"I Am Not Fussy About Getting Dressed, Nor Do I Spend Hours in Front of the Mirror," says Diana Penty

In an exclusive interview with Brides Today, the actor opens up about the Khaki Project, why digital fashion shows may be the way forward, what’s on her binge-watch list, and more...

Growing up, Diana Penty wasn’t comfortable being in the spotlight. She was an awkward teenager, who did not meet the so-called standards of ‘ideal’ beauty: some said she was ‘too thin’ or ‘too tall’. Little did she know that she would go on to become a celebrity, one day. Since then, the actor—who made her debut with Cocktail in 2012—has long shed her inhibitions. Diana is now a versatile actor, with a varied repertoire—from the rebellious protagonist in Happy Bhag Jayegi to the security expert in the spy thriller Parmanu: The Story of Pokhran, among others.

Even off-screen, Diana isn’t someone to be dictated by stereotypes. When Covid-19 confined everyone to the indoors, the 35-year-old joined hands with the Khaki Project to support police officers in Mumbai working on the frontlines. In association with the Salaam Bombay Foundation, she raised a significant amount of money to provide safety essentials to about 6,000 police personnel across the city. “The Khaki Project was our little way of giving back and saying thank you to the Mumbai police...who had worked relentlessly, putting their lives at risk, to keep us safe during the pandemic,” Diana says of the project. “We felt we had to do something for them. So we got together and raised funds, to help provide them with basic safety essentials like hand sanitisers and safety eyewear.”

From working passionately for a cause close to her heart, to turning into a glamorous showstopper at the first-ever digital edition of Lakmé Fashion Week, Diana walks from one role to the other with consummate ease. Brides Today caught up with the actor on all that has been keeping her busy, her fashion quirks, beauty secrets, and more.

What was it like being a showstopper for a digital show?

Diana Penty- As a model, or as a showstopper, I’d say it is poles apart from a physical fashion show—there, you are walking the ramp live, with the audience in front of you, so the energy is completely different. A digital show is pre-recorded—it is quick and easy, and you get several takes in case you trip or there’s a wardrobe malfunction. It’s quite reassuring, that way. But a part of you still misses having a live audience...

Do you think it makes a difference as to how the audience responds to the show?

DP- I don’t think it matters, really, whether you are physically present at the show or watching it online.As long as one gets to see the details of the outfit—the textures, colours, workmanship. I feel this is going to be the way forward for the fashion industry. There are several advantages of a digital fashion week, the biggest being that it reaches out to a lot more people.

How would you describe your personal style?

DP- My style is easy, chic, and effortless. I am neither fussy about getting dressed, nor do I spend hours in front of the mirror before stepping out. I don’t have the patience for that. But I do pay a lot of attention to comfort. I know I will have a good day as long as I am comfortable in what I am wearing.

What staples can one find in your wardrobe?

DP- My wardrobe is stuffed, at the moment! You’d find several pairs of jeans, in different styles and colours. I’m more into baggy, boyfriend jeans than fitted, skinny ones. You’ll also find a tonne of oversized shirts, along with many classic pieces. I also have a bunch of flat shoes, in different designs, and while I can appreciate high heels from a distance, I hate wearing them...they’re so uncomfortable, I can wear them for an hour, at most.

What is your everyday beauty routine?

DP- I follow a four-step routine. I begin by cleansing my face with a mild face wash, followed by a serum. My eyes are very sensitive and need to be hydrated, so I use an under-eye cream, as well. And, finally, a moisturiser—during the day, I use one with UV protection, and at night, something a bit heavier.

What is on your binge-watch list these days?

DP- I am so impressed with the incredible content online, from across the world. I recently watched Pataal Lok, Special Ops, Class Of ‘82, and Treadstone, among other shows.

In times when there was no access to gyms, what fitness routine helped you stay fit?

DP- I think doing housework has been a workout in itself. I focused on cardio workouts in the last couple of months...but I do need to return to weight training. My routine before the lockdown was basically weight and strength training, and a bit of cardio. I’m not following a strict fitness routine; it’s the working around the house that’s keeping me fit.

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