Bollywood Actress Tena Desae On Compatibility & Arranged Marriage

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Tena Desae exclusive
The model-turned-actress makes her first international debut in "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel."

In the film, Sonny's mom disproves of your relationship because she thinks you come from different classes. Are arranged marriages still as common today in India? Do you personally want to marry for love?
I think it's a complex issue, I still don't know what's best yet. Personally, I think it would be better to fall in love with someone and marry them. You know and like the person, so it makes sense to want to spend your life together as opposed to just marrying a stranger … I can't understand how people do that. Having said that, I know a lot of people who've started getting married and like 60 percent of them are choosing arranged marriage. I think that's quite strange because when I was in school, I would watch Hindi films and think that doesn't happen in the real world, or at least it won't happen with our generation. But, apparently it is. A lot of the love relationships aren't working out and people want to settle down and parents are putting pressure on them, so arranged marriage does happen. It's really crazy. But, they're happy, and our parents all have arranged marriages and they're happy. Personally, I'm very confused. Single in India: Some Don’t Want Arranged Marriage

What relationship advice do you have for a couple who wants to beat all the odds against them?
I don't think it's anything other than compatibility. If you get along and you're like-minded, then everything just falls into place. But, if you just don't get along or don't gel, then whatever you try won't work. Obviously, there has to be honesty, loyalty, trust and making sure it's always fun, but it works differently for everyone. I think it's compatibility that makes you automatically want to please your other half's parents and friends and understand each other and be loyal. I think it's that connection. I don't think we can ever break it down further.

The overall message we got from the film was that "It's never over" in life, even when you're retired. Is that what you want viewers to walk away with?
I want them to walk away loving India and wanting to come and visit or re-visit. But I love the two messages in the film: one, however old you are, you should still want to enjoy your life and live it according to your own terms. You should want to do something and not just sit at home when you retire, wake up, read the paper and go to sleep. I love that the characters are still working and still doing their thing and they're happy. And then, I love the message of hope. Everything is always all right in the end, which is one of Dev Patel's line – I love that. You just go home feeling good.

Tell us: will you be going to see The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel this weekend?

Photo Credit: Getty

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