Actress Elena Fernandes: Working in 'EK Villain Returns' was like a dream come true!
Elena Fernandes is a super model, influencer, actress and philanthropist. Her role in 'Ek Villain Returns' won a lot of appreciation
1. Tell us about your journey.
I'm an academic at heart. I did my undergrad at King's College. Then I did my LPC, and I combined it with a master's in international law, and I juggled a very successful modelling career. I worked a lot in London and in America. Then I got the call to do Vogue India. I came to India. I shot lots of editorials. Then I did TV commercials and campaigns. And then Dharma Productions cast me in 'Kapoor and Sons'.
2. How did 'Ek villain returns' happen?
I was in London and I got a call from the producer, Amul Mohan and he said, Elaina, we've got this great character and this film. We'd love for you to read the character and, you know, do a test for it. See if this is something you want to do. And obviously, I knew the director was Mohit Suri, who's just a phenomenal director. I did the test. I came to India for a meeting with him. We developed the character of Quiran with the Q and everyone loved the character in the film. It made a lot of people laugh.
3. How was you over all experience?
For me, it was such an incredible experience particularly because I also had to perform a song. So when you're singing, dancing and acting, that's very hard. But it was just a great experience. I was working with amazing actors like Arjun Kapoor, Tara Sutaria, and a seasoned director Mohit Suri. Then John and Disha were there. It was like a dream come true. And when we had the screening in Mumbai, when you have these amazing talents laughing because your character is so funny and they're telling you how much they loved the character. It’s like a job well done, you know.
4. Did you want to become an actor since childhood?
No, I wanted to become an astronaut and work with NASA. Then I wanted to become a spy, then a lawyer. And now I am an actor.
5. As you have studied law then why didn't you pursue a career in Law? Why acting?
It's all because I can always go back to law later in life. For now, I use my legal knowledge wherever required. I do my own contracts, everything like that.
6. We have come to know that you are associated with an animal and children welfare society. Are you doing it on your own or with some government help?
Right now I'm doing it by myself. I do have plans to speak to the BMC, but for the past five years now I've been doing it by myself. I focus on mass sterilisations of the strays. I have a brilliant team who do neutering even when I'm not in town. They are also well aware of the law.
7. How and when did you start working towards animal welfare?
My father has always loved animals. My grandfather loved animals. When I was eight years old, my parents gave me two cats and they lived for 18 years. And I've got lots of Indian cats that I brought to London, and I've had dogs, hamsters. My sister has rabbits. I've always loved animals because I feel like they always give you unconditional love. And if I can help in developing compassion for animals and strays among people, it will be a great satisfaction for me. A lot of people in India are now compassionate towards strays, they are gentle towards them, which is very nice to see.
9. Has Mumbai police supported you in this?
Yes, I've got a lot of police support and it's just that I personally have never had an issue. They've always been very supportive.
11. What is the name of your association and its motive?
I will soon be registering the name of my organisation, which is ‘I am changed’ because I feel that everyone can bring a change to society. But other than that, we do a lot of fundraising. I'm also very involved with Samovila Foundation which helps disabled strays. And, you know, as you saw on my social media, I talk about it a lot. I promote it a lot. So, we're spreading the message out there.
12. How did you get associated with 'Dolcee Vee' and what do they do to save our environment?
I've always loved the concept of circular fashion as a way to express ourselves through our unique styles while also protecting the planet. So this concept of sharing my wardrobe favourites for a charity sale with Dolce Vee worked perfectly. I loved raising funds for a cause close to my heart while connecting with my fans and community in a unique way!
13. Do you think nepotism exists in Bollywood?
I think nepotism exists everywhere, not just in Bollywood. It's everywhere. And yes it does. But I mean, like if I was from one of those families and if my child wants to do films, I of course, would support my child. And then it's up to the audience if they accept that or not.
15. What are your upcoming projects?
I have one film which hasn't been announced yet that comes out in December of this year. And then I've got a South Project that I will soon start working on. I'm really looking forward to it.