May 23, 2013, (Sawfnews.com) – Russian born Kristina Akheeva’s dream debut in Bollywood opposite Sunny Deol in Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 was a break that came her way after a lot of struggle. A struggle that she triumphed with her enduring faith in herself.
Kristina Akheeva at a Yamla Pagla Deewana 2 promotional event in Mumbai on March 28, 2013. Photo Credit: Sawfnews.com
Kristina, whose family migrated to Australia when she was 7-year-old, says she was interested in showbiz from the outset.
“I learned ballroom dancing and salsa. I was passionate about dancing. I even pursued it at the competitive level and went to championships.”
She started writing and directing play while in school. At the age of 12, she made a short film using a handy-camera, along with her friend.
After school, Kristina took acting classes and started to get roles in television and cinema.
When she was 17, she briefly took up acting full-time in Melbourne. She acted in a Romanian play for which she learned the language.
Kristina’s parents advised her against a showbiz career, but she persisted, telling her mother that acting is what she really wanted to do, not waste three years on some course I had zero interest in doing.
At the age of 20, Kristina started modeling and globe trotted on assignments.
Eventually, her income from modeling became substantial.
“Then my mom and everyone completely changed and my mom would say ‘I wish I could have your life, you are living a dream life.’ But I think my parents just wanted to make sure that I am not struggling and when they saw that I wasn’t struggling but getting results, they were more than happy and very supportive.”
Kristina first came to India in 2007 as a budget traveler. During the trip, she backpacked through Rajasthan, Kerala, Goa, Delhi, Agra, Chennai, and the Himalayas.
She recalls, “When I used to stand in my balcony and look at the hills, the beauty of it fascinated me. I was a hippie. It was during this time I watched my Indian film, Om Shanti Om.”
Kristina speaks fondly about working with the Deols on YPD 2.
“I find Sunny’s shyness cute,” she says. “He is such a big guy and with the kind of films he has done, he has this image of a real tough guy—but he is so soft-spoken and shy! And when he is doing a romantic scene, this very thing works towards his advantage.”
She added, “Even Dharamji is so nice. On the first day of the shoot, he came to me and put his hand on my head and said: ‘Don’t worry, you are a star.’ The gesture immediately made me feel comfortable.”