Indian Films gets a Germanic touch with acclaimed actress Suzanne Bernert

Indian Films gets a Germanic touch with acclaimed actress Suzanne Bernert Indo-Germanic Actress

Any foreigner coming to India goes through a culture shock of sorts… I had several of them, the biggest one them being the Bollywood Film and TV Industry…
As a in Germany trained actress who is used to the life there it came as a big surprise that PR is something one has to do oneself….unfortunately I did not have any guidance in that respect (my agent did not find it necessary) so when I joined Balaji I was not prepared that the First Foreign Bahu on Indian Prime Time Television in the biggest hot show of the times would have to do the Publicity herself. I thought someone would certainly do it.The production house made sure that I had a haircut,clothes,make-up and jewellery but learning my lines, understanding where I was going or what I was supposed to do was up to me…so the first time I ventured out after a month of shooting people on the street knew me by my character name Doris but no one else did…so I never got invited to any Events or Award functions…..Confused and not understanding whats going on I just kept on doing what I do best…Act.And in all the two years I never spoke to Ekta. Seen her,was in meetings but never was able to exchange two lines. People actually don’t believe me when I say we never spoke as she took the big risque of bringing the First Foreign Bahu into her primetime show and keeping me on through 3 leaps up till the end.I will never forget Balaji and what they did for me.
But never believe anything until it actually it shooting in Prague  or Bangkok (Bangkok happened by the way:”Love Recipe”)
Prague and the movie Drona was special.Special because I met Abishek Bachchan first time crying sitting on steps outside the make-up room. My make-up was the problem, they could not get it right and kept on burning my face.How that is possible in such a big production with so much money I still don’t understand.So I opted out of the movie. Goldie Behl promised me to work with me in the future but….
I can’t count the times I had to put my foot down for getting a “normal” treatment. The influx of many foreigners who get lured into the industry by false promises make it difficult for a trained actress to make production house understand what they are getting.In six years on every set I put my foot on someone in the make-up, hair or lighting department has worked with me.My reputation in these circles is that I am known for being professional and good.
The whole acting world looks very glamorous from the outside but I earned where I am today and I am happy for the many good projects that I was able to do (Titan Ad with Aamir Khan,a Lavani Celebrity Dance show, Aparna Sen’s movie “Iti Mrinalini”, my 2 Marathi movies,Love Recipe,even Balaji for that matter not to forget “Sanskaar Laxmi” on Zee, a show I truly miss) The opportunities and challenges I got here were immense and I am still learning .But equally I am happy that I said no to characters who did not fit my age nor my talent (small character roles:Rajneeti, Kites,Dum Maro Dum and countless guest appearances).
2007 was the year I met Aamir Khan and not at a party or a function but on floor number nine in Filmcity. The director Shivendra Dungapur whom I just met on one of my rounds with my portfolio had kept me in mind for the French sculptress opposite Aamir in a Special Diwali Titan Ad ….
Everything happened so fast.I had just come back from Germany where I had introduced my now husband Akhil Mishra to my family.
He got the call as they could not find my pictures nor my number but my image was etched in the directors mind and Dungapur knew Akhil knew me.
I ran directly from the airport to the audition in town, same day I got the go ahead, then costume fitting and in under 3 days I was face to face with a Giant of the Industry, who casually introduced himself as Aamir…The director had been very anxious about the chemistry between us two but after one rehearsal everyone on the set heaved a sigh of relief and went to work.
Yes, we had the chemistry and yes, we were two pro’s who knew what they were doing. Everyone had lunch together and I met his wife as well…
Cut to 2009 and Akhil playing Librarian Dubey in 3 Idiots.They had already shot the scene that made Akhil famous and had some scenes left that were shot in Filmcity on the same set of Titan Ad.Aamir had just come and went the rounds greeting everyone..I also got a friendly casual hi…As I had changed since 2007, from black hair to my natural blonde and had lost weight I did not expect more. So Aamir walked away from me, then suddenly turned, gasped, came over, picked me up and twirled me around…”You’re the girl I shot the Titan Ad with”…Everyone was stunned as up to now I was only known as Akhil’s wife, an actress but no one knew about this connection..Even I was stunned as I never thought he could remember me…so many years, so many people, different places, faces and mine got stuck somehow….I really think we created something special with the Titan Ad like Akhil created something special with Rajkumar Hirani and Aamir.
At the premier of 3 Idiots Aamir introduced me to Kareena Kapoor as:This is the girl I told you about..The one I shot the Titan Ad with….Honeymoon Travels made me realize no matter what is in the script the editing table can make it into something else….Shooting for 2 month in Goa does not mean that ur scenes are there….it means it can all be cut and disappear and you end up trying to hide in ur seat at the screening not knowing what to say…Up to this day Boman Irani, besides most of the cast remembers me..what makes this special is that up to today whenever we meet he calls me Ditta,my characters name of Honeymoon Travels and I call him Oscar…People around get very confused and we had a hilarious time at the premier of Shyam Benegal’s movie: “Well done, Abba” in which Akhil had acted.There was some problem with the telecast directly via satellite so we kept on joking about things all in the name of Ditta and Oscar…So people kept on saying but this is Boman Irani….
By the way we spent our Honeymoon with Shyam Benegal. Akhil in front of the camera and I behind..we got married on 3rd of February 2009 and next day we were on a flight to Hyderabad. It was a great experience to watch Shyam Benegal at work…Akhil and Boman were joking about how in one movie Boman is Akhil’s boss and in this one vice versa.

South-Africa…You fly a foreign actress to South Africa for ten days to play Paresh Rawals wife.And you book additional days in advance.So one might think this is it!!!!Contract stating that you are a main character,will be staying in the hotel with all the other actors (Sanjay Dutt,Paresh ji, Sushmita..)Movie name “No Problem”! Turned out to be lot’s of problems.Anees Bazmee (and his producer) unfortunately could not appreciate an actress that can pick up the hindi lines in one go, dress herself, do her own make-up and be on the set in under one hour …..“No Problem”..I would have not survived without Paresh Rawal. Whenever I thought I go nuts he held my hand and said: Don’t ask any questions, don’t get in trouble….One time I observed a continuity problem and I was about to say something but he stopped me exactly like this. I turned and conquered that day: Oh yeah right..That’s what I used to do in your production house!!! ( I had worked in a show called Jeevan Sathi in which Paresh Rawal is Producer). We started laughing like mad and upset our poor director even more.
I learned a lot besides Hindi and how to dubb a movie ( a practice that does not exists in Germany) and I am looking forward to whatever life throws at me…
I did not plan to be here but fate decided differently….Now I am leaving to Germany, capital Berlin to represent India at the first Indian Film Festival (15-19.08.2012). They have decided for the Art House Category my Marathi movie “Dusaraya Jagatli-from another world” and I will perform Lavanis and one Item Number at the opening ceremony. The Festival is organised by BNA (Bollywood News Agency) ownerAlexandra Ccahuana Tito and the Chairman of the Entertainment Society of Goa Manoj Shrivasta.I will also attend the 9th European Bollywood Awards ACEBA with lot’s of other celebs. For the details pls visit www.indian-film-festival.
My total look is sponsored by Meher&Alkesh Ramwani who I feel totally fit not only my body like a glove but also embody Indo Western, a place where I see myself.
And of course it does not hurt being dressed by a team who have outfitted the likes of Priyanka Chopra, Katrina Kaif, Sonakshi Sinha, Asin….
A wanderer between worlds! India is excited I am going to Germany and Germany is excited I am bringing Glam and Gloss of Bollywood and co….