Salman Khan and his rumoured girlfriend Iulia Vantur created a lot of buzz recently when pictures from their Maldives vacation went viral on the Internet. “I loved the islands, beaches and the sun. It was a perfect mini holiday,” said Iulia describing her recent vacation with Salman and his entire family to City Times. The Romanian beauty was in Dubai last week to perform at the GR8 Women awards at Roda Al Bustan hotel. “I am very happy to be here. It’s a wonderful event about women achieving awards who are great and beautiful in so many ways,” said Iulia to City Times.
Iulia Vântur sings a famous Hindi song in Romanian and a Bollywood golden oldie
Of late, Iulia has taken the centre stage in the Bodyguard actor’s life. As per Indian media, Salman and Iulia met for the first time in Romania when the actor was on a recce with brother Sohail Khan for their film, Jai Ho. There has always been a certain mystery surrounding Iulia. She has rarely spoken to media. She opened up to us, sang Hindi and Romanian numbers for us (check Khaleej Times Facebook Live videos). We were seriously impressed by her singing skills. Iulia who was performing for the first time in the Middle East did not seem to be nervous.
“I am used to this feeling because I have been on stage my whole life. Back in Romania, I was a television host. My whole career is about stage, audience, music, hosting, dance because I was hosting the Romanian version of the TV show Dancing With The Stars. This is the reason why I love music so much.” Iulia sang ‘Teri Meri’ from Bollywood film Bodyguard during the evening. “It is actually a Romanian song and music director Himesh Reshammiya heard that song and made it into ‘Teri Meri’. The Romanian song is a carol. Many years back I was asked to sing a Romanian song and the first song that came is this carol which became ‘Teri Meri’. I used to sing this song for my parents during Christmas. I love this song and that’s why I chose this for tonight.”
Excerpts from our interview:
Are you formally trained in music?
Someone told me it is a gift that I have. So I need to treasure it. I did train in music long time back. I think when higher powers gift you something, you need to use it to make the most of it. I am trying to train more, learn more and practise more. I just love singing.
There is a lot of curiosity surrounding you. Can you tell us more about yourself and your dreams and aspirations?
I have many dreams and most of them are already fulfilled. One of them was to be a TV host and I was a news anchor in Romania for more than ten years. Then I hosted ‘Dancing With The Stars’ for more than eight years. It was the longest live show in Romania. Then I was on ‘The Farm’ which is like Indian TV show Big Boss. I did theatre there as well. I acted in a musical because I felt like doing it and I wanted to experience the feeling of acting on stage. And I really had a great time singing in India as well. Let’s see what is coming next.
How do you find living in Mumbai?
I love living in Mumbai, that’s why I am living there. It is different and people around are so beautiful.
Any plans to act in movies?
I got many offers in Bollywood. But it is not my plan as yet. Even singing was never my plan. I never expected to sing in India but it happened. In a way, I have noticed that life has many beautiful surprises for you. I think it is better to just let it be like that. I will be happy with living in the moment and the universe will take care of the rest.
Iulia didn’t mention Salman Khan but we wonder…
After you moved to Mumbai, you attracted a great deal of attention. Paparazzi are constantly trying to capture you. How do you deal with this kind of attention?
I had this kind of attention in Romania as well so it’s not a new thing for me. It’s just that it comes from another angle somehow. But I have accepted it because there is nothing I can do about it. When you are a public person, you take the whole package, you cannot choose some and leave some out. It is a whole package that comes along with my work.
Iulia’s favourite things
Indian food: Palak Paneer, Biryani
Indian songs: Teri Meri and Lag Jaa Gale
Indian movies: We used to watch Hindi movies when we were kids in the theatre. Raj Kapoor’s movies were big in Romanian theatres back then, not anymore. After Raj Kapoor’s cinema, there were no Hindi movies in the cinema halls. I used to catch some movies once in a while on television. I didn’t follow Hindi movies that much. But my favourites are Jaaneman (starring Salman Khan, Preity Zinta and Akshay Kumar) and Om Shanti Om ( starring Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone). I love Hindi movies because there is always a good lesson that you can take home and practice.
Actresses: Preity Zinta and Deepika Padukone.
Actors: Anupam Kher. I had a chance to meet him and he is a wonderful person.