Twenty-four-year-old newcomer Kyra Dutt is not just another hot bod Kingfisher model-turned-actress. Behind all the glitz and the glamour, lies a Bengali girl who writes beautiful poetry and has even given a TED Talk for a peace initiative. “My mother gave me the name Kyra,” she smiles.
“It means ‘the light of God’ in Egyptian. It also means ‘someone who is enthroned’,” she explains. Ask her about her debut with the National Award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar and she says, “Oh, Madhur sir is one director who has always gone against the flow… Tabu in Chandni Bar, Bipasha Basu in Corporate or Priyanka Chopra in Fashion – he has always been an actress’ director. For me it’s like a dream come true to feature in his Calendar Girls.” She has already landed a meaty part in her second film, Ken Ghosh’s erotic drama titled XXX, produced by Ekta Kapoor and slated to release next year. She also signed a certain ‘nudity clause’ as part of the contract. “It says that I’m legally bound to expose according to the demands of the script.”
The clause also covers shooting intimate scenes and use of explicit language. “It’s a performance-oriented movie. The nudity clause came with the contract of XXX… It’s good to have that little fire out there and let people keep guessing what it’s all about.” The newbie says she wasn’t unnecessarily inhibited by the nude scenes. “My DoP was a woman and it was a closed set. The greatest way to overcome fear for any actor is by letting go of their inhibitions.” Kyra was a student at Mumbai’s St. Xavier’s college before she became a calendar model for Kingfisher. Says she, “I am one of those girls who don’t think she’s pretty. I need to be constantly reminded that I am. Honestly, I believe I am average. When photographer Atul Kasbekar saw me at designer Arjun Khanna’s party, he came up to me and said, ‘You should try for the Kingfisher calendar.’
I wondered if he was kidding.” But she did take the leap, cleared the audition and here she is today. Probe her if the film has taken any references from the actual Chairman of the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines, Vijay Mallya and she denies it. “Hmmm… I don’t think so. Maybe it takes references from a liquor baron who makes sexy calendars all year round, but no, not specifically Vijay Mallya.” She says that the best part about these two movies is the fact that her roles are completely different. “Sharon Pinto from Calendar Girls is this young, free-spirited, happy go lucky, yet a sorted girl from Goa. She is modern but at the same time rooted to her culture. She does this calendar shoot and that’s when things change for her. Soon she starts seeing the reality of this industry. Just like me…” As far as XXX is concerned, she remains tight- lipped about her character.
“All I can tell you is that she is absolutely crazy! She’s also mysterious and unpredictable.” She continues, “Madhur sir doesn’t want you to come with any preconceived notions. He just wants you to surrender to him completely. For XXX, we did a couple of workshops. Ken is into the technicalities because he has been a cinematographer before.” She says all the five girls in Calendar Girls bonded like a house on fire and had a blast. “We had this great camaraderie going on – everyone believes that when you put five girls in a group they will have catfights and tear each other’s hair. But it is not like that! We’ve become good friends.” She insists she has a lot of respect for co-stars Indraneil Sengupta and Rohit Roy.
“Indraneil has been a senior actor in Bengal. I’ve seen him in Srijit Mukherji’s Autograph. I loved his work. He’s a supportive co-star. We shared a great chemistry. Also, despite being such a big star in Bengal, he’s so humble.” She reveals that Rohit Roy is playing a photographer inspired by real-life ace lens-man Atul Kasbekar in this film.” Few know that she has done the hit item number Boochade boochade in the 2014 Telugu blockbuster Race Gurram. “In the South, they consider dancing as the ultimate thing! It’s hard work. You need to rub a pain relief balm after each shot,” she laughs. “The hero Allu Arjun would ask me to sing it. I was quite embarrassed!” She says that she doesn’t mind doing regional movies. “I follow my heart. I’d love to do anything that I feel connected with.”