Exclusive: In An Conversation With Former Miss India Universe Puja Gupta
How has your journey been in the industry so far?
I dreamed of being Miss India as a little girl and winning this title was a dream come true. It was a prelude to my acting career after which I decided to explore all the other areas of interest like films and travel and fashion. With the new era of OTT platforms coming in place, there are so many new opportunities that have come up, I am excited for this explosion of new possibilities and looking forward to my journey ahead.
You bagged the title of Miss India Universe in 2007, how did the transition from modeling to acting happen?
I had never thought of acting but it sort of chose me. Once Faltu and Go Goa Gone were finished, I took some time off and realized that it’s important to learn and study acting. I enrolled myself in acting classes and finished my graduation at Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, New York.
For me, the transition was a bit overwhelming as I had neither seen big sets nor acted and I did not have anyone in Mumbai who could even take me to sets. But I managed it well and the best decision I made was to save the money from my first two movies and enroll myself in the best acting school of New York which I always wanted to attend.
If given a choice, who would you want to be paired opposite for your next movie?
I would love to work with Hrithik Roshan, it would be exciting.
What has been your biggest learning during the lockdown?
The lockdown has taught me to be grateful for what I have and the significance of my family and friends. Going forward, I have decided to spend more time with my loved ones than I used to and balance my personal and professional life better.
Considering you are a fitness enthusiast, what is your fitness routine?
I have been practicing flow yoga with my guru every day for over a decade with my guru Dattatray Kudekar. Apart from that, I also have a workout routine that I follow quite diligently.
Your Instagram reflects your love for animals, could you please tell us more about the work you do with animal shelters?
I love animals and I try to do whatever I can to support animal shelters and rehabilitation centres. I am happy to be chosen as the face of Lwiro Primates which is a rehabilitation centre for chimpanzees in Africa. They save the chimpanzees from poachers, help them regain their strength and then release them back into the wild, and I raise funds for them through social media. In addition, I also work with rescue centres to save street animals.
Which is your favorite travel destination and why?
Hawaii and California are two of the best destinations I have visited because of the weather and the natural beauty. Hopefully, I can live there once I retire but I would definitely love to visit both these places again.
What are your future plans? Have you taken up any new projects at the moment?
At present, I’m reading a few scripts for shows, and once the pandemic eases I am also looking forward to doing live theatre, which is a real passion. You can watch my live Instagram updates to know more that come in future. I will definitely keep you all updated.