For someone who's constantly reminded of the fact that she's making her Bollywood debut in her early 30s, model-turned-actress Waluscha De Sousa has a cheerful way of answering the sexist question.
"I'm in a happy space today, very content physically, emotionally and mentally," De Sousa told Mumbai Mirror in an interview published Friday. "I'm living every moment unlike my modelling days when I would take certain things for granted. I want to make the most of every opportunity."
Mother of three, De Sousa will be seen opposite actor Shah Rukh Khan in his highly-anticipated film Fan, which releases in mid-April.
After being 'discovered' by fashion designer Wendell Rodricks in Goa, De Sousa went on to participate in the Miss India beauty pageant. After a successful stint in the glamour world, she married model-choreographer Marc Robinson in 2002. A decade later, the couple parted ways.
"It all happened very quickly and I disappeared into another life. I was only 19 and in love, it felt like the right thing to do at the time. I've never tried to over-think a situation or fight what life has in store. I've always followed my heart. I got married and had three babies — it was a part of my life's journey," she told MM.
Now, thrilled to be working opposite Khan, who earlier has worked with newcomers such as Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om (2007) and Anushka Sharma in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008), De Sousa took acting lessons for the film, according to Hindustan Times.
Ambitious and passionate, De Sousa told MM that she wanted to work with filmmakers like Anurag Kashyap, Hansal Mehta and Sanjay Leela Bhansali, among others.
"I want to stick around for a while here, there are so many directors I'd like to work with," she said.
While De Sousa seems comfortable talking about her late entry into Bollywood, Khan has been very supportive and vocal against the fascination some sections of the media have had with her age.
“Its very old-fashioned that we get stuck on the age of the actors. What you have to understand is apart from the commercial aspect, an actor should be appropriate for the character as well. And Waluscha is perfect for the role," Khan had said on a television show last year.
Incidentally, De Sousa had earlier worked with Khan in a television advertisement.
Despite her ups and downs in life De Sousa has a positive outlook about love and life.
"I am a believer in love. My marriage may have ended, but that hasn't turned me into a cynic. Right now I'm completely focussed on my work but I'm pretty sure that love will definitely find me again," she said.
The upcoming thriller Fan has been directed by Maneesh Sharma of Band Baaja Baaraat (2010) fame and stars Shah Rukh Khan in a double lead role. The film is set to hit theatres on 15 April 2016.
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