Tamil Interviews

Amyra Dastur Interview: Sweet Stuff

Amyra Dastur insists on calling me ‘sweetie’.

I let her; I am a little charmed by this youthful…indifference for terms of endearment.


Amyra Dastur reminds me of a Powerpuff Girl come to life. Sugar, spice and everything nice. And, a dash of craziness, too. Of the good kind.

As the actress herself phrases it, “I’m a Parsi girl, sweetie. What else did you expect?”


Currently busy with the dubbing work for the Hindi version of Anegan – her first Tamil release, Amyra reveals her Kollywood experience has been nothing short of entertaining.

Most people in this part of the woods, the actress laughs, think she’s ‘exotic’. “Some of them have asked me whether I am a foreigner, you know, because, they find me super fair.”

While thrilled at the reception she’s getting, Amyra insists that she’s ‘not so exotic’ all the same. “Obviously, it’s a compliment and it’s something I will always treasure. It makes me feel good. But, trust me, I’m just a normal Parsi girl whose dreams came true.”


A tomboy.

That’s what Amyra was, before her acting career took flight.

Plain Amy.

Someone who used to share clothes with her younger brother. She also enjoyed a carefree childhood. “My parents are the coolest. My mom firmly believed that children should eat and do what they wanted to. She used to let me eat whatever I wished. So while I was the most satisfied kid around, I was also the fattest.”

Consequentially, she went through a bad phase at school, and recalls getting bullied for her size. “I was a big kid with braces, and a very unflattering haircut. The other kids were pretty mean about it, and the whole experience was traumatic.”

She was then pulled out, and sent to a boarding school. “My dad and mom felt that a change would do me good. Since I was very close to my brother, he chose to come along too.”


It was there that Amy went through a metamorphosis. Under the careful eye of her much older, fashionable friends, she began to re-invent herself, and emerged a newer person. “I was a doll to my friends. They used to counsel me on what to wear, how to look, how to pose and all that. They used to try out new shades of makeup on my face, and I used to just sit there, enjoying it all. Those girls gave me the best makeover ever.”


Fast forward a couple of years and the “new” Amy had arrived.

The one that was armed with a flourishing modelling career and a newfound confidence in her looks, and decided to make her ‘acting dreams come true’. “It didn’t happen immediately, of course. I faced rejection left, right and centre. Funnily enough, all the directors liked the way I looked but still didn’t cast me. I didn’t know what was wrong.”

Her accented Hindi was a deterrent, Amyra found out later. “I’m a Parsi girl and speak Gujarati at home. Or English. I had to better my Hindi if I wanted to act.” So she worked zealously on getting Hindi right. “All that hard work paid off, because soon after, Issaq was offered to me and there’s been no looking back,” she grins.

Once she got the diction in the bag, Amy was looking forward to making more films in Bollywood, and building her career there. “I had everything planned out, but I guess life had other plans for me. I was just getting comfortable here, and boom! I got KV Anand sir’s call, asking me to fly down to Chennai for Anegan.”


Amyra loved everything about the script, from its layered storyline to the ‘epic romance’ that it would showcase. The best part was that Amyra would have ‘a solid role’. “I would literally be in every other scene in the movie. My role was not restricted to the usual cute, cheesy song routines. I had a fully fleshed out character to play.”

It didn’t take long for her to agree to be a part of the film. “All that I could see was that the project would have a great technical team and a kickass storyline. I didn’t even know who the hero was when I said yes to KV sir. It was only later that I found out I’d be acting opposite Dhanush!”

She was a little uncomfortable with the language at first. But, her director, KV Anand, helped her get in character. “He told me right away that I could do as many mistakes as I wanted to. He said he had a lot of experience working with actresses who didn’t know Tamil, and just to trust him and relax. A huge load was lifted off my shoulders.”



Dhanush was wonderfully empathetic as well. The actor understood the challenges that Amyra faced, and would often go out of his way to help her. “He was patient with my struggles with the language and told me right away that he wouldn’t mind if I took fifty takes. I guess he went through the same difficulties while working for Raanjhanaa.”

Amyra then admits to being a little in awe of Dhanush. “He’s a great actor, is hugely popular here, and is the son-in-law of the Superstar. The icing on the cake is that he’s also acted with Amitabh Bachchan – someone I’ve adored for ages now. I used to bug him every day about his experience with Amitji. Always the nice guy, he actually took time to tell me stuff.”


Karthik Muthuraman, on the other hand, made it a little difficult for her to work with a straight face, claims Amyra. “Karthik sir would say something so outrageously funny that I’d begin to laugh when I’m actually supposed to be crying. He is such a pure and fun soul. It’s hard to believe that such a youthful, debonair man is in his fifties.”


Apart from nurturing secret dreams of playing a serial killer onscreen ‘someday’, Amyra also loves to spend time at home, lazing around with her pets. “I prefer my pets to people. I’m kind of crazy that way.” She’s also a big believer in the miracle that is the shopping experience. “When I’m going through some blue days, I always buy myself something nice to feel better. I’ve got more stuff than I know what to do with – but hey, I’m happy.”


The actress is now intent on creating a brand for herself. The Amyra Dastur brand is something that will be synonymous with good, meaningful cinema, she says. “None of those cheesy romantic comedies for me. No, thank you. Besides, I’m not one of those hopeless romantic types. Give me some good horror thrillers or slasher films, and I’ll be happy.”

Next up is Mr X, a Hindi film with Emraan Hashmi in which she plays a cop. “A lot of people think that this film is a re-make of Mr India. It is so not a remake. It’s a completely new film with a fresh storyline.”

And now that she’s gotten the hang of speaking Tamil, Amyra is being flooded with offers from other languages. “Well, what can I say, life is never boring for Amyra Dastur. One day she’s making Tamil movies and the next, it’s in a completely different language. God likes to keep me on my toes, I think.”


The Amyra Dastur interview is a Silverscreen exclusive.