Time and again cinema has shifted its focus to the slums in Mumbai and discovered talents that are hidden there. Recently the Step Up 2: The Streets fame Robert Hoffman discovered 12-year-old Maleesha Kharwa for his music video. Maleesha now dreams of becoming a model someday and below is what happened.
Robert came to India back in February to shoot his music video. Later, the actor was expected to leave for a dance tour in Eastern Europe. But the lockdown was imposed just about the time he was to leave. Now as even the shooting has come to stand still, Robert Hoffman was looking for a slum dweller kid fit for his video.
According to reports, rather than portraying them as pathetic, they want to show them as people of perseverance. In a Hindustan Times report, Robert Hoffman said, “One of my friends told me that she had seen a little girl in a slum who was breathtakingly beautiful, and this was Maleesha. But I didn’t end up hiring her because she was just a bit too stunning for the part and I hired her cousin instead.”
Robert further narrates how happy he was to discover Maleesha, and how surprised he was that no one had yet offered a modelling gig to this beautiful girl. “There she stood among a group of slum residents just like any other in the city. But her face was so remarkable I don’t know how anyone could have overlooked her before,” Hoffman said. He called their first meeting ‘straight out of a movie’.
Maleesha Kharwa, who lives in a tent by the sea in Bandra is already an Instagram star. Her profile that had around 6000 followers has her exhibiting her adorable charm and talent. Pandemic has been testing her family too, as they suffer to even get clean water.
Robert Hoffman describes Maleesha Kharwa as natural talent. The 12-year-old dreams of becoming a model and loves posing for the camera.
Robert Hoffman has already set up various social media handles for her and now has even started a GoFundMe page for her. It has raised around $975 as of yet. “We are trying to reserve some donations for food, clean outfits, and money to travel to castings. I will be leaving India so we aim to get her a phone which also has a nice camera so that she can be in contact and continue high-quality vlogging for her fans,” said Hoffman.
Meanwhile, Robert plans to leave as soon as the lockdown lifts up and things get back to normal.