There was time when good looks, a godfather and a crash course in acting were considered sufficient for a slot of screen space in Bollywood. Now, the times have changed and a new trend has become part of the list of pre-requisites for joining the Bollywood bandwagon. Walking the ramp is emerging as the hottest stepping stone to fulfilling Bollywood dreams for the new generation models.
The trend is not sudden, but over the time it has transformed into a major catalyst to make youngsters take the acting way. Perhaps it is a case of casting aside the casting couch and cat walking with a fit of ramp rage.
Models turning into actors is not a new phenomenon. Right from Juhi Chawla to Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Indian audience has been a witness to many such trials of fates. Some fared well, some acted to save their life while many came and went without a whimper. However, the connection between ramp and the cinema camp has grown stronger over the years.
Actress Tanushree Dutta, who was a former Miss India 2004 says that entering Bollywood was a kind of professional advancement and a step to explore newer horizons rather than sticking to the monotony of ramp.
Jumping on to the Bollywood bandwagon seems to be a matter of individual choice. There are models who have been appreciated and well accepted for their work to an extent that even marriage and kids couldn’t stop them.
For Miss India Earth 2005, Niharika Singh, a shift to Bollywood after doing commercial modelling for a considerable period was quite a rational transition. “I’ve always been a commercial model. Walking on the ramp was just a part of my package after winning the crown and not something that I was cut for. I don’t have that skinny figure and tall height required to rule the ramp, so my commercial face makes acting as the obvious next career move for me,” states the model who is all set to make her debut with a film titled Love Sshtory opposite Himesh Reshammiya.
Milind Soman who opted out of modeling to make a career in acting almost a decade ago says, “Any career is short lived if you want to quit. There’s nothing like ‘short-lived’ for a model’s career. I’ve known models who have spent quite a considerable number of successful years in the industry and still don’t want to quit modeling for acting.”
Supports model Ramneek Pantal, who has been gracing the ramp for eleven years, “For me these years have been full of hard work, appreciation and contentment. I have enjoyed every bit of my work. If you actually take up modeling as a serious career it is not short-lived at all. Each time you walk the ramp, you add into your exposure, which in turn adds into your experience. If your work is good no one can turn you away; work will keep coming back to you irrespective of the span you have been here for.”
Gauhar Khan, former Miss India, also thinks on the same lines. The pretty lass who ventured into anchoring and is also taking acting classes at Anupam Kher School of Acting elaborates, “A top notch model in our country can enjoy a successful innings of anything between 12-14 years, which is quite an impressive figure to stick to any career for that matter. Though I am open to anchoring, acting in movies and theatre, but still I love modeling.”