Shahid Kapoor became a good friend, I never sympathized with Amrita Rao: Shenaz Treasury remembers Ishq Vishk

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Actress, VJ, host, writer, travel vlogger and content creator, Shenaz Treasury is a woman of many talents. Shenaz may not have completed countless acting projects, but she has always been a face to be reckoned with on camera. Shenaz had a long association with MTV. His few selected films include Delhi Belly, Aagey Se Right, Luv Ka The End and Kaalakaandi.

Today, Shenaz travels across continents as part of her travel videos on her YouTube channel, but for many, she’s still the vivacious girl who turned heads in Ken Ghosh’s romantic drama Ishq Vishk. The 2003 hit film starred Amrita Rao and Vishal Malhotra, and was also Shahid Kapoor’s first film. How did it all come together when Shenaz was content with her regular VJ job and never aspired to enter Bollywood? Here’s what she shared:

How did you land a role in Ishq Vishk?

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My first big acting role was Ishq Vishk. I had just taken a hiatus from MTV at that time and was going to New York to study acting. I told them I would be back in three months but I stayed six months and MTV was really mad at me. I came back sometime after September 11 and it was chaos in America. At the airport, I lost my luggage. Basically I had no job, no clothes, nothing. I had a film camera and I was really into photography. But all I owned, all the photos were gone. One day I was in a nightclub, wearing my mom’s clothes, trying to have a good time. I met Ken Ghosh there. He looked at me and said, “You’re the girl from MTV. Why don’t you come tomorrow to audition for a movie? I never thought of doing Bollywood, but I thought something was better than nothing. I remember Shahid was there. We did a few scenes together and at the end of the night Ken said I was in the movie. And once I was making the movie I started to miss MTV too and they invited me back. So I got my job back at MTV too.

What memories do you have of your first day of filming?

The first day of filming was at Sophia College and we were shooting the song “Kaun Hai Woh”. I remember Ken put a lot of stress on me. He liked me as an actor but he thought I was too fat, which is true. And so he kept telling me that I had to lose five pounds because the other actresses in the movie were so thin and we would be uncomfortable together. I was trying to lose weight. That day on set he said no food for me (laughs). They decided to do a slow motion scene with me in lip sync, but no one told me how. I remember doing this with a bang in my hair but not knowing how to do this slow motion. It was hot since it was midsummer and I was wearing a red dress. I just remember being really hungry.

Were you nervous?

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I wasn’t nervous. I was just hungry. I was more nervous about Ken telling me I was fat all the time. It made me more nervous. I was trying to sync the song in slow motion, which I didn’t quite understand, but it was fun. I had been in front of the camera before because I was VJ. So it was pretty easy for me. I remember the choreographer teaching me the steps and I thought to myself, “I know I’m a good dancer, I have rhythm, but I don’t do this choreographed dance.” And the other actress in the film continued to do so. I thought I had to do it too, so I was trying to get it.

ishq vishk shahid shenaz amrita vishal Shenaz Treasury played the character of Alisha Sahay in Ishq Vishk.

How was the relationship with your co-stars when you met them or worked with them again later?

I sometimes see Shahid at the gym. He’s a really nice guy. We were good friends at the time. Although now we are not really in touch. He told me I had to be something more than a VJ. Guess I wasn’t that serious about it. I had this regular job at MTV that I really loved and didn’t want to leave it for Bollywood. I had a good equation with Shahid. I was in front of the camera, not him. He was completely cool. I guess when we went to Cape Town it was his first time on a plane. It was fun. We got along really well. Amrita and I didn’t really hit it off. It’s the truth.

If you had the chance to reprise your first role, what would you like to change or improve?

I definitely wouldn’t wear these contact lenses. In the movie there is a line “Neeli neeli aankhon waali kaun hai woh”, so the director insisted that I wear contact lenses, then the makeup artist would put them in my eyes. When I was going to do the scene, I saw two Shahids, two Amritas. I couldn’t even see clearly because my eyes just couldn’t take them. I would ask if I could take them off and just be natural. I think the contact lenses made me blink a lot, so I didn’t like that when I watched the movie, but it worked for the character because she was that kind of funny character. I would also insist on not putting on too much makeup. Now when I do my videos I do it without makeup. It was the little things that I would change. But no regrets. Everyone loves the movie. They watched it 20 to 25 times. So I’m sure everything that came out at the end was amazing.

I was very young and I think I did my best for my first film. I was even nominated for the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor that year. Very few people are lucky enough to have blockbuster movies. And my first film was a huge success, then Delhi Belly was a huge success. I haven’t done a lot of Bollywood movies but I have two huge hits so it’s pretty awesome. I feel lucky and blessed. Seriously, I feel like the blessed child of God because whatever I do I put 100 percent into it, but I also think there is an element of luck.

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A movie or a role that inspired you to become an actor?

I wasn’t allowed to watch movies when I was a kid, my parents wanted me to read books and that’s it. So I hardly watched any movies. In fact, when people asked me what I wanted to do, I said I wanted to travel the world. I’m doing this now – traveling, making content, making movies, so I’m doing what I’ve always wanted to do. Of course, I like to play too. It’s really fun. But when you do play, your career depends on someone getting you started. You’re still in that very needy position that I hate like ‘oh please pick me get me started’. Whereas now, I photograph myself, I edit, I make the content. My life is in my hands.

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