Bollywood breakthrough: Momal Sheikh to play Pakistani girl in Anand Rai's next

Published August 31, 2015
Undeterred by the furore around Phantom, Momal is confident that her debut will be a source of pride for her country — Photo courtesy pak101.com
Undeterred by the furore around Phantom, Momal is confident that her debut will be a source of pride for her country — Photo courtesy pak101.com

News broke over the weekend that actress Momal Sheikh, daughter of industry veteran Javed Sheikh, has bagged a role in a Bollywood film, which is Tanu Weds Manu director Anand L Rai’s next.

The actress confirms the news to Dawn.com:

"Yes, I have been cast in the movie, which is a rom-com. I play a Pakistani girl in the film."

Momal will be joined by Javed Sheikh in the film's cast, who had been roped in earlier.

"[The director/producer] were looking for an actress for a really long time," Momal reveals, "Baba [Javed Sheikh] had given them a few names of good actresses, but none of them were able to commit to the project for various reasons. When they came to know about me, they asked Baba, but he suggested that I wasn't ready because I had just had my baby. But they approached me anyway, and the director talked to me about Tanu Weds Manu's success, and I read the script, which I found to be really good."

The film, the title of which is yet to be revealed, also stars Abhay Deol and Diana Penty. The shoot will begin in late September, and Momal is flying out in a few days for the first look photography and other initial promotion tasks.

Given the furore surrounding Phantom, isn't Momal nervous about how her debut will be perceived in Pakistan?

"Well, I'd be generally nervous working anywhere internationally, because I'm taking Pakistan's image with me. But I'm confident that the work that I'm doing is positive and will make my people proud," she said.

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