Sri Lankan Beauty Fulfils Childhood Dream with 'Aladin'

By Joginder Tuteja

Mumbai, Oct 13 (IANS) From TV anchoring to political reporting to modelling, Sri Lankan beauty Jacqueline Fernandes has done it all. But she finally fulfilled her childhood dream of becoming an actress in the Indian film "Aladin".

"Though I am of Sri Lankan origin, I was born and raised in Bahrain. I did my high school there. Later I did my college in Australia and after that I came to Sri Lanka. I started living with my grandparents and joined a TV station there," Jacqueline, who has hosted quite a few shows on TV in both Bahrain and Sri Lanka, told IANS here.

"I have been on TV since the age of 14. I co-hosted a fitness show in Bahrain which was a weekend programme that lasted for three months. Later I graduated to being the main reporter for the Bahrain summer festival."

From the world of glamour, she moved on to serious affairs. Looking at the political turmoil in Sri Lanka, she turned to reporting and political investigation.

"This stage of my life was an eye opener since I had never grown up in Sri Lanka. Studying the situation there and talking about it in front of the camera was an education by itself. I started interviewing politicians and became more and more hopeful as we always had positive talks about better prospects for peace."

Meanwhile she hadn't quite given up her childhood dream of being an actress.

"As a kid there are so many alternatives that one starts exploring for future. Of course, being in the glamour world was something that was always there at the top of my mind. I wanted to be a big actress ever since I was eight years old. I grew up, studies and television took precedence, but movies were never meant to be far away."

Luckily for her, it was almost a fairy tale journey as she found herself stepping into the Miss Sri Lanka beauty pageant in 2006.

After winning the crown, she moved on to participate in the Miss Universe contest at Los Angeles and there wasn't any looking back after that.

"There was quite some coverage of this fashion event in Sri Lanka as there were representatives from media and modelling agencies from across the globe, including India. I was advised to shift base to India and get a new life rolling for me.

"I was game for it and packed my bags for India. It was almost a fairy tale journey as I met quite a few people here. Movies too happened quite early when Sujoy (Ghosh) confirmed that I was his Jasmine for 'Aladin'," she said.

The dream that she carried over the years is all set to come true when 'Aladin' arrives on the big screen.

"Aladin" stars Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Riteish Deshmukh and is set for an Oct 30 release.


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