With a human topography that ’s too perfect for the mortal world, our cover girl bares a new side… That of a creator. Flip through the pages as neha becomes the muse and al so the art!

Hey! How was the shoot?

I loved it. It was very different from the other two times I shot for FHM. This time, there was a unique concept, a story to it. When I saw the mood board I was really excited. I was to play an artist, and it was a challenging thing. Taras and Dhruv took it to another level while executing and it was really great! I’m very excited about the cover and would be waiting to pick it up from the stands.

We’re glad that you liked it. With your diploma in fashion designing, you are an artist yourself. Do you paint as well?

Yes. We had to do a lot of illustrations in college. But personally, I love painting. The one I made in the shoot was just a five minute thing, so please don’t judge me on that (laughs). When I am not shooting for a movie and have some time on me, I like to paint… and cook too. It was a lovely coincidence that the shoot was on the lines of being an artist (smiles).

It was more than just coincidence. What kind of paintings do you make otherwise?

Abstract. Absolutely! In college we had sessions for painting and that was the one class I was very excited about. I think abstract is a kind which you can experiment with and paint something which is going on in your head. It’s more beautiful and unreal. It’s something which is new and anything new is more exciting in general!

You are beautiful as hell and we’re not saying it to flatter you, but damn, you are!!! Is this the reason you decided to take up acting?

First of all, let me clear that I’m not even close to being beautiful. As a kid too I used to think that I’m a total disaster. I was in an all-girls school and never had boys around to flirt with. Later, at NIFT, I didn’t have men around to flatter me, so I never thought I was beautiful. What got me into acting I was my fondness for dancing and my love for stage.

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I was in an all-girls school and never had boys around to flirt with.

So, you did plays as well in school?

Yeah! A lot of them. Whenever there was a play, I was a part of it!

You have walked a long way from your first Telugu film to parallel cinema like Kriti, to international movie like Xuanzang…

In my head I never had any boundaries for anything. In Telugu cinema, I didn’t even know who Chiranjeevi was. I was so unaware of everything. But that didn’t act as a deterrent for me from becoming an actor. I met the director, liked the story and went for it. But it’s difficult to act in a language that you don’t understand. So, Hindi films was the natural way to go.

So, how was Chinese?

Oh, thankfully, I’ve played an Indian character in the movie and I’m talking in Hindi. However, the international movie gave me an experience. I got to know how different industries work. Every movie industry has a different way of functioning and you get to see how things work. I learnt a lot!

This movie didn’t get much promotion in India… Why was that?

Yes, honestly I don’t know much about Chinese media. The movie is not very commercialised. It was not an action or a romantic movie, it was basically made for people who know the history of China and India. You know, it was something of a cultural collaboration that shows the relationship between the two countries. Pretty niche.

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I don’t know much about Chinese media.

Do you think you have grown as an actor?

I don’t know. That’s for the people to say. After having worked for a while, your skills definitely get improved. There is a lot of learning that has happened since my debut. I’m hoping that I’ve become better with time. For example, we were talking about Kriti… a lot people didn’t expect me to do something like it. But after seeing my work, they gave responded very positively. I am happy to be at the receiving end of such responses.

We saw the movie in the office together and we loved it…

Aww… Thank you. I think Shirish had a very nice idea. Though it got into a lot of controversy, but actually it was conceived long time back, and finally took shape now. I am happy that I was a part of it.

Tell us something about yourself that people probably don’t know.

I don’t know what people don’t know (haha). Umm… I had a very boring childhood. I come from a small town and growing up was pretty confined to staying home. I always wanted to get out of the place and explore the world. I wanted to do something that would make my parents proud. I wanted people to say, “Look, they are Neha’s parents.” Now I’m relaxed. It’s been a great life!

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always wanted to get out of the place and explore the world.

You spent your college in Delhi. Let’s see how you describe the following:

  1. Delhi guys – I hear about them being obnoxious and show offs, but I have never come across anyone like that. However, they can be a bit aggressive. I would like to call them ‘Angry Young Men.’
  2. Gurgaon – Umm… Very limited. My knowledge of Gurgaon is only limited to restaurants.
  3. Dilli ki sardi – I love it. I miss it so much. I just love the winters. In Mumbai, all my winter clothes stay in the closet and I have no place to wear them at, unless I travel out.
  4. House parties in Delhi – I never really partied at somebody’s home in Delhi. We used to go to clubs a lot, but no house parties.
  5. Renting an apartment – I rented a place in Defence Colony (laughs). My parents always made sure that I had all the comforts (winks). But, I think hostel life would have been a lot of fun too.

