UNLESS you’re a Bollywood fan, you may not know who actress Aruna Shields is. But you soon will as she’s been given the lead role in a new British film. It’s the latest in a long line of very diverse roles which make it impossible to pigeon-hole Aruna.
She’s a British convent school girl who has grown up to make it big in Bollywood.She’s been dubbed India’s Bond Girl after donning leather catsuits to play a gun-toting spy in action thriller Prince. She’s been a cave girl in epic adventure AO The Last Neanderthal, posed nude for Mr Singh, Mrs Meetha and played the shy girl in Private Moments, London’s answer to Sex and the City.
In 2010, she was the most searched for actress on Google in India and her star is soon set to soar in the UK. Aruna has won the lead role in Vanilla Sundae, a British-made film about an Indian teenager from London’s Southall who is trying to fulfil her dreams through singing.
Undeniably beautiful, it is the transformation to the homo sapiens love interest of The Last Neanderthal that Aruna most relished. “The film’s costumiers were from Paris and took years doing research,” she says. “They were such perfectionists. Instead of using thread, they used animal hair and, instead of buttons, real teeth. No cutting corners. The attention to detail was astonishing.”
And London-based Aruna describes herself as just as much of a style chameleon in real life as on-screen. “I change according to my mood, or where I’m going,” she says. “I’ll try anything and see if I can rock it – that’s the fun. Occasionally I go all out kinky and wear a stunning corset, with killer heels and a vintage box hat. I love burlesque style.”
On slouchy days, Aruna wears loose trousers with braces and a tank top. “I also love jumpsuits, tweed jackets, print leggings, pastel jeans, bright colours, loose off-the-shoulder tops, backless t-shirts and mini skirts,” she says. “If I want to step it up a bit, it’s all about the accessories – neon heels, bright rimmed sunglasses, bandanas, oversized necklaces, long feather earrings and gloves.”
Aruna mixes the high street with haute couture, naming All Saints, Urban Outfitters and Agent Provocateur as some of her favourite places to shop. And while some women may be addicted to shoes or handbags, for Aruna, www.arunashields.com, https://twitter.com/#!/
It’s over-the-knee socks. “I try them on with everything,” she says. “Yeah, I’m a bit of a sock addict. I also love my long glam silk nightie – very 1950s movie star, ridiculously OTT for walking around the house. My dog chases and bits its train… but, hey, you only live once.”