Pooja Batra, former Miss India and Bollywood actress Image Credit: A.K Kallouche/Gulf News

Pooja Batra, former Miss India and Bollywood actress, was in Dubai attending Middle East Film and Comic Con for the Middle East premiere of her first Hollywood project, One Under the Sun. A science-fiction drama, the films sees Batra play astronaut Kathryn Voss, the sole survivor of a disastrous space mission, who is desperate to reunite with her terminally ill daughter but becomes a fugitive when the government discovers she’s returned to earth with an extraordinary gift.

“It was the script that drew me to the project and I loved my role. How many actresses get to say that they played an astronaut? Those roles don’t come easy. I did it primarily to channel my creativity,” said Batra.

Batra says that having now worked in Bollywood and Hollywood, she finds the strict schedules and the scripts of independent films in the US very refreshing. “We shot the entire film in 11 days. That was very intense for me as an actor. They work on tight schedules. I’m waiting to work next on a studio film, where they actually train you, and you shoot on big, complex sets,” she said.

In preparation for the role, Batra studied the lives of astronauts Kalpana Chawla and Sunita Williams. “I was also watching all these sci-fi films, like Interstellar, the Martian,” she said

Batra, who has now been living in Los Angeles for more than 10 years, said she is also not averse to acting in Bollywood films. “I would love to return to Bollywood. But I definitely need a good script,” she said. “I’d like to act in movies like Baahubali. Who woundn’t?”

Batra will next be seen in Mirror Game, an Indian independent film, produced in the US. She will play a police psychiatrist in the psychological thriller, releasing in the US this June.