A girl from West Sussex is set to be a Bollywood star after landing a main role in one of India’s most anticipated films.
Abigail Eames, 13, who lives in Cavendish Close, Goring, will star as a mute child in Shivaay, an action film starring Ajay Devgn.
She spent six weeks filming the part in Bulgaria and Mussoorie, a mountainous region in India, with the production starting in November last year and finishing in May.
Abigail will be flying back to India on Saturday to attend the premiere of the film, which comes out on October 28. The trailer for the film has more than 22million views on Youtube.
She said she is ‘very excited’ at the prospect of walking the red carpet. “I hope they put me in something very traditional and pretty, not just your standard dress. I can’t wait, I’m very excited.”
Abigail, whose previous credits include Mr Selfridge and Doctor Who, got the part after impressing producers during the audition process.
She said: “Initially they said they wanted a girl with blonde hair and blue eyes, so when I got offered the part I was so happy, nervous, excited – I was all over the place.”
Shortly afterwards, Abigail and her mother Genienne flew out to Mumbai, where she studied Hindi in preparation for her role.
But when she arrived on set in Mussoorie, she soon realised it was not as necessary.
“I thought it would be really hard for me because no-one would understand what I was saying and I would have to learn so many lines, but then I found out I did not have any lines so I thought ‘great!’”
He told me to be myself and to be a diva – but I didn’t know what to say!Abigail Eames
“It is good that most people spoke very good English because all I could say in Hindi was ‘my name is Abigail’.”
While in Mumbai, Abigail also had to learn how to roller skate. She said: “In a little bit of the film I have to roller skate down this hill, and I am absolutely rubbish! At the bottom I flew up in the air and someone was there to catch me luckily.”
Abigail said she feels ‘so lucky’ for doing the film, which has allowed her ‘to see the world’ and said it is hard to explain the experience to her friends at school.
While on set, Ajay had some advice for his co-star, who is still friends with his daughter. “He told me to be myself and to be a diva – but I didn’t know what to say!”
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