British actor Aruna Shields, of Anglo Indian descent, begun her education at a convent school before winning an academic scholarship to attend boarding school. She went onto gain a distinction from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She also obtained a degree from Central St Martins, London. Aruna's passion lay in performance and while at a theatrical workshop she was spotted by an acting agent.
Aruna has lead roles in studio feature films out worldwide in cinemas 2010:
She plays the challenging lead of AKI in the epic adventure AO: THE LAST NEANDERTHAL, a gritty beauty and the beast love story based 30,000 years ago. Film is expected to release in September 2010 and is produced by cinema chain UGC whose last film was the Oscar nominated A PROPHET.
Aruna launched to stardom overnight in Bollywood with her debut in action-thriller PRINCE. The press labeled her as India's new Bond girl. MR SINGH MRS MEHTA is her second Bollywood release.
Aruna Shields has gone for a complete image makeover with her new film MR SINGH MRS MEHTA, which releases on June 25. From a desi Bond babe, Shields has transformed herself into a girl-next-door from a small town in this film.
Tell us about your new film MR SINGH MRS MEHTA
MR SINGH MRS MEHTA which releases on June 25 is the directorial debut of Pravesh Bhardwaj who has assisted directors like Shyam Benegal and Gulzar and is produced by Medient. Set in London, MR SINGH MRS MEHTA is the story of Ashwin Mehta and Neera Singh who find that their spouses are having an affair. Drawn together by shame and anger, they find comfort in their growing friendship even as they resolve not to be like their unfaithful mates.
How do you view this whole issue of extramarital affairs which have become now so common in the modern society?
I don't agree with affairs as they cause pain and secrets in relationships...but
"Bollywood is a complex mystery"
people will always have them and for a variety of usually selfish and complicated reasons: Neglect, insecurity, boredom, midlife crisis, weakness, excitement, stupidity, loneliness, revenge. Neera has her affair out of loneliness, despair and confusion. Also her conscience is relieved because she knows her husband is also cheating on her! Every relationship is different and it's hard not to judge. Nobody is perfect. To make your relationship less vulnerable to an affair you really have to communicate, not take your partner for granted and respect each other.
What is you role in the film MR SINGH MRS MEHTA?
I play Neera Singh, a girl from small town who is an agony aunt columnist who advices others on their relationship and discovers that her husband is cheating on her. It's a film about relationships.
From desi bond girl to an agony aunt that's quite a jump in the range of role.
From a high action film like PRINCE to a film based purely on relationships, you can say that it has been quiet a jump. I've been blessed to have done a variety of different roles so early on in my career. I've played everything from femme fatale, girl next door, action hero to working class, even animalistic tribal woman. Even so, roles are easier to get when they are closer to what you actually are, because that's how you're perceived. Otherwise you have to work hard changing yourself and making it believable. Plus you're competing with other actors who naturally are that type with no effort. You can do it, I've done it but it takes preparation.
It's difficult changing your voice and physicality but extremely rewarding when the hard work pays off. You need good observational skills so you can watch how different people behave. Having intuition, spontaneity and trusting your choices is also important and has helped me a lot.
How did you get the part?
Pravesh was meeting actors from my agency at Pinewood studios and asked to see me. We met and we clicked. We went through sections of the script together. We communicated ideas about the script fluidly. Many actresses could have played my role and interpreted it in their way... but looking back I think I was chosen because I listened carefully to the director and we got on so well. He sensed I was very relaxed, laid back and relatively low maintenance which means less headaches and dramas for him. He knew I would work extremely hard and get the job done.