Super Model Erica Fernandes, who’s staging the film industry now, has the personality of a true heroine. Scouted at age 16, this Manglorian beautiful girl was picked as one of the top new faces to watch and has gone on to win the title Pantaloons Femina Miss India 2012 and finishing in the top ten in the same beauty pageant. Here, the model cum actress speaks exclusively about how her dream started off and turned into reality. We were fortunate enough as Erica took some time out of her hectic schedule to answer a few questions about her model as well as acting life.
Describe who’s Erica Fernandes and the story behind her?
Model turned actress from Bombay. Born and brought up in Bombay but roots are from Karnataka….Mangalore. I pursued by my Bachelors in Arts from St Andrew College, Bandra. I started modeling when I was 16. Won a couple of beauty pageant titles over the years namely Bombay times fresh face 2010, Miss Maharashtra fresh face 2011, PFMI Miss Maharashtra 2011, PFMI fresh face 2012, PFMI top 10 2012.
What’s your ambition in films? What related courses have you taken?
I had always wanted to be a model and an actor since childhood. I was always focused about my ambition. And here I am as a model turned actress. I haven’t taken any courses for acting. Because it’s not something that is taught, it’s something that comes from within you. And for me my best teacher is my director, and observation. I observe people and learn how they react in different situation.
How and when did your dream start out and turn into reality?
My dreams started off with my first break as a model. For "b:blunt" (salon). Then it started taking shape after I won beauty pageant titles. Then I got into model (print, TVS, ramp) and then started living my dream when I signed my 1st movie Virattu/Dega bilingual Tamil/Telugu and then 2 other Tamil films. Like ‘Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu’ (555) and ‘Vvizhithiru’ and also a Hindi movie called ‘Love Is Not Mathematics’.
Did anyone help you in the industry?
I’ve become what I am out of my own merit as I didn’t have a filmy background. And the love and support from my loved ones.
List some role models who inspired you to choose this path?
Well, my dad was a model and wanted to become an actor and now he is living his dreams through me. I love the performances of Sridevi and Priyanka Chopra.
What challenges you when you are in front of the camera?
Ha-ha my co-star/co-actors playing the fool when there is a close shot. As an actor another challenging part is when you have to laugh continuously and there are quite a few retakes.
What’s one of the most interesting shoots you have done so far?
A few stunts performed in "Virattu/Dega", and shooting for the song in "555" because this song is really special to me as I have worked hard on it. It has me doing really interesting acts. With the hat, M.J moves and belly movements, all shot in the scotching heat of 45•c
What makes you comfortable on the sets?
Rapport with my team and co-star which is very necessary.
Tell us about your work ethic?
I am very particular about timings. And can sleep in peace only after I am satisfied with my days work.
What motivates you to do what you do everyday?
Well the love and support that I get from people everyday. The feedback, critics help me a lot in knowing where I am going wrong and improve on those portions to do better.
What has been your favorite job so far?
The one I am currently doing because I love what I am doing. It’s not only work it’s also a learning process as well.
When you are not busy modeling or acting, what are some of your favourite things to do?
Well! I enjoy painting, sketching, photography, singing, cooking and adventure.
Are you a food lover? What’s your favourite dish?
I m a big foodie!!! I love food. I love looking up the net and trying different dishes. My folks and brother love the pizzas I make too. If its south, I love having rasam rice and curd, ghee rice and sambar. Otherwise I love having pizzas and also mutton biryani. :D
How do you maintain your glamour?
That is something that is very important if you are in this industry. You have to look good. I do make time out and groom myself. I am blessed with good metabolism so i didn’t have to worry but my diet. But yes I do have a check on what I’m eating because I don’t wanna end up having pimples on my face. I exercise to stay toned and gain weight. Skin and hair care is what I religiously do. The 1st thing I do after shoot is properly take my makeup off and let my skin breath.
Do you do your own make-up and hair-styling or you have a personal make-up man and hair-stylist?
As of now I do it myself.
How tall are you?
5 ft '7".
What do you like most? Being a model or an actress?
They are completely 2 different things. But I like being an actress more.
Let’s assume you got two opportunities at the same time. 1) A full-fledged glamour role & 2) A complete off-beat role. Which one would you choose and why?
Ha-ha!! I would like to take up both. I can pull off both equally well.
Who is your dream hero?
I would love to work with all.
Who are some of your favorite directors you want to work with?
I would love to work with all. Each one has a different way of working
What to you like about you job?
The fact that I get to learn so much….about different people….playing different characters. Being put into different situations…is all a very good learning for me. And also getting to witness different cultures and traditions as we travel to different places for shoots.
Do you enjoy long drives?
Yes only if I have good company.
Are you a pub lover?
Do you party a lot?
No not really. I am not a party animal.
Please tell us about the beauty pageant Miss India 2012 and what it means to you to finish in top ten?
The time I spent at Miss India is one of the most memorable memories in my life. I have got to learn a lot from it. All the people working on us and the other contestants have become like one family. We really had fun all through out our training period. We learnt how to be presentable and how to groom yourself and a lot more infact.
How do you communicate with the people? Are you patient, friendly….?
I am very friendly and really patient as a person. In south I have a tuff time communicating with people because of the language barrier. But I manage with Hindi and English and I also understand a bit of Tamil and Telugu.
How open are you to your directors’ requirements (in films) and photographers’ requirements (in modeling)?
I know where to draw the line. And if I’m not ok with concept or script requirements I don’t go ahead.
Do you have any limitations while performing romantic scenes?
Yes I do.
Tell us about the films you are working on currently?
"Virattu(Tamil) /Dega(Telugu)" - post production is on my 1st film bilingual ; "555" (Ainthu Ainthu Ainthu) - out for release; "Vizhithiru" shooting in progress; "Love Is Not Mathematics" - shooting completed.
Where do you live at present?
Bombay. But I travel too much which makes me a guest in my own house. LoL
Thank you for giving us a glimpse into your world and good luck for a bright future.
___Radhika Andluri ([email protected])