From Punjabi pageant to undercover agent

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Manpneet Grewal, on her journey from Miss Australia Punjaban to lead actress in a hit film

If the name Manpneet Grewal doesn’t ring a bell, ‘Summer’, the undercover agent she played in Amtoj Mann’s ‘Gaddar-the Traitor’ sure will.

Melbourne-based Manpneet says it was a dream come true when she was approached for a lead role in Punjabi movie ‘Gaddar – The Traitor’, which was released world-wide in the last week of May and is receiving good reviews.

Manpneet, who in 2012, won the title of Miss Australia Punjaban, which she calls the “turning point” in her life, says this was her first appearance on the big screen.

“My Punjabi background somehow has inspired me to be a part of Punjabi cinema, and I am fortunate enough to get this opportunity,” she says.

“I am Punjabi at heart and attached to my roots. It was my love for Punjabi culture that made me participate in the pageant ‘Miss Australia Punjaban’. It is a unique concept as it a pageant which celebrates heritage and culture over beauty and glamour,” she says.

“The title opened a lot of doors for me, but I was always waiting for the right time and opportunity to take my next step,” says Manpneet. And the opportunity came one morning when she received a phone call from Manpreet Gill, the assistant director of ‘Gaddar — The Traitor’. “He told me the team was considering me for the lead, opposite Habhajan Mann, a well-established Punjabi singer and actor. After listening to the script, I was fascinated by the role as it was quite challenging and accepted the offer. That’s how I got my first break”, she says.

“Working with an established actor has many benefits as you learn a lot of things which you can take forward. I feel blessed as I got an opportunity to work with few best actors in my first movie including Ashish Duggal, Anita Meet and Rupinder Roopy,” she says.

Manpneet, who is overwhelmed with the response of the movie, attributes her success to her family, friends and her mentor Manjot Dhaliwal.

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