KAVERI GUNTU, HYDERABAD: On the internet, you have been credited to have propelled Sherlyn Chopra (ex ‘Miss Andhra Pradesh’) to national fame. Can you throw some light on how you achieved this, considering she started out with down-market films like ‘Naughty Boy’ and ‘Time Pass’ under the screen name of Mona Chopra.
DALE: Since you hail from Hyderabad (Sherlyn’s hometown), I understand your interest. Sherlyn had once revealed to me that by the age of fifteen, she used to wear thick reading-glasses and spend all her time immersed in books. Most of her friends in her native town found her boring. Glamour was nowhere on her mind. That was till one day she participated in the ‘Miss Andhra Pradesh’ beauty pageant. She won the crown. Then she came to Mumbai and did a couple of low-budget films with the screen name ‘Mona Chopra’. One day she met me through a common friend and I asked her to revert to her original name Sherlyn. I chalked out an elaborate strategy based on controversy and sensationalism. She did a lot of homework and her determination, drive and grit was admirable. Finally, she underwent a metamorphosis. Later one day, Sherlyn told me that she had become a fantasy for her childhood friends now, and it felt surreal.