Are you seeing someone right now? BTW… do you get irritated when people ask you this?

No. I am very much single. And I don’t get irritated at the question. I’m a decent looking, straight girl and I should be dating someone…

What does a guy have to do to make an excellent impression on you?

Umm… I think he should be honest. The conversation needs to be honest. Bring your real self to me and I would be interested. Don’t be cocky and act cool. A genuine guy shouldn’t try to be someone else.

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I am very much single.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done in a foreign country?

Oh my God! Do I really have to say this?

Yes…

No one really pees in public, right! There was this one time that we were in a gay parade in Chicago and I really had to go. But it was so jam-packed that I had to do it in public. It was good that nobody saw. It was really crazy… in broad daylight (laughs)!

Is there a phobia that you would like to conquer?

Umm… I am claustrophobic. I‘m not comfortable in drives and I’m always freaking out in flights. So, yeah… I would like to get over that fear.

How would you describe your personality in five words?

I am passionate. I’d like to see myself as intelligent. I have a good sense of humour. You can call me witty as well. Crazy! I surprise myself, by doing something that even I don’ expect myself to do sometimes… So, unpredictable, I guess! You are a scorpion. And I am one too.

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I am claustrophobic. I‘m not comfortable in drives and I’m always freaking out in flights.

What do you think is the best sign to pair us with?

That’s very tricky. I haven’t found anyone yet. I’m a very hyper person and I think of the worst in any situation. I think a very calm and happy-go-lucky person should fit. Lemme figure out which sun sign that would be, and let you know then (haha).

Pick one and give a reason why…

  1. Take a bath or take a shower – Take a bath. It relaxes my muscles. And after a day of shoot, bathing is great. If I’m in a hurry then I would take a quick shower, but yeah, bathing is more fun.
  2. Sex or food – Sex is overrated. So, food! I love food.
  3. Beard or moustache – stubble…
  4. Manoj Bajpai in Gangs of Wasseypur or Manoj Bajpai in Kriti – Manoj in Aligarh. He has done a great job in the movie. After seeing that, I’ve become a great fan of his acting.
  5. 3D movies or regular cinema – Normal cinema. 3D movies have more technique to them, but normal cinema has more emotions. But if Titanic was made in 3D I would definitely go for the that version.

We were talking about food and you said that you love food, are you a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?

I am a hard core non-vegetarian. How can you enjoy food without eating meat? Not that I support killing, but I love non-veg

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I haven’t found anyone yet. I’m a very hyper person and I think of the worst in any situation.

Do you have a crazy fan story to tell…

Umm… I have this fan on Twitter. I don’t know if he is a fan, but he is someone who loves me a lot. He tweets me every hour and he has been doing it for years. There are people you don’t know, but they are there, always. His whole Twitter account is full of tweets about me. I too tweet him at times and he is really sweet. I would like to meet him someday.

Any new sexy avatar that we can expect to see you in?

I’m on the FHM September issue, can it get any sexier than that! Other than that… I am playing a girl next door in my new movie. It’s a romantic-musical film, so don’t know if there is anything sexy about it. It is definitely a brand new avatar for me.

You are originally from Bihar, right? What language do you speak?

Hindi! People have dialects in different regions of Bihar, but I don’t know any.

Oh, that’s such a disappointment. We wanted you to teach us something in Maithili…

No. I am really bad at it. We used to talk in Hindi at home. I would really like to do a hardcore movie based on Bihar. I have noticed that people in Bihar sing while talking. So, if I were to really teach you something, I would say, “Kiii haal hai babuaaa!” Another would be, “ahaaaaan”. I love listening to Lalu Prasad Yadav. He is just hilarious and makes me laugh every time I see him on TV

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We used to talk in Hindi at home.

ASKED ALONG THE WAY

Have you ever kissed or almost kissed a girl? Or vice versa.
A girl kissed me once! It was very weird. It didn’t feel like anything.

Have you ever been in a friends with benefits kind of situation?
No, I don’t think I can ever do that.

What will you do if you were ever caught in the act?
Pretend that it’s not me. I would want to die if my mother sees me.

What’s that one thing you’d never tell your mom?
Umm… that I have a boyfriend unless I have to take it a step further.

What’s your favourite cuss word?
Fuck! I say that too often and sometimes in front of the wrong people. They even take offence.

Have you ever sexted anyone?
No. That’s not my thing.

What’s your take on dirty talk?
It’s great if you are in a long distance relationship (haha). What else can you do, right?

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