Cover Story

Issue: May 2014

Summer Siren

  • Nichole
  • Nichole
  • Nichole
  • Nichole
  • nichole faaria
  • nichole faaria
  • nichole faria
  • nichole faria
  • nichole faria
  • nichole faria

Global warming alert! As the mercury rises outside, Kingfisher swimsuit calendar girl Nicole Faria is turning up the heat further by frolicking in the sexiest resort wear for Hi! Blitz. Having been the first and only Indian woman to be crowned Miss Earth internationally, you could say Nicole has always displayed ‘model behaviour’—she did her first photoshoot at 13, started modelling professionally at 15, before entering Miss India at 18 encouraged by the words of her grandmom. Then came along her role in Yaariyan, and Nicole was allowed to live out her inner drama queen for Bollywood. “Since I was a little girl, I was this big drama queen. I’d always be in every play in school, go to my parents and act like my stomach was hurting or cry to bunk school...and they knew I was acting, but sometimes they would fall for it and then I’d wink at them. So I’ve always loved the name ‘drama queen’,” says the 24-year-old stunner.

Currently enjoying life to the fullest with no plans of marriage anytime soon, this footloose and fancy-free gal from Bangalore says there’s only one way to woo her: “If I can have an actual conversation with a guy, then that’s a big turn-on. There’s nothing like a street smart or intelligent man.”

Was modelling always your ambition growing up?

You know, it’s weird but it all started when I was a little girl. I would hold my doll, she had a tiara on her head, and I would wave to the mirror and wipe off tears as though I’ve won something (laughs), thank everyone, thank Mother Teresa, thank my parents and today they still laugh about it but I think these are the things that shape your future. They make you the person you are tomorrow. I’ve always wanted to be someone rich, someone famous—but for the right reasons.

And what would those reasons be?

Some people get famous for robbing banks—that’s not something I’d like to get famous for (laughs). I want to be appreciated for my good work, I want to contribute to society in some way, be I think I have my morals and values intact, I know where I want to go and I’m sure the universe is with me.

You’re the first and only Indian woman to have been crowned Miss Earth—do you have a favourite memory from your big win in 2010?

Right before I got onto the stage, Ronan Keating looked at me and said, ‘You look really beautiful and if you win, you deserve to win’. That really gave me an extra push. And then after seeing my parents in the crowd, I didn’t care whether I’d win or lose because I knew that they were with me and it just felt right—like you know when something good is going to happen.

Have you ever faced any kind of discrimination internationally?

Well, my evening gown was ripped in the pageant. I don’t know who did it, but we were supposed to hang up our clothes before going for hair and make-up. I was wearing a Gavin Miguel beaded gown—it was made of metal beads which were quite heavy, and as I started walking the beads started to fall off. That’s when I knew that someone had definitely tampered with it.

You played the hot and sexy girl that every guy wants in your Bollywood debut Yaariyan. Quite true to life, isn’t it?

Not just a hot body and pretty face—I now want to be known for something like talent or my acting. I want people to appreciate me for my work.

You initially had a problem with speaking Hindi...

Not really a problem as such... It was just that I dropped Hindi in school and college and took French as a language, but my mom being a sardarni was a great help—she helped me with pronunciation, diction, everything. And most importantly feeling what you’re saying because if you don’t understand the language it’s very difficult to emote. Now of course I’m much better at it.

With Bollywood films getting bolder, how comfortable are you with onscreen skin show?

I’ve been in a bikini in an international pageant on stage and the whole world has seen me, so I’m very comfortable in my skin. But it has to be shot well.

Any other films on the anvil?

I’m actually looking at scripts. I want to take on something that takes me to a different level. I don’t want to do the same thing again and again.

The criticism often levelled at models is that they’re nothing more than hangers. Your comment?

I would like to challenge the people who say this to walk in seven-and-a-half inch heels, stand for fittings for three hours a day for each of the designers they are doing for fashion week, and then try walking the ramp five days later. In fact, some of these girls get quite scared so they don’t feel like eating anything, but most of the girls are hogs, gluttons, they stuff their faces because they have good genes. People always look at models in a negative way and say that they starve themselves, but that’s not necessarily true.

Did you initially find it difficult to be taken seriously because of your good looks?

I think people took me more seriously after I won the international pageant. I started having meetings with politicians for things like cleaning up the lakes in Bangalore. There have been very few girls who’ve done something like this.

So what would you say is your USP over all the other girls?

I’m never overconfident about myself, but at the same time I don’t underestimate myself.

How competitive are you?

I am to an extent (laughs). But then again I have my days; I’m an ambivert when it comes to competitiveness.

Love, money or fame—what drives you?

Fame. Because with fame, money for love, I still have lots of time for that (laughs).

Who according to you are the most desirable hunks in the industry?

Ranbir Kapoor and Ranveer Singh—from the younger generation they are definitely it! Farhan Akhtar is a super talent, and of course Shah Rukh Khan and Aamir Khan.

Any women you admire?

There’s no one like Madhuri (Dixit Nene). She’s graceful, she’s classy and hats off to her, after all these years she’s still pulling it off. I would want to be someone like that... In fact my mom looks a lot like Madhuri.

Any plans of marriage?

No no no...I’m enjoying my life.

When not working...

I love to paint. I also love reading, dancing, singing, anything with beats gets me in a good mood. I also love to do a lot of charity with my grandmom’s NGO Prema Jyothi Trust. I like to give back to life.

What are your dreams ahead?

Personally, ten years from now I’ve set my goal that I want to buy an island. Maybe in Fiji or’s just something I have always dreamed of as a kid.

Read more in the May 2014 issue of Hi! BLITZ – the no.1 Lifestyle magazine.

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This article first appeared in May 2014 issue of Hi! BLITZ magazine

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July 2014