Meet Hazel, you’ve probably never heard of her…I hadn’t before a few weeks ago and then whilst doing my show, everyone was continually requesting songs from this new Bollywood film called ‘Bodyguard‘.
I had to know what all the fuss was about so I went to see the movie with a friend. Just before I did I got a call from someone asking if I’d like to interview someone called Hazel…my first reaction was – “who-what-now?”
He went on to explain that she was a actress in this new film and so I said, sure, lets go for it.
In the Movie Hazel plays a character called ‘Maya’ who is the best buds with ‘Divya’, played by Kareena Kapoor.
Hazel and I connected over Skype and spent over an hour nattering away and I was blown away by her story.
She got rejected by 13 of the big performing arts schools in London. She tried to stand out by using the Vagina Monologues, as her monologue; it backfired!
Hazel appeared in Harry Potter in small roles and was also doing some modelling but didn’t get any big breaks.
She then spent a few years in Mumbai, getting small amounts of work but again still not cracking the big time. Eventually, after running short of money she came back to London.
Whilst in London, she happened to get invited to a to the filming of a movie in which Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan, was starring. Salman approached her because he thought she might be cold and gave her his coat.
She then told him her story and he said to her, “don’t give up, go back to Mumbai and he’d try and help her”. Things didn’t happen straight away, it still took some a long time before her first big break but now just the door has just begun to open.
For me, when I heard her story, in many ways I could relate but the key thing that stood out was that fact she persisted despite the early setbacks.
I’ve always said that you never know which door, which event, or which opportunity is going to be your king-maker. You just have to keep going for long enough to allow that moment to come.
If you’ve just started a new venture, don’t give up, keep going, no matter the setbacks, you too could be the next Hazel.
Even though Bollywood is the biggest film industry in the world, no doubt, we’ll be seeing much more of Hazel on the big screen in Hollywood too. Keep an eye out for her!
Hear a snip of her story below:
And just for fun – Hazel telling me a joke…