Elli Avram born Elisabet Avramidou Granlund, is a heart stealer. She has drop dead good looks, is a wonderful dancer, works hard with dedication, and has also learnt Hindi because she works in her dreamland- Bollywood, the Indian film industry. Born in Sweden and now based in Mumbai, she starred in Mickey Virus and Kis Kisko Pyar Karun.  Elli also participated in the Indian reality TV show Big Boss. The gorgeous actress speaks with Aarttee Kaul Dhar for Fusion Life. 

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Elli, there are many facets to your charming personality, you are an actor, dancer and a model. Which do you enjoy most?
I certainly enjoy acting and dancing most of all. I love acting because it gives me a feeling of getting under the skin of a character, a new persona, which is not me but gives me an opportunity to live that character and that I find very exciting. This way an actor can live many lives which is so unique about this profession. Back in the past I used to always dance, which kind of sets one free! I express myself through dance. It is like getting my feelings out, transfer pure joy to the audience who catch up on it. It is essential also as dancing is an inseparable part of Bollywood.
Please tell us about the best memories of your early life? About back home, what do you miss the most?
There are so many good memories. I miss figure skating. It has been a big part of my life. All during my early life in school I have skated everyday literally. I have danced on ice, I can do it all over again for it gives me a magical feeling.
So you love sports?

I have been very sporty all along, was quite a tomboy as a kid. I have been into American football too, have played with my brother, my Godfather and so on.
Since you are from a cold country, how did you cope with the Indian weather where it is sweltering hot for ten months every year?
I love Indian summers. I would rather live in this heat than the freezing six months of cold in Sweden.
How did India happen? What inspired you to head this way?
I was five years when I heard a Bollywood song on Swedish TV and I was mesmerised. It was magical and so beautiful, the costumes, energy and the music! It was like something else totally. I wanted to be one of those girls. So from then on I would dress up, in colourful attires, dance and sing in my garden, as if I had my own little Bollywood in my backyard. I would watch videos and put on colourful dupattas and what not, you know?(laughs) I played a princess and sometimes the evil rich etc…with time I loved India more and more. My God parents visited Goa and brought back jewellery, photographs and gifts for me. They played sitar and sang Sufi songs at home. I found it all very enchanting and India became an exotic place for me and attracted me more and more with each passing day. I decided-O my God I have to go there! The first Indian movie I saw was Devdas by Sanjay Leela Bhansali and I was hooked on forever! I was 15 years of age then and the impact of this film was everlasting. Once when I was sleeping when they aired it, my mom called out to me, “Elli wake up,” I ran and watched with amazement and for four hours I was glued to the television and then decided, this is it! This is what I want to do! I am going to do this! Hence I joined Bollywood dance academy in Sweden, auditioned in a dance group, learnt Kathak and Bharatnatyam too.

How was the experience of working in your first Indian film?
All my scenes were good and it was great fun. We had an awesome unforgettable time. It was just like a family working together. I enjoyed every moment because it was my dream come true. It was also sort of challenging because I had to understand the dialogues and emote at the right moment. They were written in Hindi later they wrote it in Roman. Manish and Saurabh were super funny. It is so special for me.
Please name your favorite costars in Bollywood. Who all would you like to work with? Any special banners you are keen on?
I want to work with all. All are special. Everyone is unique and so different from one another. I am confident about striking a chemistry with every actor. I would love to work with senior actors because that way I get to learn a lot and the experience promises to be a blessing in every way, at my young stage. I would so love to do a period film. I am keen to do a real action role. Now such films are trending where women get to do real hardcore action on screen. Banners-sure, Sanjay Leela Bhansali. I would love to work with him, so I can grow. He is the man who made me fall in love with the Indian film industry hence I did not go to Hollywood or the Swedish film industry. His films have so much of depth. I would love to work in a project where the story is interesting, and the girl is tough.
What do you like about working in India most?
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Everything, I love to do what I am doing dancing, acting and all that goes with it. I go home and miss Bollywood so bad that I come back in a week. I love my routine.
Please share your views on fitness as we heard you are a fitness freak and quite a biker!
I am glad in the past few years people have begun to realize the importance of fitness. It is not for reasons of vanity, not like- I go to the gym, work out, get six pack abs and impress people. It does not work like that. It is for us to feel good and live healthier lives, it is for our own well being. It will help us feel good from within, and contribute in dealing with stress, moods and so on. Fitness gives good health, so don’t think, “Main to hero nahin hun, main kyun karun?” It is for everyone and is about having a healthy lifestyle and living a good life. If not working with the heavy metal at least everyone can do yoga. I have heard people say, “Yoga se kya hoga?” Yoga can give amazing results. Don’t practice too complicated postures, start it gradually and see the wonderful results that come dheere dheere, in just two weeks, it can put you there. I do Pilates and I was also deeply into yoga. Pilates with kicks and stretches is also like another level of yoga and highly recommended. I did learn driving a motorbike, for the film Kis Kisko…We were supposed to open with the scene where I ride a bike, though later that was changed but I enjoyed the entire experience of preparing for the role.
You have also modeled in the past, what is your personal style statement? Any favourite brands?
I enjoyed my modeling days, it does have its kick, walking down the ramp, the cameras, the public glare and attention, God I love that! I don’t have any such favourite brands or style statements, because I believe in being comfortable. If one is not comfortable one may wear anything it would not look good as the discomfort will show. I dress comfortably and mix and match things as I think best. No particular brands but I do like H&M and am glad they have come to India.
I see you are good at Hindi now?
Oh yes, I am quite comfortable and fluent at Hindi now. Absolutely! All my dialogues were in Hindi and I spoke them.
People for some reason are very curious about actors’ personal lives. Is there a guy anywhere in your life? What do you think about marriage and family?
I don’t understand that curiosity because one is not learning anything positive or creative from it. Does it inspire or help anyone grow? No it doesn’t. I am a 100% kinda girl. Either I focus and give my entire time, energy and attention to my work and career, which I so love or I indulge in a relationship, never both. That’s not possible. So that will come later, in its own time. Though I haven’t really thought of making a family but that’s another dream. It’s a distant one though, in the future, not very close. Pure love is so difficult to find nowadays!
Who are you closest to?
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My parents and my brother.
How would you spend a typical day off from work? What is your favourite pastime?
My favourite pastime is dance, yes that I am sure of. I would watch a movie or two, read interesting stuff though not fiction, but spiritual stuff. I love plants and nature.
Hmm spiritual stuff, do you believe in a spirit or life after death?
Have not really thought about it deeply but yes a soul will always be there. I do believe in past life.
What is your motto or life mantra?
Khush Raho aur enjoy karo! Is something I seriously believe in. don’t take life too seriously. We have to get this into our system and not be bothered with things that ten years down the lane wouldn’t even matter. It is easier said than done but that is the prudent way to live life. When you are happy and cheerful, then only you attract happiness and radiate happiness for others. There are so many things that are so serious it is important to work on them but don’t let that bog you down. Stay free of unnecessary and avoidable burdens of your mind and heart. Be happy with what you do. Live each moment. Life is made of moments. So don’t worry be happy is my mantra!
On that happy note we sign off dear Elli, wishing you all the very best for all your future endeavours. You are a wonderful, adorable human being and a very dedicated artist. We wish you success in all you do always! Thank you very much.
Thanks Aarttee.