:
Not much is known about you. How did Salman Khan find you?
I am a Gujarati, born and brought up in Mumbai. My dad worked as a floor manager in a clothing mill in Dombivli and my mom is a housewife. After my 10th, we had this Miss Dombivli contest in a mall, where I won the Miss Photogenic title. The ramp choreographer had some contacts with the film industry and a few days later, I got a call from him saying that he wanted me to do a role, where I would be standing as a part of the crowd and would be given 600 for two days work. I was happy to do that. A few days later, he called me to be a part of a crowd again in a Sunny Deol song. It was raining heavily and so four of the dancers for the song had not turned up. Ganesh Acharya was the choreographer and he asked my coordinator to give him four girls out of us, who had been hired as extras to stand as the crowds behind, in the song. I shot as a dancer for one day, where Ganesh Acharya spotted me and he asked me to join his group. I was his group dancer for two-and-a-half years, after which I started assisting him. As an assistant, my job was to learn the steps from Ganesh and then teach it to the others, for them to practise. While dancing for me was fun, becoming a choreographer was not something I wanted to do. A choreographer had to take the pressure of pleasing the director, producer and the actor and that is not what I could do. I started modelling for ads, where I got spotted and was offered a Kannada film in 2010. I have always gone with the flow and for me, any job is good.
Whose decision was it to select you?
Salman sir and Sohail bhai later told me that while they were initially hesitating to take me, it was Salim uncle who made them take the decision and told them, ‘Go with your gut feel. I have seen the screen test. I like the girl, so what’s the problem?’ In fact, Salman sir was the last one to say an okay to me. I was told just one day before shooting that I was in the film. I had auditioned and it was a unanimous decision of the family. I am not expressive in real life. I was having dinner with Salman sir’s family when I was told that I had been given the role. And I said, ‘Really?’ And then said, ‘Okay.’ They said, ‘Show us some excitement that you are happy.’ I was actually very happy, but I’m not expressive. The biggest belief I have is that destiny plays a big role and knew that like my dad’s death and my scar on the forehead, this too must have been destined.
You have a big scar on your forehead and yet you are Salman’s heroine. Are you lucky?
My scar is visible only by a naked eye and is not visible in the film. I had a terrible car accident in Ooty in 2005. I was rushing to catch a flight from Ooty, when our car met with this head-on accident. Initially I panicked, as the accident had happened in a small town and so we had no choice but to rush to a hospital close by. We then came back to Mumbai and I got treated again by Dr Narendra Pandya and I remember the one thing he said to me, ‘Daisy, right now you are thinking so much about your scar, but there will be one time when you will start liking your scar.’ And today, I do like it. I have started living with it. I take it in a positive way, as my life turned after my accident. So may be it was a turn of destiny for me.
I was closest to my dad and he always knew that I am responsible and would look after my family. For him, I was always the boy child and not his girl. If I had my way, I would not have let him work once I started earning, but he did not let me. I lost him all of a sudden in 2007 when he got a heart attack at 52. For me, the biggest regret was that I could not meet him when he died. I had returned from a show in Malaysia the previous night and had to rush to the American embassy for a visa in the morning. By the time I came back, my mom had got a call from his office saying that he had been taken to the hospital as he had suffered a heart attack. But by the time my mom and I reached, he had died. My dad had called her just ten minutes before he got a heart attack saying, ‘I am not feeling well, I am coming home, khana garam karke rakhna.’ It was all too fast. My sister was seven months pregnant. I am a tough person and did not cry then, as I knew that I had to take care of my mom. My dad died on April 4, 2007, Wednesday at 2pm. It’s a coincidence that my sister gave birth to a boy Ansh on July 4, 2007, Wednesday, 4pm. I am most attached to Ansh in my life and feel that he walks, talks and looks just like my dad. Ansh does not listen to anybody, but may be it’s in my mind only, but I know that when I ask him to do something, he will do it.
Talk about Salman?
He is a very humble person and he knows by his gut what the person in front of him wants. When I refused him for Bodyguard, I knew I had lost him. But he could understand why I said a no and could gauge me. He never forgets and that remained at the back of his mind somewhere. He is constantly thinking about improvising while working. He shares his experiences. There was a story he told me where there was this one random guy who stayed in their house for months and no one knew who he was as everyone assumed that he must be the friend of someone in the house but it turned out that he was a stranger. Salman sir is a soft-hearted person. He is the best person to work with. He will sit on the monitor and see the expression of his co-actors also and makes you realise what your best angle is. He knows that I am a very honest person. If I mess up something, I will go and confess it and apologise.
Have you had an affair?
Never. For me having an affair is like being in a jail. I stopped studying after second year of college and from that time have only been working and only have time for my work, my mom and myself and I’m a very home person. I have seen how the tender love of the first six months dies soon and gives way to questioning that I don’t like. I feel that if you are committed to somebody, then you need to trust.
Do you miss your father?
As a matter of fact, just a few days back, it was his birthday and I spent the whole day at home all by myself remembering him. I make sure that on certain days, I don’t leave my mom alone. I can take care of her when it comes to money, but when it comes to emotions, I am very weak. Apart from the two best friends I have, the only person I have shared my feelings with is Salman sir. Not that I want sympathy from him, but I know he will come up with something that will make me feel good. I am on BBM with him and that day I was not answering as I did not feel like. He saw from my BBM status that it was my dad’s birthday that day. He immediately said, ‘Don’t worry. I have taken the responsibility of your dad also.’ It was so sweet of him to say that. I wept after he told me that. He understands me without my having to say a word. In many ways, his nature is just like my dad’s. He, too, like my dad, is impulsive and can get angry really fast. Though, both of them would become normal in ten minutes.
Tagged Salman Khan