First things first Shenaz, how did you bag this TV show One Life To Live?
A few months ago, I came to the States for a wedding in San Diego, after which I flew to New York to visit friends. My co-star in Delhi Belly, Poorna (my darling super-talented, best friend and angel) introduced me to her agent who sent me to an audition for 'One Life To Live'. It was my first audition in the U.S. and I went in for fun, not expecting anything, which is probably the best attitude to have. As luck would have it, I got shortlisted and called back the next day and then got called back the next week again to meet producers, after which I had to do another screen test. The audition process itself took a couple of months, so I extended my trip and subleased an apartment here. By this time, I really wanted to get this. I went through many rounds and out of 1000 odd girls in LA and NY, they chose 15 and then 9 and then finally 2. I was one of the two. I waited a few weeks with bated breath.
And then you bagged the coveted role...
Well not really...you won't believe it but in the end, they called me and told me I did NOT get the role of Aubrey Wentworth because I just did not suit the character. She needed to be Caucasian. And the role I auditioned for went to the other girl, Terri Con who is an Emmy award winning, gorgeous, blonde, famous soap star. We have since become good friends and I love her. Of course at that time, I was disappointed and was ready to return to Mumbai with my tail between my legs but they stopped me and said they are writing a role especially for me because they really liked what they saw of me. My agent told me I was very lucky because this has never happened before. Of course I was over the moon. So, I decided to go home, say bye to friends and family, pack up my bags and move to NY for the winter months to do this role. We started shooting in December last year and I'll be here till March.
Wow...that's some tryst with destiny. So tell us more about your character in the show.
It's a soap, so nobody is what they seem (laughs). Everyone is scheming, devious and a tramp. I play Rama Patel- sexy, manipulative, man-eating, and artful with stars in her eyes. She is a tiger, ripe and ready to have an affair (smiles).
Could you tell us a bit about the show One Life To Live.
What do I say? It's the longest running and most famous soap in America. It's been on since 1968.
And finally who are your co-stars on the show?
There are a lot of big names associated with the show. Some of these people have been on the show for 35 years, before I was even born. Many have won Emmy awards and are very famous here. I have a very interesting story line with Terri (who plays Aubrey Wentworth), the role I initially auditioned for. We were in school in Paris together and share many dark secrets about each other. Now I'm black mailing her (laughs). Besides when I did my final screen test, I auditioned with an icon Erika Sleazak. She has portrayed the role of the central heroine Victoria 'Viki' Lord on 'One Life To Live' since March 1971. She has won a record 6 Daytime Emmy Awards for her role. She is the Amitabh Bachchan of Soaps.