Pooja Hegde, who made her smashing Cannes debut this year, has her kitty full with movies—Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus opposite Ranveer Singh, Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan with Salman Khan, and an untitled Telugu film with South superstar Mahesh Babu. In an exclusive tête-à-tête, Hegde talks about movies, fashion and more...
Harper’s Bazaar: Growing up, did you always want to be an actress?
Pooja Hedge: No, I didn't. I come from a very non filmy background, a very educationally sound and driven family. So, acting, modeling, and the glamour world was not something that even came to my mind. I didn't really think it was a possibility. But I always wanted to do something creative and I knew that I couldn't do an office desk job. I had contemplated doing something in fashion merchandising and management, or photography.
HB: You recently worked on Rohit Shetty’s Cirkus with Ranveer Singh. What is a Rohit Shetty film set like?
PH: I think shooting a Rohit Shetty film is like a great party, like a family get-together. Ranveer (Singh) and Rohit sir have worked together on two films before Cirkus, this was my first with them, but it didn’t feel like it was new set, everybody just got along. Rohit sir always makes sure everybody is comfortable and having fun on set.
HB: How was Ranveer as a co-star?
PH: Ranveer has been a lot of fun to work with, he is one energy ball. He comes to the set with extreme levels of energy and it’s been great collaborating with him. I call him Pammi aunty because I think he has a lot of ‘Pammi’ qualities in him. He’s someone who has all the information of the industry—what’s going on, who went where—that’s why I call him Pammi aunty!
HB: Was it intimidating working opposite Salman Khan in Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan?
PH: I wouldn’t say it was intimidating. It’s been great so far, he’s someone who knows exactly what he wants. It’s great to see him work very closely with every single scene and how it’s being executed. He’s very hands on and that has been a great learning experience for me.
HB: From Bollywood to Tollywood, have you made any 4am close friends in the industry yet?
PH: Well, knowing me... if I’m shooting every day, I am fast asleep by 10 pm. There’s no calling happening that late at night because I am up by 6am!
HB: What, according to you, is the major difference between the Hindi and Telugu film industry?
PH: I don’t think there’s much of a difference between the two industries in terms of working styles. Maybe the South is a little more organized. It depends on the director and the team that you’re working with, whether in Bollywood or Tollywood. But people are people everywhere; it’s just the language that changes.
HB: You recently became the new brand ambassador of Forever New. How close is their line to your personal style?
PH: I think the brand and my style are very similar. It’s a perfect match. I always gravitate towards something that’s classic, because that stays forever. I feel that Forever New is exactly the same in terms of their clothing line—it’s trendy and classic at the same time.
HB: What are your favorite picks from Forever New’s Autumn/Winter’22 collection?
PH: It’s very hard to pick a favorite. I love their floral black dress that I wore for the shoot. I also think that the white gown that I wore was stunning, because it just fit me like a glove and looked really rich. There was also a gold gown that was really beautiful. It looked great on my skin tone and made it shine.
HB: What are the three must-haves in your handbag?
PH: Phone charger, perfume, and mint.
HB: What’s been your most favourite red carpet look to date?
PH: Oh, my look this year at Cannes! I think it was such an insane experience walking the red carpet, and everything looked just perfect.
HB: What’s that one piece of clothing that you can spend an entire lifetime in?
PH: Something linen... I love linen. It’s such a vibe and is so comfortable. I’d pair it with cargos or shorts.
HB: Who’s that one person whose wardrobe you wish to raid?
PH: Hailey Bieber’s... I think she has the most amazing wardrobe ever.
HB: Who’s your favourite go-to designer, someone you can trust blindly?
I love Dior. Every single piece of clothing, bags, shoes; everything is stunning, beautiful, classy, and elegant. That’s my go to brand.