Superhot Indian SuperModel Nina Manuel

Nina Manuel Interview back in 1999

Nina Manuel, who recently joined Channel [V]’s newest veejay list, tells Sujata Assomull she loves to watch TV, specially when she is on

# Another one bites the dust. Model Nina Manuel has also joined the ranks of clotheshorses who turn veejay.

In 1999, Nina joined Channel [V] as part of their revamp programme. Their latest veejay-purge had the music channel getting rid of most of their old faces — from Suchitra Pillai to Sophiya Haque. The tried and tested were replaced with the brand new in a bid to pull in the age groups 14 to 25.

# As was this twentysomething — who was lured into making a career change.

“I was called for a screen test. Till then, I had never thought of becoming a veejay. But I kept an open mind during the test.” And her mindset obviously was the one that Channel [V] was looking for. Nina was selected from a long list of contenders.

# Being a known name in the glamour industry must have helped a little?

“I guess it must’ve helped,but I don’t think that can get you the job. You need to be able to talk in front of the camera. The screen test is quite rigorous.” But obviously the camera loved Nina as much as she loves the camera — “I am thrilled with the job. It’s great to see yourself on TV.”

# And since she loves music, her job gets that much better.

“From Jennifer Lopez to Santana, I like all types of music.”

# What about modelling — Nina used to love that too? Is it curtains for the catwalk?

“I am still doing fashion shows. We normally get booked for shows three months in advance. I love the ramp — it’s so much fun as there are so many people involved.”

# How does she honour all her commitments? Her diary seems really cramped.

“I am organised to the core. Though I am not sure how much free time I will have left when the fashion shows start this September.”

# Which shows is she booked for?

“The Ensemble Show, Shahab Durazi and J J Vallaya’s.” She says she loves doing Rohit Balshows. “He is so creative. And he is a great person who is so much fun.”

# So how does this ramp model keep her figure?

Believe it or not, as a child Nina was quite chubby. “I lost weight by working out. Exercise has become an important part of my life. I keep changing my routine and have tried everything from weights to aerobics. But Nina does not watch her diet and loves her mom’s cooking. “She makes the best fish curry and rice.”

# She sounds like quite a fitness fanatic, does she have any spare time for other hobbies?

“I got myself a computer last December and I have recently become addicted to the internet.” She also likes to watch TV, which is just as well since she has become a part of the industry herself.

# How did Nina get her first break in to the competitive glamour industry?

It all began when she took part in the Look of the Year contest in 1995. And though Nina did not win, the contest proved to be the start of her modelling career. “Mehr Jessia saw meat the contest and asked me to take part in the Ensemble show.”

# It must have been quite nerve-racking to take the ramp for such a prestigious show?

“I was really nervous.” But it must not have shown. After that show, she was flooded with bookings. And since then, she has not looked back. She has done a music video for Remo. The sexy San Miguel ad. And an ad film for Lawman jeans.

# But like most dusky models, she finds it hard to get advertising work.

“I don’t let that stop me — I keep going for screen tests.” Nina does not let anything get in her way. In the last four years — while she was busy travelling around India with ramp shows — she has managed to finish her Bachelor’s degree and has even begun to study Law.

# She wants to be a lawyer?

She has completed two years of her course, but has not yet finished her final year. “But I will.” And we believe her. She has already mastered the art of bypassing the truth. Ask Nina her age and she says: “If I tell you,I’ll have to kill you.”

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