Mystery girl Harleen in Love Aaj Kal is Brazilian model

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The mystery of the Punjabi girl in Imtiaz Alis Love Aaj Kal, who gets royally wooed and won by the sardar Saif Ali Khan, has been solved she is a Brazilian model Giselle Monteiro who couldnt speak Hindi or dance to save her life.

She is actually a Brazilian girl named Giselle Monteiro. Why a Brazilian girl to play an old-fashioned Punjabi girl? Well, I was auditioning girls from all over the country to play the Punjabi girl opposite the Sikh Saif. I couldnt find the right girl to play the 1965 ki gali mein rehne wali ladki, purane zamane ki, Ali told IANS.

Giselle had walked into Alis office to play another part.

Giselle came to me through dress designer Anaita Shroff. She was to play Jo, Saifs Caucasian girlfriend in the second half. She wasnt right for Jo.

But my wife, who was there, suggested Giselle for Harleen. I turned and looked at Giselle and realised she is Brazils Harleen. She didnt know how to speak Hindi. But she had only two lines to speak, which we dubbed, said the director who has got mixed reviews for the film.

She has been travelling all alone from all over the world from the age of 17. Shes 19 now. Saif kept grumbling hed look too old with Giselle. But he pulled it off completely, he added.

Giselle understood the old-world values of her small town character. The small-town mentality in every part of the world is similar, said Ali.

But when the sequence showing her dancing at her engagement was shot, she drove the entire unit up the wall because she couldnt get the steps right.

We wanted to put her through the paces with Sarojji (choreographer Saroj Khan), but it never happened. Sarojji didnt have the time. For a foreigner to get the Indian adaa right is very tough.

We take for granted those nakhra-jhatka-matka, which weve seen our sisters perform at weddings. Indian girls have those adaas without being trained. But for a foreigner it is tough, said Ali.

Throughout the making of Love Aaj Kal, Giselle was referred to by her screen name Harleen. Even when she became visible in the trailers, she remained inaccessible to the public.

Bollywood is showing a lot of interest in Giselle.

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