BEHIND the colourful Indian costumes and rubbing shoulders with Bollywood’s elite, actress Geeta Basra says she’s still a Pompey girl at heart.
Since moving to Mumbai in India to launch her acting career, the 30-year-old has starred in four major films.
And in between filming she makes sure she comes back to Portsmouth to visit her friends and family, and enjoy the city where she grew up.
Miss Basra said: ‘I was born and bred in Portsmouth, I went to school here and this will always be my home.
‘I’m proud to be from Portsmouth and love this city.
‘I love going to the seafront and all the greenery we have.
‘It’s all a lot more calm and peaceful compared to hectic Mumbai.’
Miss Basra said that she grew up watching Hindi films and was performing on stage at the age of two.
The former Copnor Infant and Junior School, Mayville High School pupil, said her parents always encouraged her to follow her dreams.
Her father Rakesh, along with her mother Parveen, run the Stop and Go store in Arundel Street, Landport.
Miss Basra, who said she looks up to legendary Bollywood actress Madhuri Dixit, studied psychology, sociology, English and IT at South Downs College.
‘After my studies I decided to go to India and give acting a shot,’ she said.
‘It’s a competitive place and you need to be headstrong to get somewhere – like any other career.
‘But I went to an acting school in India and then got an agent. I was very lucky and I really enjoyed it.
‘I’ve also met Madhuri a few times, and she’s just as amazing in real life as she is on screen.
Miss Basra’s first film in 2006 was Dil Diya Hai (I have given my heart), and since then she has gone on to perform various roles including a rival love interest and in a comedy film.
She said: ‘I enjoy playing different roles and comedy is the hardest because timing is so important.
‘I will shortly be starting filming for two movies, one in Hindi and a regional one in Punjabi.
‘I know my grandfather Ved Prakash Basra is very proud of me – he’s a huge Bollywood buff.’