Natasha Suri, who is all set to be seen in Deepak Tijori's upcoming comedy thriller film Tipppsy has made a mark as a Supermodel and Beauty Queen. The Former Miss World India has also been a popular TV host and has been featured in several music albums too. However, many are not aware of the struggle that she and her family went through in her childhood. Natasha Suri opened up about this aspect and a lot more in an exclusive interview with Bollywood Hungama.
EXCLUSIVE: “Do you know that when I won the Femina Miss World India title, I had NO MONEY? I had no fancy clothes or footwear etc. I borrowed some glossy clothes and shoes from my friends” – Natasha Suri
She said, "A lot of people don’t know about this but I come from a broken home. We were all women in the family, with no financial support or male support. I had a tough childhood. There was no other way of surviving other than to start working at a young age".
She continued, "My mother Radha Suri has been the strongest support and backbone in our lives. She has pushed us to make something out of our lives. She was a wonderful woman and mother. If not for her, I and my 2 sisters would have been nowhere. We lost her almost 4 years ago due to multiple organ failure from diabetes.”
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Talking further about her mother, Natasha Suri opened up, “My mother had come to Mumbai from a small village called Veerpur in Telangana all alone at the age of 17 to become an actor and make a living in Mumbai. She did not even know the language. She did not know anybody here nor had any money or parental support. She had studied only till Class 10 in Telugu. She came to Mumbai determined to make a living in this city. She worked hard and did odd jobs to earn money and in her free time, she would give acting auditions. She managed to do 2 South films and eventually got married but had a tough marriage thereon. She was happy to have her 3 daughters as her lifeline as she sailed through life like a warrior.”
Natasha Suri had moist eyes as she revealed, “Amidst all those challenges and setbacks that I and my family faced in life, Miss India happened to us. When I won, it was akin to a lotus blooming in a mud pond. There are years of hard work, perseverance and challenges which we have been through as a family, since our young age. Ultimately, God smiled at us. After I won Miss India, a lot of doors opened up and work began pouring in which led to the beginning of stability and growth. I truly feel I won because the Universe wanted to reward my mother for all her good karma and faith. This industry is my home and being in front of the camera in any capacity is what I deeply love. My sole aim in life is to make my mother proud, even in heaven. Nothing else matters.”
Natasha Suri then talks about her siblings, "One sister (Soniya) is happily married and is an entrepreneur and fashion designer. The other one is an actor too. Her name is Rupali. In fact, I followed her footsteps in many areas. She is a known TV presenter and theatre actor. She has done a couple of very good films, including international ones like Dad Hold My Hand with veteran actor Vikram Gokhale."
She continued, "So there were 3 of us girls, my mother and my 80-year-old grandmother, Hira ji, who is still a blessing in our lives. All 5 of us would stay together, in a tiny house. It was not even ours and was located in an old, languishing building in Prabhadevi. It was on the ground floor and the building compound would get flooded every monsoon. However, I still feel it’s my real home as I grew up there with my lovely 'all-women' family."
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Natasha Suri further opened up, "Do you know that when I won the Femina Miss World India title, I had no money? I had no fancy clothes or footwear etc. I borrowed some glossy clothes and shoes from my friends. Yet, I was a happy soul. Even with nothing, I had an innate belief in myself. I also knew that once the mic comes into my hand, I will do well."
Does she mean she had an interest in modelling or acting since a young age? "Yes", she said and added, "I and my sister Rupali, who began working at a young age before me, would participate in many local beauty pageants before Miss India. The reason we'd participate was so that we could run our kitchen through the prize money that we would receive on winning. Also, we would win gifts like make-up kits, mattresses, cupboards etc. and that would prove to be useful in the house. I happened to win 8 beauty pageants like Navy Queen, Maharashtra Queen, Channel V Supermodel Hunt etc. That's how I groomed myself on the journey. Ultimately I wanted to enter Miss India. At the age of 13, I wanted to grow up to be Miss India, even though I displayed no signs of conventional beauty as a child. I was dark, tall, awkward and gangling with very short hair and a broken front tooth!”.
