Her gene pool is dramatic. Her grandmother, actor-danseuse Protima Bedi, grabbed headlines when she dropped the garb of convention in the flower-power ’70s. Her mother, actor-host Pooja Bedi too was all about stark candour unlike her plasticine contemporaries. It’s not a surprise then that Alaya Furniturewala too chose to play out her dreams, her way. Her unconventional debut in Jawaani Jaaneman – where she played an unwed mother in search of her father – didn’t fetch a single bad review, so convincing was her act. Being part of a family that’s been free and fluid, Alaya F understood early that relationships are nurtured more with freedom than force. And that being a parent doesn’t entail a renunciation of personal pursuits. In a no-holds-barred interview, she shares how she’s enjoying this trip of finding her bearings both as an actor and a person…
WHAT WAS YOUR ROUTINE LIKE DURING THE LOCKDOWN?
It remained the same. Even now, I wake up around 10.30 am. I take a shower. I have breakfast. Then I draw a bit and chill. After that I go in to do video meetings and interviews. I have lunch. Around the sunset hour, the light is good. That’s when I shoot my social media content. After that, I read books. I’ve begun learning Photoshop. I’ve gone back to editing software, something I was learning at New York University (NYU). I read scripts too. (Smiles) Thankfully, people still remember who I am.
DID YOU TAKE UP COOKING?
Occasionally, I did. I’m good at following a recipe. But I’m not an instinctive cook. (Smiles) I cooked banana bread because everyone was doing it. I made pancakes and pasta. I’m better with sweet stuff then I’m with the savoury things. Everyone likes my protein pancakes. They’re healthy.
TELL US SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR DAYS IN THE NEW YORK UNIVERSITY.
I went to NYU to study filmmaking. That’s when I realised I wanted to act. I dropped out of NYU and went to New York Film Academy (NYFA) to learn acting. I realised I wasn’t terrible at it. My real training started when I returned to Mumbai. I could barely speak Hindi. I grew in an English-speaking household. Now, I curse them for it. I had to get rid of this godawful accent that I’d picked up from America. I couldn’t dance to save my life. I began training in Kathak, hip-hop, Bollywood dance. I also learnt singing, gymnastics, MMA and Pilates.
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