Neha Dhupia


One of maxim’s most-requested cover girls, neha dhupia is back, and she’s playing a sexy secret agent as we discuss geeky men, dark humour and the perks of being a runner.
by meher bajwa

As she walks in, ms. dhupia makes it clear she’s at the Maxim shoot only to have a tonne of fun—no work conversations allowed because “Maxim is all about having fun, right?” No doubts there. Coming straight from the sets of Moh Maya Money, her latest project, she playfully points out the stark duality of her day, “It’s really nice to come from a completely clad shoot—I was like in sweaters and pullovers and suddenly you strip me down to underwear. So it’s quite interesting to get from there to here.”

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Over the years we’ve come to know Neha Dhupia as a funny, relatable girl on- and off-screen, who harbours razor-sharp wit. But how funny is she really? “I was always a funny girl. It’s just that my curves always overshadow everything else about me. I remember there was a roast on Vinay (Pathak) and Ranvir (Shorey) and I was the one on-stage roasting them! Of course it didn’t go viral because there was no media there, which is a good thing. But they think I’m a really good mimic. I actually mimic a lot of people, but behind their backs. It’s fun and they always wonder how I make those faces and do it. There’s no chance I’m telling you who they are—some of them are your cover girls!”

The bodacious lady’s refusal to demonstrate her miming talent is iron-clad, of course.Back to talking about funny co-actors, Neha insists Shorey is the “nicest, funniest and most important co-actor” she’s ever shot with. “I’m almost spoilt because he is so fabulous to work with.Moh Maya Money is my fourth film with him. It almost worries me how I’ll get my head about working with anybody else.”

When Neha’s not working, she’s working out (and prepping to run marathons). “I work out almost six times a week. Even if it’s small workouts, doing yoga or getting a massage. I’m running a lot. But the thing is, every time I prepare for a marathon, the day of the marathon a shoot comes up. I think, fuck, I didn’t work so hard for this. But it’s a great thing. It helps me clear my head. I actually started running because I was in trouble in my relationship and I thought, ‘What’s the next best thing towards being nice to myself?’ So I was just like, ‘Hey, I should start running because it’ll help me keep fit, and I feel energised when I’m done and it leaves me with an appetite to eat much more.’ So it’s probably the same things that a guy does to you.”Speaking of men, in case you didn’t know, Neha is exclusively into nerds and geeks. “It’s just so stimulating to be around them. Hot nerds. The hotter the better. There could be a fair chance that in a room full of men, I definitely go back home with a nerd over the supermodel.” Score, Nicholas Hoult: 100; beefed-up jerk dude

The Ungli star admits to being a victim of OCD when it comes to her food—she prefers preparing all fresh food like salads herself. The menu for a special self-cooked dinner sounds like interesting fusion fare: “I’ll probably make like nice Thai food because I’m not bad at that. And I kinda make a really mean blueberry cheesecake.”Another important question, cars or bikes? “I’m a passing-out-in-the-back-of-a-car girl. I haven’t been on a bike in a long time.”Travel season is here, and Neha’s vacation bucket list is all about Europe. “Definitely Portugal, Copenhagen and Croatia.”

She’s got a whopping 3.5 million followers on Facebook and 1.3 million on Twitter, and the former Miss India rarely feels the need to filter her thoughts when she’s posting on social media. “Sometimes I feel like just tweeting something abusive and then I have to be like no, at some point I might scar someone. But having said that I always speak my mind so it’s really not such a big deal.”

Having access to such a large-scale public platform, Neha’s always taken a stand for women’s rights and talked about what’s going wrong. “These things have always been going wrong, it’s just that people have become vocal about it now. I think that is the first step in finding a solution. The fact that you guys are addressing this issue and everybody else is addressing the issue—the change is happening as we speak. As far as women’s safety is concerned, it’s just the mentality of the people and the country that really needs to change. There are so many do’s and don’ts in this country. We continue to be a skin-starved society. We should just let everybody be and that can be the first step towards making this a much safer place. It’s going to be a while but the fact that everybody’s talking about it is a start.”


Shoot credits:

nitasha gaurav


daniel bauer,
artist factory india





hyatt regency hotel, MUMBAI