To be cast in the role of Shah Rukh Khan’s friend in a Bollywood film would be the dream of many. But that is exactly what happened to Jasmine Jardot, who plays the role of Maria in Jab Tak Hai Jaan. From working alongside SRK’s character in a restaurant, to dancing up a storm and doing the splits in the energetic Ishq Dance and Ishq Shava tracks, Jasmine gets to show off not just her acting prowess but her dance skills too.
Born and brought up in the UK, Jasmine – like Katrina Kaif – is also part Indian. Steven Baker sat down with the talented beauty as her Bollywood journey begins.
How did you bag a Yash Raj film as your debut Bollywood release?
I had to do a few auditions involving a dance routine, some dialogue and just talking about myself for YRF to get to know me a bit. It was all filmed and then sent over to India for them to narrow the choices down and to finally pick someone, I let myself forget about the audition because it was such a huge film and the work I had done before was predominantly dancing and modelling and up until this point my acting experience was limited so when I found out I was really quite shocked, I told my family in India about getting the part and they couldn’t believe it they were so happy. It was an amazing feeling.
Do you remember your first day on set?
Yes. Actually, when I started filming I hadn’t spoken to anyone from the film so when I turned up on the first day I was a little apprehensive. But everyone was so welcoming and even though they were working extremely hard, they always had time to laugh and made me feel at ease. I think this shows how passionate everyone was about this film and it certainly has given me a hunger to do more in Bollywood.
It must have been special to have been directed by the late Yash Chopra?
I feel extremely privileged to have worked with Yash-ji on Jab Tak Hai Jaan as he was such a legendary figure within the industry. It was an amazing experience for me to have worked with him. My mother is from Calcutta so even though I grew up in Britain I was brought up watching Hindi films and Yash Chopra was always one of the greats, so when I was asked by my agent to audition for a Yash Chopra Bollywood film, I jumped at the chance.
You display some fantastic dance skills when you take Katrina clubbing…
I loved filming ‘Ishq Shava’ and ‘Ishq Dance’ the choreographer, Vaibhavi Merchant, was amazing. It was so energetic and had this really cool underground feeling to it, I come from a classical dance background so this was very different and I loved it. The audience will see me playing the role of Maria, who takes Meera (Katrina) to the tunnel where Samar (SRK) is. I dance just before Katrina and Shah Rukh enter the floor in ‘Ishq Dance’. They were very good in this. Their energy and passion took over and they looked incredible in the film. Katrina Kaif is very kind, I liked her a lot and she is very talented as well as being stunning.
How was it sharing screenspace with Shah Rukh Khan?
Shah Rukh is such a gentlemen, he is fantastic. in one of the scenes we were shooting we had to hold these heavy silver trays with champagne on them and between each take he would take mine and hold it for me until we started again, I thought that was wonderful, he is so humble and down to earth something you would not expect from such a high profile actor, he is very wise and I learnt a lot from the both him and Katrina.
What happens to your character Maria by the end of the film, does she also find love?
Maria ends up marrying Zain played by Sharib Hashmi in the movie. Sharib is one of the nicest people I have ever met, he is very funny always joking but a fantastic actor, he made me cry on set with his performance.
What next for Jasmine Jardot?
Working on this film has opened up avenues for me in terms of what I want to do. The next movie you can see me in is the British gangster film AB Negative coming to cinemas in 2013. I am also currently working on the Hindi language, taking more acting and dance classes, and looking forward to doing more work in Indian cinema.