Mumbai: Acting is indeed in your genes. This is the conclusion one reaches to after meeting the newest star-kid on the block - Soniya Mehra, yesteryear actor Vinod Mehra's daughter.
At first glance, she passes off as a regular teenager aspiring to be in the big bad world of the movies. Take a closer look at the way she smiles, and you realise that Soniya has indeed inherited her father's good looks.
The 18-year-old is all set to make her debut opposite Jimmy Shergill in the remake of Victoria No. 203, and she is particularly eager to shoot one particular sequence.
"The fact that I get to do the towel dance, I am so excited about that. I am really shocked that I have been given the opportunity to play the role that a legend like Saira Banu played," says she.
Unlike other star kids, being Vinod Mehra's daughter didn't exactly bring Soniya any roles.
"It was pretty difficult. People would think that because you are so and so's daughter, it would be easy for you, but that was not the case with me."
And she faced a lot of criticism.
"People would ask me, 'How can you be in Bollywood if you are not from India?' They would say, 'Hindi nahin aati hai aur actress banana chahti hai' (you don't know how to speak Hindi and you want to be an actress). They would say, 'but, you are from Kenya!' And I was like, yes well, there are Indians living in Kenya," says she.
Known for performances in Lal Pathar, Anurag and Ghar, Vinod Mehra passed away when Soniya was two-years-old.
Her mother, Kiran, moved to Mombasa soon after and Soniya clutches onto her father's borrowed memories tightly.
"I was daddy's little princess. He would buy me night suits from Bloomingdale worth $200 at that time. I used to have a silver hairbrush and a matching silver mirror from Tiffany's."
Of her father's movies, she says that Ghar was her favourite. "He made me laugh and cry in the same film," says she.
Not only does the bubbly teen wish to work with the Yash Chopras and Karan Johars of Bollywood, she also hopes to revive her father Vinod Mehra's banner, VM Films.