Halo actress Eve-Yasmin Saud-Easton credited David Hennessy with her Bollywood debut, her Irish grandfather as an inspiration to her, and her budding music career. He talked about stopping just as it was starting to take off.
The Harrow native of Irish blood has had a successful acting career, but not in British film or television.
Eve- Yasmine Saoud Easton has had numerous memorable roles in both Bollywood and Punjabi cinema.
Eve-Yasmine told The Irish World:
“But many Bollywood movies have been shot here.
“Hayes has a huge Punjabi community.”
With Spanish and Moroccan heritage in addition to her family from Delhi and Dublin, Eve Yasmin has long been familiar with Bollywood traditions.
“Growing up, I lived in Harrow.
“There is a very large Indian community here and one of my friends wanted to try a new dance class. I just quit my old dance school.
“I was looking for something new and she took me.
“I looked in the door and was like, ‘Rosie, this is a Bollywood dance. I don’t know how to do it.
“And she said, ‘Don’t worry, you’ll be fine.
“And we both did this experiential class.
“She won’t participate, I will.
“And it was the beginning of a truly beautiful journey.
“I was the only non-Indian in this entire academy.
“Good. I love their storytelling style.
“And obviously I hear songs in other languages and I don’t know what’s going on.
“So I asked my friends and teachers, ‘What does this mean? What are we dancing here? What facial expressions and emotions do we need to show?'”
And this foreign language ability comes in handy for her.
In 2022, Eve Yasmin starred as Stella in the Punjabi film Main Viyah Nahi Karona Tere Naal and impressed viewers with her Punjabi dialogue alongside Gurnam Bhullar.
The film was released worldwide in the UK, US, Canada, India and Australia.
After that, she appeared in a number of South Asian films, dancing with Diljit Dosanjh in Honsla Rakh and appearing as the lead female in music videos for artists such as Vicky, Himmat Sandhu and Navaan Sandhu.
Eve- Yasmine then made her Bollywood debut in Mister Mummy alongside Riteish Deshmukh, Mahesh Manjrekar and Genelia D’Souza.
Called in at the last minute to take over from another actress, Eve Yasmin had a scene that would become an icon of Bollywood cinema in a film released late last year.
“I am very grateful to have been able to participate in this project.
“It was my first big Bollywood movie and I was working with this couple who are Bollywood legends.”
Riteish Deshmukh is an award-winning actor and comedian. His wife Generia D’Souza, who is also very famous, was also part of the film.
“He does a lot of comedy, he’s really funny, and his wife, Generia, is really nice.
“And Mahesh, who I also have a scene with – again, he’s a Bollywood icon.
“It was very exciting to be on set with them.”
As a singer-songwriter, Eve- Yasmine released her debut EP Femme Fatale in 2020 and has released singles such as Glow Up, Habibi, Losing You and has been featured on Complex UK, BBC Radio 1Xtra, BBC Radio London, BBC Asian Network, Rinse. Featured on FM, Singersroom. ThisisRNB to name a few.
She has also headlined O2 Academy Islington.
However, just as this career was taking off, she had a problem with her ears which forced her to take a break.
“We had a headline show at the O2 Academy Islington.
“I was like, ‘That’s it, this is my year, I’m working hard on my dream,’ and then I locked down.
“But it kept playing on radio stations.
“It was very exciting and there were a lot of things that happened.
“It was talked about and I felt very positive.
“And this was the moment when I really felt like, ‘I’m being listened to, I’m being seen as an independent artist, and this means a lot.
“And around November 2020, I finished recording one song I wrote and my ears were throbbing.
“I thought it was temporary.
“And it got worse. We had to stop recording.
“I was like, ‘Okay, this isn’t going away.
“Music is, and always will be, something I try to push, so things really need to be re-evaluated.
“But at this moment in my life, my body is saying, ‘This is not what you have to do.
“Come out of lockdown and say, ‘Okay, I can’t do gigs and be in a noisy environment. How are you going to pursue this creative path?
“Acting has always been something I’ve been passionate about, and I never seemed to get to see it, but suddenly it felt like there was a role I could do. and it started working.
Eve-Yasmine’s ear problem is hyperacusis, or increased sensitivity to sound.
“Years ago I was told that was what I had, but over the last two years it has gotten worse.
“So I took a big break from recording just to rest my ears.
“I hope it’s something I can train myself to adapt to gradually.”
Eve-Yasmine wants to get back to music and let the world hear her work with a famous producer who has worked with big names like Nelly Furtado, Jamie Foxx and Sean Paul.
