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Last Updated 28.01.2020 | 6:01 PM IST
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“I’m French, my parents are Indian!” – Aditya Chopra

adiyafeat-Dec

adiyafeat-Dec

This line sums up Shyra. She is born and brought up in Paris by Punjabi parents who gave her all the freedom to grow into the person she wants to be. Shyra grabbed that freedom with both her hands and became completely fearless, growing into a modern confident girl, imbibing all that she saw around her. She is completely French with hardly any traits of an Indian girl. She works as a tourist guide in Paris, primarily for Indian tourists, because she speaks Hindi well. She is beautiful so she got a lot of male attention all her life, and being the eternal optimist that she is, she responded to most of the men positively, resulting in her having 42 boyfriends before Dhara,. She jumps into each relationship thinking of it as an adventure... a thrill ride. And when she realises that it's not as much fun as she had though, she promptly jumps out. The good thing is, she is friends with ALL her ex boyfriends. That is Shyra for you. But beneath all the French madness there beats an Indian heart, something that she is also not completely aware of. But then again, today is a modern Indian girl's heart really that different from a French girl's? Or any other young girl's in any other country of the world?

When I announced the film with Vaani Kapoor as Shyra, everyone was very surprised. I don’t blame them as I was surprised by my choice too. When I finished writing the script, the first thing that came instinctively to me was that Shyra should be played by someone new, someone who did not have a very strong identity with the Indian audience. I felt that will help them believe that this girl is truly from Paris. While Shanoo, my casting director, was finding a new Shyra for me, I thought of giving Vaani a shot for the role. Now, Vaani is someone who I've always believed had a lot of potential, and at that time she was very patiently waiting for something worthwhile to come up. Her self-belief and patience in waiting for the right role had greatly impressed me, but I was not sure about her for Shyra. As I was not happy with the new girls that were being shown to me, I took a long shot told Shanoo to audition Vaani on a series of Hollywood romcom scenes. I just wanted to see if she could transform into someone completely different and surprise me. She blew me away and I found my Shyra. The character of Shyra and the casting of Vaani were the two biggest risks of my film. Today for me they are the biggest strengths of the film. I hope and pray the audience agrees with me.

- Aditya Chopra

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