The Shaandaar Duo : Teena & Tessa Vellara

Imagine this: You’re all of 22, fresh out of college and you suddenly get a call saying you’ve been casted in a Karan Johar-produced film alongside Shahid Kapoor and Alia Bhatt. Oh, and you have a twin sister and she’s hit the jackpot with you too. That’s exactly how life played out for Teena Vellara and Tessa Vellara!

Born in Kerala, and brought up entirely in Bangalore, these super fun, infectiously energetic, and jaw-droppingly gorgeous identical twins started out with their baking business, ‘Cuppycakes’, and by a sparkling twist of destiny ended up in a huge Bollywood multi-starrer romcom that releases today. “It was never in our books to get into acting. We’ve done a bit of modelling, mostly to help out friends getting into photography, and it so happened that my friend radomly asked us to send our pictures to a particular casting director. Little did we know that we were going to act in Vikas Bahl’s next film with two of the biggest production houses in Bollywood!,” says Teena. “We play comical fashionistas and our style is quite bizarre so you definitely won’t miss us in the movie!”, she grins.

Though they haven’t had any formal training in acting, you might remember this duo from a recent video by entrepreneur/director Varun Agarwal, Mime Through Bollywood, that went viral on the Internet. In about 4 minutes, you just know these talented girls will be going places. And they did. “The entire experience was amazing – I couldn't have asked for a better production and director; they treated us incredibly well. And we got to travel to the U.K. and Poland while shooting in some of the most beautiful locations and castles!,” says Tessa. While this sounds like a fairytale, much like the film’s theme, was there nothing that was difficult at all? “I think the most challenging part filming was the weather. It was freezing and we had to pretend that it was summer in our summery clothes!,” she laughs. “But it was by far the best experience of our lives and hopefully, we’ll get to see more of it,” pipes in Teena.

The twins are also big on fashion – they’re currently working on a clothing line which is to be functioning soon. Says Tessa, “Both of us have always had an interest in fashion, but we’ve always had limited resources so we learnt to be stylish with whatever we had. My style is very edgy and tomboyish as compared to Teena’s. She is more feminine and girly when it comes to clothes.”

“My style is a bit softer, but I’ve been experimenting with the androgynous look of late and I love it! Both of us love experimenting with our style; sometimes it's a hit and sometimes it's a major miss, but we learn from our faux pas,” adds Teena.

Now that they’ve got an exclusive crash course in the film field they’ve definitely earned some cool cred to be dispensing fashion tips to their fans. “I’d say embrace your natural beauty and don’t try too hard to be like someone else. Your style is more unique when you dress according to your body type and when you’re comfortable with your look,” says Tessa.

“My advice would be to be comfortable in whatever you're wearing. It might be the biggest fashion disaster, but if you're confident about it then just go for it!,” Teena urges. And one big beauty no-no? Wearing the wrong foundation shade, according to Tessa, and in Teena’s book, overdoing your makeup – “Natural beauty all the way!”

Coming back to the film, are they nervous about their big break at all? “We’re pretty calm as of now, but I'm sure the nerves will kick in once the movie releases worldwide!,” says Teena. But hit or flop, life won’t stop for the Indian Mary-Kate & Ashley – they already have a clothes line coming soon, remember? “Apart from the line, our goal is to have a successful career in the entertainment industry and also have our cake chain all over India.”

And we’re glad they’re just as excited as us about Zapyle. “It’s an amazing concept. We love that it caters to every person’s unique style and that it’s made fashion so affordable and accessible, and we hope to showcase how different our styles are, even though we might have the same face!”

Here’s to the super talented and stunning twins – we’re pretty sure it’s going to be a treat to watch them onscreen. Go catch Shaandaar releasing in cinemas today!

Naaila Khan