“I miss music.
“I had an album coming out, so I had a lot of songs lined up. I had the whole plan in my head.
“Last summer, I hooked up with this music producer who is an absolute legend in this game.
“His name is Krunka Derrick.
“He invited me to a session.
“I showed him one of the songs I wrote and Lockdown and recorded it.
“So they just need to finish final mixing the song, but I think it’s one of the best songs ever.
“We are very excited to be able to resume the release.
“I think the next chapter in music will be the best.”
Were you afraid that something unknown would affect your hearing, the bedrock of her musical ambitions?
“When I was in a gospel choir, I had something called myotonic dysphonia, and I woke up with no voice, and my throat was always closed.
“It was really scary too.
“Life always throws something different.
“You have to think there’s a reason behind it.
“If it hadn’t happened then, I wouldn’t have taken up acting or gone through all these movies I’ve been working on.
“I redid everything I could, like modeling, acting, dancing.
“I was an extra in this movie, which was shot in Watford. They asked the extras, ‘Do you have any professional dancers?'”
Eve-Yasmine never described herself as a professional dancer, but she found training in Bollywood useful.
“They called it a Bollywood shoot, so I thought, ‘Okay, Bollywood dancing.’ I can do it.
“So I stepped forward and found out it was a Punjabi film.
“It turns out that the lead man is one of the most famous singers not only in the Punjabi scene, but also in India.
“His name is Diljit Dosanjh and I had this short dance sequence with him and it was watched a lot.
“And behind the scenes, people began to recognize me.
“I started getting Punjabi music videos.
“And this makeup artist recommended what I thought would be another music video.
“They sent me the script and asked, ‘Do you speak Punjabi?
“And I said, ‘No, but let’s try.
“And this is the beginning of what has turned out to be my niche in learning scripts phonetically.
“Over the past year, I’ve played many roles in different languages and different accents.
“It can be difficult, but it’s really exciting.
“That’s how I got into Indian cinema.”
Eve Yasmin’s role in Mr. Mommy came after a disappointment, thanks to a connection with her first casting director when she was a teenager.
“I was asked to act in what I thought would be my first big Bollywood movie.
“When I got to the set, they cut all my dialogue and I knew my character was dying.
“So I wasn’t planning on doing much.
“But they (the agency) were like, ‘Eve, one of the actresses in this film has contracted COVID and we need to replace her immediately. Can you make it to Yorkshire today?'”
“So I literally rushed to pack my things and try to catch the train.
“When I arrived on set, it was the first time I was actually given a script.
“It wasn’t cut out or cancelled, so I realized, ‘Okay, this is going to be my Bollywood debut.
“I loved every minute.
“It was a pinch moment, so I’m talking to Riteish and Genelia.
“This is my first Bollywood movie and I am really happy to work with you both.”
“I play a hysterical pregnant woman, but Riteish is a very strict and terrifying principal and we have a huge conflict with each other.
“The comical timing was great and it was a lot of fun working with someone who bounced off of each other.
“You never expected comedy, Bollywood, and ending with that set.”
Eve- Yasmine was given a prosthetic baby bump, but found she could do one scene without it.
“They had this fake leg.
“They say, ‘Her bump shouldn’t be too big.
“I just had pasta for lunch and I’m bloated.
“I said, ‘Guys, take these off. Just stick your belly out.’
“And they were like, ‘You know? That’s a good idea.’
“So in that shot, I’m literally just using my stomach.
“Who knew the benefits of IBS?”
The film has not been released in UK cinemas, but is available on Netflix.
A musician with Spanish/Moroccan roots on the other side of her family, it was her grandfather on the Irish side of the family, Kevin, who inspired her early on to pursue both music and drama. It is due to merit.
“He was an incredible person. An incredible person.
“I think of him a lot.
“I loved him. I love him.”
“I am so grateful to have had him as a grandpa. He was so knowledgeable.
“He was very inspired by music.
“Growing up, he took me to dance classes.
“Grandpa put me on the bus and picked me up for dance class.
“And I still remember him waiting outside at the Halo Arts Center in his cream coat with a walking stick.
“I remember how hard he worked to help me get to my class when I was a kid.
“It was my grandparents who paid for me to go to dance classes in Bollywood, so I’m really grateful to him that I was able to do that.”
If he could see where that led Eve-Yasmin, he’d definitely be proud.
“I wish he could see it.”
Mr. Mommy is on Netflix.
Click here for more information.