We ask who her crush while growing up was. "Akshay Kumar", she said blushingly. "He is my big-time teenage crush. It would be a dream come true to get to work with him, and also Mr Amitabh Bachchan", she added.
So in short, she always had a filmy keeda in her. She stated, "Yes, as my mother was always an artist and a cinema lover. And my father had assisted filmmaker Rajkumar Kohli briefly. My grandmother, Heera Sawant ji, has produced more than 30 Marathi films. She was an actress and film producer herself. If you see her work, you’ll be amazed. So I come from a family where there was always an influence of cinema, art and the industry."
Natasha Suri stated, "I have not been the same after my mother passed away in 2017. I went through a phase of depression around that time, as I felt anchor-less. However, I feel that I keep receiving so many signs from her to keep moving forward with grit and joy.”
Natasha Suri debuted in films with the Malayalam flick, King Liar (2016), starring Dileep, Madonna Sebastian and Lal. Speaking about her experience working on this film, she said, "I loved the experience. The film was shot in Kerala and Dubai and within 1 month, it was released. It was a super-hit and even today, I receive fan mail for it. I really get surprised as the film was released more than 5 years ago."
Natasha Suri then revealed, "Dangerous (2020) happened after King Liar. Mika Singh produced it. I did a music video with him too. Mika ji met me at an event and told me 'I am going to give you a break'. Because of my past experiences where people would just make tall claims, I assumed that he was saying it just for the heck of it. However, in three months, he called me to tell me he is indeed doing a film with me."
She also said, "I am grateful to Mika ji as he was one of the first people to believe in my potential and give me a break. Contrary to his bad-boy image, he is a good human being. I have seen him uplift many people. Like how when Salman Khan spots talent, he gives them a platform to shine so that he or she could make something out of their life; Mika Singh has the same quality."
The suspense thriller Dangerous starred real-life couple Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover as well. She says, "It was nice to work with them. They are very much in love. Bipasha is beautiful and has developed her craft well."
Natasha Suri had a sizzling hot avatar in Dangerous about which she said, "My first song ever in my career was in Dangerous with Karan Singh Grover. There was a lovemaking scene in that song as well. Hence, I was very nervous. The director had to really tell me what to do and what not to do. It turned out to be fine, thankfully.”
Dangerous was supposed to be a film; however, it was released as a web series on OTT. She stated, “I wish it had come in cinemas too. However, it garnered 70 million views and counting. That’s quite cool. Even for Dangerous, I received a lot of love from the audience for my role and performance. Also, it was the first time I was on a film poster, so it makes it special for me."
Life had more challenges for Natasha even after Dangerous was released. She said, "I went through a very traumatic mishap due to which I was homebound for nearly 2 years after the release of Dangerous. Coincidentally, it collided with Covid, when the world had shut down. I went through a very difficult time, mentally, physically and emotionally. Also, I was told that I could never get back to work after the mishap. Hence, it really affected my spirit at that time. But I am a fighter. I kept on fighting. The only thing that kept me going was my wish to come back on screen."
She continued, "It was a time when people had watched Dangerous and a lot of offers were coming up. However, I could not take them up due to the mishap. So I had to just sit at home. It was tragic for me and I would cry for months. I was able to resume work after a difficult two years. God allowed me to resume work through Tipppsy. I can’t tell you how grateful I feel."
Natasha Suri further revealed about the Deepak Tijori-directorial that, "Esha Gupta was playing this part. She had to opt out of the film due to some reasons and that’s when the director called me to step in."
Finally, we asked her about her marriage plans. She replied laughingly, "Koi ladka kahaan hai yaar? Mujhe to koi nahi dikha! You know, I have been single for almost 5 years. I haven't come across too many gentlemen who I could build a life with. In fact, I don't even go out on dates. I end up becoming friends with any potential suitors. My pals tell me, 'Tum sabko friendzone kar deti ho!' Lekin koi aisa ladka toh aaye jo mere andar woh solid emotions ko jagaaye. If I find the right man for me, I’ll definitely take the plunge. If not, my work and family keep me happy and motivated. Finding a good life partner is a matter of destiny, and I will let the Universe take its course", she stated and signed off flashing her wonderful smile.
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