Elli Avram: 'I am grateful to Salman Khan'

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Mumbai, June 9 -- Elli Avram is yet to make a mark as a Bollywood actor, but last year, she managed to build quite a fan following, thanks to her stint on the reality show, Bigg Boss (BB).

Labelled host Salman Khan's favourite, the Swedish-Greek actor was also touted as the Dabangg (2010) star's newest muse. But surprisingly, she hasn't yet been seen opposite him in a film.

In this interview, the one-film old Elli tells us about her alleged closeness to Salman and her desire to bag a heroine's role.     

Everyone thought you would sign a film with Salman, but that didn't happen. Why?     

I don't know. I'm grateful to Salman Khan; he supported me. I'm an outsider in the industry and was very confused after exiting the show. But he guided and helped me. He told me not to sign the first film I'm offered. Meanwhile, I've been doing stage shows. I'm still in touch with Salman, and have also signed up with his manager's company.     

Do you wish you had done things differently?     

I wish I had signed a film earlier. But I also believe that the right film will happen when it's meant to happen. I have a lot of patience; I'm not in a hurry. I'm working on my acting and dancing skills, and Hindi, which has improved.     

Do you think reports about your closeness to Salman helped your career?     

The support he gave me during the show helped me a lot. As for the stories, the ones about him buying me a house and a car were false. My parents bought those things for me. I don't pay attention to such stories; they don't matter. Salman and I share a good friendship. It's because of him that I have a fan following today.     

Do you feel foreign actresses aren't taken very seriously in Bollywood?     

I don't think so. It's about the character you are looking for (in films) and where you want to take your career. Though I'm a foreigner, I've been offered roles of Indian characters.     

You were asked to be part of Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa. Why didn't you take it up?     

I wanted to focus on movies. There are a few projects lined up, so I didn't want to take up anything else. I want to play a good role - that of a heroine or an important character. I don't want to take up item songs or do cameos.