Porcelain skin that needs very little makeup, a sensuous size 2 figure, mesmerizing eyes and to top it all, the coveted title of a beauty queen! The very English Amy Jackson has all this and much more. No wonder, shooting with Amy was everything plus fun. Off camera she is a giggling, fun-loving tween. But once the arc lights are on, her personality takes on an aura that is at once enigmatic and surreal. She captured hearts in ‘Madrasapattinam’, and forayed into Bollywood with ex-boyfriend Prateik Babbar in Gautam Menon’s ‘Ek Deewana Tha’. The film flopped, but Amy continued her journey in South cinema. After UTV’s Thaandavam, the lovely lass will now be seen in director Shankar’s magnum opus Ai. Over to Amy Jackson.
Being part of Shankar’s film is a huge high for Amy Jackson. Well, any actress for that matter. After all, he is one of India’s most successful and sought-after directors. “2013 has been a busy year for me, mainly because of Shankar’s Ai. I have shot for close to 18 months for the film and I am very excited about it.” Amy is contractually bound to not reveal much about the film. The actress had posted a picture on her micro blogging page recently with just her face visible and a bindi on. “I play an Indian girl, called Diya in Ai. It is a great role. The film is packaged beautifully. There is action. There is romance. All things considered, working for Shankar’s Ai has been a life-changing experience. I am happy I got to work with Vikram again, post Thaandavam; and collaborating with PC Sreeram and Shankar makes me feel very fortunate indeed. Having worked with them for over 200 days, I can say that the crew is like my Indian family.” Chennai is like second home to Amy, no doubt. “Yes, the city is my second home. I like to keep to myself post work. I believe in separating my work from my personal life. I have got a great support system – my mum accompanies me on my visits to India, Chennai in particular. My dad was here recently too. My relationship right now is with my work.” Amy refuses to talk about her ex-flame Prateik, or the tattoo that she is trying her best to get rid of. We ask her about why she hasn’t been seen in Hindi films of late. “The roles are good here, so is the remuneration. I have no complaints because I love the work I am getting in South Indian films. I hear scripts and if I hear a great script, I scrutinise the character and the storyline. If it appeals to my heart I make the decision to go ahead with it. Whether Bollywood, or Kollywood, China or Timbuktu, I am ready to go anywhere,” she responds. That she has had a steady stream of offers in South India is proof enough of broadening visions and horizons in cinema. But how intense is her competition as a foreign actress, with Indian stars? She quips safely, “I guess you are your own competition. You do what you are expected to do, in your best possible way. As an actress, I believe that creating an impact on the audiences is the biggest challenge.” Amy has a hearty laugh when asked about her take on the fairness trend in India and our crazed obsession with fair skin. “Back in England, people want to get a tan, they invest in creams and spend hours in the sun to get a lovely tan. In India it is different. A lot of people want fair skin. Stars like Shahrukh Khan endorse fairness creams. I guess the grass is greener on the other side,” she chuckles. A while ago, Amy had adopted a dolphin, named Smoothie. “She still swims along the coast of England where I am told there are no restrictions. I have seen her couple of times but now it is love from a distance because I have been away on work for so long.” Signing off, Amy makes a theatrical wish to God, to bestow 35 days to every month this year, because work is keeping her really busy. You go, girl!