Ex Miss Sri Lanka Jacqueline Fernandez has pretty much made India as her home. Arriving in the country three years back to try her luck in Bollywood, Jackie (as she is fondly called) bagged Aladin and Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai.
As she gets ready to involve herself neck deep into the promotion of this romantic comedy where she plays a beautiful alien and has Riteish Deshmukh opposite her, Jackie admits that her struggle is nothing when compared to that of her dad who worked relentlessly for 20 years before turning as successful as he is today.
"My dad is his own boss and this is what makes me so happy today. He achieved what he wanted to be and that's inspiring enough for me to keep working hard in the industry. When I look at where he is today, I feel so proud of him. It took him a long 20 years to get to a position from where he can call the shots and earn respect", says Jackie who is the daughter of a Sri Lankan dad and a Malaysian mother.
Jackie's dad had his own event management company which has handled some of the biggest concerts in the recent times. However, the fact is that he had actually started on a humble note as a DJ many years ago.
"My family has grown up on music, rock-n-roll and parties", Jackie gets nostalgic here, "For my dad, being DJ was just a hobby to begin with. Later when he started getting popular, he got invited for parties, shows and weddings as well. Eventually he started getting so busy that managing it with a day job became increasingly tough for him."
This was the time period when Jackie saw him lesser and lesser with every passing month.
"I don't even remember him eating", Jackie gets emotional here, "He would come really late in the night, sometimes at even 3 AM. He used to take a quick nap and was gone again at 6 PM. He was working hard for our family and was maintaining such hectic schedule for years at stretch. Eventually he took to entertainment profession full time."
No wonder, Jackie feels that in comparison, she didn't have to go through such gruelling journey.
"Yes, getting Miss Sri Lanka crown was hard work but ever since then, it hasn't been as tough as my dad's journey", Jackie says fondly here, "He is probably the hardest working man I have ever known and it would be tough to emulate his perseverance and attitude."
She is also happy that her parents never drew any boundaries for her, as far as her personal and professional life was concerned. "I had to never ask for any kind of permission from my parents", says Jackie, "Yes, like any concerned parents they would advise me. However, they never held me back on any decisions that I took. They have always completely trusted me."
Jackie would soon be seen in Jaane Kahan Se Aayi Hai which has debutant director Milap Zaveri at the helm of affairs. She plays the role of an alien who comes from Venus to Earth in search of love. With music by Sajid-Wajid and lyrics by Sameer, this co-production of Mukesh Talreja and Nikhil Advani releases all over on 9th April.