Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty and Paresh Rawal starrer Hera Pheri will always remain one of the cult entertainer among Bollywood buffs. Directed by Priyadarshan, the iconic comedy film recently completed 20 years on March 31.
From Khadak Singh (Om Puri) to gangster Kabira (Gulshan Grover), every character in the film has been a memorable one. Akshay, Suniel and Paresh playing the role of three goodnatured men struggling in life, who get rich thanks to a freak twist of fate involving a wrong telephone number and a sinister kidnapping gone haywire. Tabu also played a pivotal role in the entertainer, which set the template for new-age comedy in Bollywood.
But do you remember the girl who gets kidnapped by goons? Her name is Ann Alexia Anra aka Annie. She is 30 years old and we bet it will surely take a few minutes to recognise her looking at her latest pictures.
Who is Annie?
Annie is based in Chennai and had lived all her life there with her parents. Apart from Hera Pheri, she has worked in movies like Avvai Shanmugi (1996) alongside Kamal Haasan, Tamil film Thaayin Manikodi (1998) and a Hindi film, Hathyara (1998), starring Mithun Chakraborty.
Talking about her experience on the sets of Hera Pheri, Annie told Bollywood Hungama, "I remember a lot from this film as there was so little that I had to do, especially as compared to Avvai Shanmugi. Also, I got to travel to a different city. I was there in the film for only 15 minutes but I was there in Mumbai for a very long time. Before the shoot started, they had to make my body double for which I had met Sabu Cyril. The shoot per se used to be a lot of fun."
She continued, "Akshay Kumar used to pull so many pranks on me, my mother etc. Avvai Shanmugi was a lot of work as I had to learn a lot of dialogues and also how to behave like a South Indian girl. On Hera Pheri sets, I used to get sweets and lipstick lollipops to the sets every day. My mother used to buy these things while we were on the way to shoot to keep me occupied. I remember offering these to Akshay Kumar and Suniel Shetty as I was always around them, and also everyone else. Interestingly, I didn't know anything about the Bollywood industry. So I didn't know who Akshay Kumar or Suniel Shetty was. So I wasn't nervous. However, I did get shouted at by Paresh Rawal."
Explaining the reason why Paresh Rawal shouted at her, Annie further added, "I went near the camera. I am usually not a brat on the set as I had done hundreds of ads. So I was pretty disciplined. But since everyone was being goofy on Hera Pheri sets, I think I ran around the camera and he got really mad at me. He shouted at me and I have never been shouted at by anyone on set. But I don't think he meant it and it was just his quick reaction."
Why Annie was away from showbiz all this while?
Annie said that Hera Pheri was her last film as her parents were strictly against her doing movies. They, however, were comfortable with her doing ad shoots.
She further revealed that despite doing a film with Kamal Haasan, she hasn't been in touch with him. She is, however, good friends with his daughter Akshara Haasan whom she interacts a lot with.
Talking about her education qualifications, Annie said, "I got a French government scholarship for which I went to France and completed my undergraduate course there in BBA. I then came back and worked in an ad agency. I worked in a software company for around 4 ½ - 5 years and my forte is social media and digital marketing."