By Devapriyo Bhattacharjee
Mumbai, Oct 26 (IANS) Zeenat Aman in the 1970s successfully paved the way from the ramp to the silver screen, setting a trend for years to come. Since then, there has been a steady rise of models trying their luck in Bollywood and, with every passing decade, their numbers have increased manifold.
The successful careers of model-turned-actresses like Aishwarya Rai, Priyanka Chopra Juhi Chawla, Bipasha Basu and Sushmita Sen have proved that the ramp can be a stepping stone to the glamorous world of Bollywood.
In recent times, there have been additions to their numbers with actresses like Lara Dutta, Katrina Kaif, Deepika Padukone, Sayali Bhagat, Geeta Basra, Mugdha Godse and Jia Khan, among others, who have forayed into Bollywood with their modeling backgrounds.
Most models who walk the ramp have an aspiring actor inside them and feel the runway can give them the much-needed attention of producers and directors of the film industry.
Former Miss India World Natasha Suri, who won the title in 2006 and has been modelling since then, feels that the fashion fraternity and Bollywood are siblings.
"The fashion industry and the Bollywood have so many things in common that I feel they are very much inter-related. They are two siblings," Suri, who will soon be foraying into Bollywood, told IANS.
Kingfisher calendar model Shruti Agarwal, who has been part of the fashion industry for the last three years, said that films will always be her first priority as this means going one step ahead of modelling.
"Films will be my first priority now. Everybody wants to go higher and do better things and film is definitely one step ahead. Bollywood is a bigger platform as far as the glamour industry is concerned," she added.
Bollywood attracts not only Indian models, but a number of international ones have also set their eye on it.
Carolina Brytha, a 19-year-old model from Iceland who has been visiting India for various fashion shows, said though she had essentially come here for walking the ramp, she has also been part of various shoots.
"I have hired a local PR agency to get me more work on albums, ads and films. I already have done a few assignments," she added.
Brytha said she has also done small roles in films and is looking forward to getting better offers.
"As Indian films fascinate me, I am looking forward to acting in films. Though I have done a few small roles, I think the Indian market is really big and I will be able to get better roles in future," she added.
Fashion designer Lina Tipnis, who has worked with the likes of Aishwarya Rai, Sushmita Sen and Bipasha Basu, told IANS: "Fashion shows see a huge attendance of people from Bollywood and many of them come here to spot new faces. Therefore, I think there is a huge inter-change of talent from both the industries."
"Besides, the gap between the two worlds is narrowing, with people from one getting involved in the other," Tipnis added.