She is a Hollywood actress, producer and a humanitarian, and in awe with everything related to India -- films, fashion and people. Gabriela Dias feels the country holds a mystic charm and Bollywood films have been telling the story of Indians in a beautiful way to the world.
"For me, India holds a mystic charm which breathes in every art and craft coming from the hands of its artists," Dias told IANS in an email interview from Cannes, where she chose to wear Indian designer Rahul Mishra's creation as one of her red carpet dresses.
"I absolutely love the warmth of the people... I find Indian culture fascinating. All the cuisines, dresses, monuments, old buildings and forts, festivals, music, dance and literature," she said.
A Brazilian by origin, Gabriela has worked in television throughout Europe, the US and South America. From participating in several TV shows, and soap operas, she also appeared in Hollywood productions that allowed her to work with the likes of Antoine Fuqua, Penelope Cruz, Devon Dickson, Deborah Aquila, Ben Hoffman, Jessica Biel, Francis O' Connor, Alfred Molina, Kaya Scodelario and Jimmi Simpson, among others.
She says she would love to be part of Indian films too.
"It would be a dream come true to me. I visited India many years ago and since then, I have been in love with Bollywood and India's culture.
"Cinema is a great, vibrant medium for telling stories. I feel like Bollywood films have been telling Indians' story so well and beautifully. Its struggle for independence, its constant struggle to achieve national integration and to emerge as a global presence... It is just wonderful," she added.
What's her take on Bollywood faces like Priyanka Chopra and Deepika Padukone making inroads internationally?
"I think it is fantastic. I am always so excited when international faces succeed in Hollywood," she said, adding that she has her Bollywood favourites too.
"There are so many amazing actors and actresses in Bollywood. But if I have to name a few, I loved Kangana Ranaut in 'Queen', Deepika Padukone and, of course, Priyanka Chopra, who is doing so great in Hollywood. I'm very happy for her."
Dias visited India during her younger days and worked with Bollywood photographer Suresh Natarajan.
"He was so kind and wonderful. I spent seven full days in Mumbai. I was fascinated by its people. I would love to go back to visit and work in India," said Dias, who has been in the entertainment business for 20-plus years.
She is also keen to attend a fashion week in the country.
"I follow India's fashion. I love the beauty and richness of India's fashion. Some of my favourite designers are Rahul Mishra, Manish Malhotra, Anand Kabra and JJ Valaya. And I would love to be invited to attend as a guest at a fashion week in India," said the actress.
Dias is also involved in philanthropic work. She founded The Gabriela Dias Foundation in 2017 with a mission to provide once-in-a-lifetime experiences in learning through arts and education.