Being a Punjabi worked in my favour in Paltan: Monica Gill

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By HT

NEW DELHI, Aug. 22 -- When Monica Gill, an NRI Punjabi, was trying to convince her family to be supportive of her career choices, she had no idea that a few years later, she would be working with director JP Dutta.

She says, "He gave us, the Punjabi community, a fabulous film - Border (1997), which highlighted the importance of Sikh soldiers in the Indian army... When I found out that I will soon be meeting him, I had no intention of getting Paltan. I was just excited to meet him." 

Monica, who plays the role of a Punjabi girl in the upcoming war drama, adds that her ethnicity proved to be an advantage. "I think being a Punjabi worked in my favour. The character speaks only in Punjabi. She is a typical Punjabi girl... wears suits and has a Punjabi attitude." 

In the movie, Monica will be seen romancing actor Harshwardhan Rane, and she is all praise for her co-star: "He is the superstar of tomorrow. The way he carries himself, the way he behaves, his graciousness, his attitude... he is going to go far." 

A former beauty pageant winner, Monica has worked in the Punjabi film industry, too. Asked if she can draw comparisons between the two industries, she says, "The budgets in Hindi cinema are better than Punjabi cinema. Here, you get better cars, hotels, vanity, etc. But, the shooting process, the making of the film, the preparation of the character - is all the same." 

The actor, who also has a Punjabi film, Punj Khaab, depicting the social stigmas that women face, lined up for release, says that actor Priyanka Chopra is one of her all-time favourites. "She is not only stunning but also a wellrounded woman. I also look up to Meryl Streep as she is a powerhouse of talent," Monica signs off.