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‘I feel lazy every day!’ admits Milind Soman

Milind Soman chats about his varied interests and what makes him lazy like the rest of us!

By Priyanka Roy

  • Published 6.12.18, 11:06 PM
  • Updated 7.12.18, 1:44 AM
If somebody is excited to cast me in a character that is surprising even for me to play, that is something I’ll be looking for -- Milind Soman
If somebody is excited to cast me in a character that is surprising even for me to play, that is something I’ll be looking for -- Milind Soman

Ahead of the finale of this season’s India’s Next Top Model (Saturday at 7pm on MTV), t2 caught up with judge Milind Soman to chat about the model hunt show, his varied interests and what makes him lazy like the rest of us!  

Priyanka Roy:

What is it that you are looking for in India’s next top model? 

Milind Soman:

Adaptability. As much as you are looking for the looks, poise, grace and everything, we also want the quality of adapting to any situation. Which means that the model we select should have the range possible to adapt to any kind of situation and can put a bit of her personality and candidness to any kind of situation she might face. 

Priyanka Roy:

What has been the journey like this season?

Milind Soman:

Well, I’d like to say that the girls come prepared before the beginning of the show and during the show they go through a huge transformation. As you’ve seen in the past years, they’d come really unprepared, they didn’t know what their expectations were, they didn’t know what their strengths and weaknesses were. But I think as we go year on year, the girls are better aware of what they want to contribute, what they want from their career, what they want from the show and that is something that I like. It was very surprising that the models do really well in the shoot because all the shoots are very tough. As a model, I haven’t faced even 40 per cent of the pressure that they put the models through and when they come out and do something really good, it is wonderfully surprising. 

Priyanka Roy:

Do you see a difference in terms of confidence and professionalism in these aspiring models as compared to when you and your peers started out in the ’80s and ’90s?

Milind Soman:

 It’s difficult to say that because the problem is that when I was a model, most of the models were from Bangalore, Mumbai and Delhi, so it was obvious that people had that confidence, they were on par with the world- vision and knew how things happen. Now, a lot of these girls come from tier-2 towns and smaller cities. So when they come to achieve that level of confidence, it’s a bigger achievement.

Priyanka Roy:

How much of a platform does a show like this give to an aspiring model?

Milind Soman:

It all depends on that person because everybody gets an opportunity, a great opportunity. Everyone wants to be pulled, they want a motive, and they want to show the world what they can do. It is a potential platform, how they use it, how they take advantage of it is up to them. 

Priyanka Roy:

You are judging the show, you are conducting Pinkathon, you act once in a while, you run an event management company. Is it too much for you or do you feel you are not doing enough?

Milind Soman:

Do you think it’s too much for me? These are different companies. I started event managing as my first career which I started in 1989, and that was the first year when I started modelling as well, so every time I start something new it is because of an interest that I have and then that interest becomes sustainable and doable. It is not too much for me as there are many other people working on it. I still have an event management company, I have a company that makes energy bars and I have a company that makes television series and so many things. 

Priyanka Roy:

In an interview, you had said that you are not offered many films and perhaps your urban image limits makers from signing you on. Has that changed? 

Milind Soman:

No, it hasn’t changed. I don’t know the reason, I know so many directors who have called me and appreciated my work. Then there are other famous directors, who never cast me but appreciate what I do.

I do find that a little bit odd. I don’t know why that happens, but I am okay with it. If somebody is excited to cast me in a character that is surprising even for me to play, that is something I’ll be looking for. I don’t want to do things that are run-of-the-mill or do the same characters again and again. It has to be something surprising to me, something that I have never done before. I need to believe in the vision of the director and there are so many things like this that’s why I just back off for a while. 

Priyanka Roy:

You have only got fitter over the years and so has your sense of discipline. Has there ever been a day when you felt lazy like the rest of us?

Milind Soman:

I feel lazy every day! It’s the worst thing for me to wake up in the morning and get out of bed, and that is where the discipline comes in. You get fitter as you get older because the mind has the ability to get stronger if you allow it, so with a stronger mind you can become fitter. The body is second because the body follows the mind. 

Priyanka Roy:

You aspire to climb Mt. Everest one day. Have you already started preparing for it?

Milind Soman:

Well, everything I do has a preparation and I love the challenges that I take up. So no specific training as such, but fitness is a mental state, everything I do makes my mind stronger. I don’t know when I am I going to do it, but whenever it happens, I’ll be happy.

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