“Growing up, my mom and I would always watch Bollywood movies and dance to loud Indian music (we still do).”
“Sexiness is about your attitude and not your push-up bra!”
As the host of OMNI Television’s Bollywood Blvd, Veronica Veronica has been winning over audiences with her infectious personality since she started. She has interviewed the biggest names in Bollywood and has produced numerous interviews with newsmakers, sports heroes, activists, musicians, andHollywood A-listers.
Veronica’s journey to her dream career began halfway around the world inSwedenwhere she was born and raised. With no grasp of the English language, Veronica and her family later moved toStratford,Ontariowhere she worked at the Stratford Festival of Canada and developed her love of theatre. Her extensive travel and international experiences led her to pursue a university degree in English and Political Science and a Masters degree in Journalism at theUniversityofWestern Ontario.
“I grew up in a loud, fun, opinionated and busy household. My father would challenge my brother, sister and me on our opinions (he still does), and it taught me to evaluate my ideas.”
Veronica has worn multiple journalistic hats including working as a TV producer at CBC’s The Hour with George Stroumboulopoulos, a news writer and reporter and now an entertainment host forBollywood Blvd.
“Bollywood and Hollywoodhave always been a big deal in my household. Growing up, my mom and I would always watch Bollywood movies and dance to loud Indian music (we still do). My intention was never to be a Bollywood host; in fact, I wanted to work behind the camera. But so far, I’ve had a blast interviewing various entertainment icons. It’s been so much fun covering the Toronto International Film Festivals (TIFF) and the International Indian Film Academy Awards (IIFA) in Torontoin 2011 and in Singaporethis year,” she points out.
The stunner has met lot of Bollywood celebrities; so who’ve been the best?
“It’s interesting because the celebrities who are deemed intimidating are often the most humble,” she smiles.
“For me, Shah Rukh Khan – is an obvious choice. He’s an absolute sweetheart! It was fun connecting with Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Hilary Swank and Vidya Balan because I felt like I was speaking to one of my girls – they’re down to earth and genuine. Snoop Dogg has a fun and youthful energy about him – he definitely left a lasting impression. Michael Douglas isHollywoodroyalty (speaks for itself). Cuba Gooding Jr. will always have a special place in my entertainment heart. During my interview with him on the 2011 IIFA Awards green carpet inToronto- he picked me up and swirled me around horizontally without a cordless mic and thankfully we both didn’t end up flat on the floor! I will always cherish that interview as he literally swept me off my feet!”
Talking about her childhood and generation gap issues, she told us how her parents were “traditionally modern”. “My dad was strict about boys (no tolerance for them in my teens – and trust me the guys got the hint very fast). But to be honest, I’m glad my parents were on the conservative side because I credit them for teaching me discipline and focus.”
Veronica disagrees with the perception in the industry that the lesser clothes women wear, the more successful they are. “Whether male or female, it is about hard work – looks and cleavage only get you so far. Having raw talent and intellect is paramount and maintains longevity. I strongly believe that you can be stylish, classy and sexy without revealing certain assets. Sexiness is about your attitude and not your push-up bra!”
The media industry is no longer a man’s world, says Veronica , “however, the politics of being a woman can still create challenges. I push myself harder because I want to garner respect for my craft and the work that I do. And I admire women who continuously prove that beauty and brains are not mutually exclusive.”
“I think we have a very strong South Asian community,” she says. “I love being part of a fusion generation. I personally feel liberated as my roots and heritage have contributed to my growth. I celebrate my South Asian traditions but I also embrace the values of today’s modern day woman,” she says. South Asians are a “talented bunch of movers and shakers who are defying boundaries both in front and behind the camera”.
Veronica is passionate about giving back to the community by working with a variety of charities and organizations. She is an Ambassador in support of theCanadianMuseumfor Human Rights and is dedicated to anti-human trafficking and human rights initiatives. “I see myself doing what I love – interacting with people, doing humanitarian work and maybe getting some vocal lessons because I would love to sing like Beyoncé,” she signs off.
Follow Veronica on Twitter: @veronicachail