Bollywood actress Jacqueline Fernandez has been off carbohydrates and junk food for the last four days in preparation for a glamorous photo shoot in Dubai for fashion retailer Splash, but she isn’t in a crabby mood owing to her liquid diet. On the contrary, her perennially-sunny disposition is intact as she twirls and shimmies down the ornate stairs of Palazzo Versace Hotel in a modest green dress with a white collar.
She flashes her million-dirham smile to round it all off.
The Sri Lankan beauty queen, 34, does this at least 10 times before the advertisement campaign director calls ‘cut’. While spectators feel boredom seeping in, Fernandez goes through these motions with admirable vibrancy.
Gulf News tabloid! was invited behind-the-scenes exclusively earlier this week to hang out with the ‘Race 3’ actress in the UAE. The atmosphere around the set was buzzing with energy as monitors chronicling Fernandez’s movements were observed closely by Splash CEO Raza Beig and team.
“She fits in so beautifully. She’s young, vibrant, happy, confident, soulful and fights for the right causes … Jacqueline is the definition of happy. She always exudes the fun, happy vibe,” said Beig, who was also in the midst of planning a surprise birthday party for her in the hotel.
Fernandez had just embraced her 34th birthday with her friends on a beach in her native Sri Lanka.
“But we will show her how it’s done in Dubai style,” said Beig with a laugh.
While Fernandez ended her liquid diet with a sinfully delicious chocolate cake a few hours later, she still had her game face on as she sported multiple looks for the ad campaign late into the night.
“Today, we went from day wear to athleisure to party wear… Every single outfit that I wore today was comfortable, funky and glamorous. Whether it was the ‘90s tracksuit or the super chic, party girl faux fur, I felt very feminine and fashionable. I had a great time shooting for Splash,” said Fernandez.
After an eventful shoot, Gulf News tabloid! sat down with Fernandez to talk fashion, films, style and serial killers.
Here’s her take on…
“It’s like a piece of art, open to multiple interpretations. There’s beauty in fashion and like every piece of art, you should learn to appreciate fashion... We as creative people tend to appreciate fashion the way appreciate a painting.”
Her definition of style:
“I like to keep it basic … If you were to raid my wardrobe, you will find a lot of basics in it … My definition of personal style is all about comfort. You have to be extremely comfortable in what you wear.”
The most overrated trend:
“Every trend in fashion has had its moments. Remember what works for you, may not work for the next person. What appeals to you might work for another person, but not you. I would still respect their choices.”
Joining the likes of Katrina Kaif and Salman Khan as the face of Splash:
“I grew up in Bahrain. And ever since I was a little girl I dreamt about owning a Splash dress… I started modelling very early in my life. I was around 16 when I got to meet the entire team of Splash and I remember asking one of them if they would make me their brand ambassador. Even at that time, they were so positive and supportive. I can’t believe that I am now sitting down as the face of this aspirational brand. As I was exiting the Dubai airport, I saw Splash splashed everywhere. In Bahrain, Splash was a household name… When I endorse a brand, I want it to tick all the boxes. They are modest, appropriate and infuse global fashion. They source their materials ethically and are sustainable. I love that they keep their fashion basic, trendy and stylish.”
The pressure to look perennially perfect as a public figure:
“There are times when I want to just bum around and not wear fancy clothes or make-up. I allow myself to do that. I am unapologetic about that. I never allow myself to be someone I am not happy with. While I like to be well-turned out, I don’t let it stress me. Surprisingly, cool outfits motivate me somehow. What I believe in is self-love and self-care. If you are feeling about yourself, it shows.”
A trend that she loves:
Is nude the new black?:
“Black is so striking. How can you ever replace black? While nudes are stunning, no colour can ever take the place of black.”
Her go to outfit:
“Blue jeans and white shirts. I love oversized shirts on women. It looks so chic. Even though it’s massive, there’s something so feminine about it.”
Playing a serial killer in her upcoming web series on Netflix:
“I have always been intrigued by Shirish’s [director Kunder] work and felt that it was ahead of its time. While I never judge people by their past work, I was so intrigued when I heard the story of ‘Mrs Serial Killer’. It’s a crazy, scary story. I remember being shocked. We just completed the shoot and it will be out by the end of this year or early next year… Acting is a psychological process where you have to get into people’s minds. Remember serial killers are real people with a mind of their own.”
Her upcoming film ‘Drive’ with Sushant Singh Rajput:
“I grew up in the Middle East and am big into Formula One and Go Karting. ‘Drive’ will take you into a world of sleek cars and car chases. I have never done a car racing film in my career before… Sushant introduced me to a world of knowledge. He told me about quantum physics, bio-hacking and Elon Musk. He’s a phenomenal actor and he sent me these coolest books on acting and workshops.