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    Actress Tina Desai on The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and her Wachowskis project

    Twenty seven year-old Tina Desai (and not Tena Desae as Wikipedia would have you believe) had no second thoughts when signing The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, directed by John Madden. In the second instalment—which takes forward the story of a group of British pensioners who move into a hotel in India, run by Sonny Kapoor (Dev Patel)—Sunaina (Desai) is getting married to Kapoor. “All the stories are interwoven into the entire marriage ceremony, right from the engagement to the reception,” explains Desai, who will be seen along with an ensemble cast featuring big names like Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Lillete Dubey, Richard Gere and Patel.

    247170-a-still-of-tena-desae-from-the-movie-table-no-21.jpgNostalgia central
    The Bangalore-girl is overjoyed to be part of the same cast as the first instalment. “This film has been a turning point in terms of personal and professional achievements. A lot of the cast and crew actually kept in touch between the two parts,” says the model-turned-actress. Playing Patel’s love interest, Desai talks to us about her co-star. “Broadly speaking, he’s a mad hatter—he’s Jim Carrey on 500 Red Bulls. To keep up with him and his energy is nearly impossible. He is always politically incorrect because sometimes he says such bizarre things. But I think he has matured from the first instalment. Now you can have a two-minute conversation with him, which was such a challenge in the first part,” laughs the Table No 21 star.

    International outing
    As for her upcoming films, Desai will be seen in Sense8 by the Wachowskis. “I got the film through an audition. I was given the script and I did a self-taped audition,which they loved,” she shares. The  science fiction drama has eight characters with different stories. “I play the role of Kala, a scientist in a pharmaceutical company who is getting married to someone whom she doesn’t love. She realises she can connect to seven other people—both mentally and emotionally—without even meeting them. We shot between June and December, in nine countries,” shares Desai, who chooses scripts that are thought provoking, intelligent but entertaining.

    Scope for improvement
    As an actor, she wishes to improve her language skills. “I wish I could adapt to new languages easily. I am getting better at Hindi,” she confesses. The actress also finds inspiration in several people, starting with cricketer Yuvraj Singh for his fight against cancer. “There’s also my maid, who has the strength and ability to work in six different houses, and acid attack victims,” she says.
    The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is scheduled to release in April.

    Mrinalini Sundar

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