The first reaction was that of surprise and the thought ‘where had she been?’ when we spotted Waluscha de Sousa on screen, playing Shah Rukh Khan’s wife in Fan. “Everyone has been telling me that,” laughs the model who once scorched the ramp. Waluscha waltzed into the modelling scene as a teen.
She was supposed to be the surprise factor, cast in a brief role modelled on Gauri Khan. Waluscha is relieved she can finally talk about the film, which happens to be her first. She has done a few ad films with Shah Rukh in the past, but this was a different ball game.
“I was looking and was told that if I manage to meet casting director Shanoo Sharma, there’s a good chance of something working out. I sent her my photographs and waited. The call came out of the blue and I rushed to meet her,” says Waluscha. In the next two days, she auditioned and went back, hoping something would come out of it.
Shanoo Sharma had sent the audition clippings to Aditya Chopra and Maneesh Sharma, who were on the look for someone pretty, could act, and looked confident to be a superstar’s wife. “I was called to meet Maneesh and it was a casual conversation. Even then I didn’t know about Fan. When they eventually asked if I’d act in the film, it was a no-brainer. I mean, why would I refuse a film with Shah Rukh?” she laughs.
On her first day on the sets, she was a bundle of nerves. She had rehearsed but got worked up and fumbled her lines. “We were shooting the scene were Gaurav walks into the house, I hug him and sense that he is an impostor. I was wearing a satin night dress and felt conscious, uncomfortable,” she recalls.
Mobile phones were not allowed on the sets to keep SRK’s Gaurav look under wraps. So Waluscha didn’t have the option of calling her friends and sharing her nervousness. “I maintained a calm exterior but I was dying inside. It was nerve wracking. Shah Rukh was very patient till I got it right,” she says.
Hers might have been a brief role, but Walushca was excited. “I liked the experience. My brief was to play a confident woman like Gauri. She’s been Shah Rukh’s backbone and she’s seen him through ups and downs.”
Waluscha watched Fan with family and friends who kept cheering her. “For my kids, I had become an overnight star,” she says.
There was a time when she had moved away from modelling, after her marriage to Marc Robinson at 19. “I did what I felt was right, devoted all my time to bringing up the kids. I had put my passion on the backburner. But after things turned out the way they did, I had to pick up my pieces and move on,” she says, referring to their divorce.
Now, she’s eager to be a part of the film industry. Occasional modelling assignments will continue. “A few designers have been my close friends all along and I’ll walk the ramp for them. I’m going to Dehradun where Rocky S will be showing his collection,” she trails off.
2015 Kashmir Despatch