Diana Hayden has been named fittingly. Much like Princess Di, who was poised, elegant and intellectual, Hayden also shares similar characteristic traits with the late princess. Diana has pretty much done it all: managed pop stars, earned the Miss India title, walked the ramp and starred in a Bollywood film. It is rare to find celebrities who give it to you straight and clear. Diana Hayden is just like that. BollySpice caught up with the ex-Miss World to chat about her travels, her spark for life and future plans.
You would never guess in a million years courtesy of her polite and down to earth demeanor that she has been an ex-Miss India. First off, she hits you with a thump by jutting out her mantra for life, “Life is a journey; you have to enjoy it because the destination is the death. So when are you going to enjoy it? When you’re dead?” Off the bat, you figure out it is probably this very belief that probably has brought her so far in life. “It’s the one fairytales are made of,” she jokes, “I grew up in Hyderabad, and quit school in the eighth standard. I then moved to Mumbai, worked, and worked until I landed my last job, which was managing pop singers. I managed the likes of Anaida, Mehnaaz, Piyush Soni and a band called Mantra. It’s a funny story because it was Anaida who made me join the competition, and she forced me to stay in it!” The rest is history as she went ahead to win and become Miss World in 1997.
Over a decade later, confident oozes from her personality. She recently created waves by appearing in the hit reality show Bigg Boss Season 2. Not only did the rest of the housemates single her out but her close friendship with Ashustosh Kaushik was also put in the spotlight. “Everyone comes from different walks of life,” she clarifies, “I’m very particular that I don’t surround myself with people who are just from my industry. In fact, my closest friends are not from this industry.” Point noted. So, she should have become best friends with the housemates, right? “One thing I don’t do is get into little silliness and fights. If there is trouble happening, I try to soothe and calm it down. I try and keep peace,” she explains. And her growing friendship with Ashutosh? Perhaps it was just the Indian mentality that surrounds a blossoming friendship between a man and woman, which is seen as impossible. “No!” is her abrupt reaction, “It was created in the house. There was no reason for people to separate me from anything really. I wouldn’t get into fights, and for the sake of nominations, a closer friendship was fabricated by the network which I understand from their point of view,” she justifies. “They projected that something was there. When Ashutosh fed me a piece of sweet lime, he also fed Sambhavna and Payal some sweet lime, but they didn’t show the audiences that!” she speaks out. “The media bombarded me when I exited and I was simply shocked,” she summarizes. Was it then shocking to her that most of the evicted housemates told the media they expected her to win? She laughs before answering, “I know! Apparently that was not to be!”
One of her promises as she departed the Bigg Boss house after being evicted after eight weeks was that she would remain friends with the housemates. “Yes! I am still friends with the people I said I would be in touch with. Two weeks ago, I had dinner with Ashu, Sambhavna and Debojit,” she informs. “I will stay in touch with them because they are simple and genuine people.” Till date she can’t seem to fathom how she became a part of the Bigg Boss crew, “I thought people would get so bored of watching me. I am so uncontroversial, non-aggressive, and non-entertaining,” she giggles. “I don’t provide masala! I don’t know if they showed it but I never let any of the guys sit on the beanbag with me. I’m like that by nature.” After many confrontations and craziness that encompassed the house, she finally departed. “I told the audiences to vote for Ashutosh because I didn’t want to be a part of that environment. It was too unhealthy,” she sums up.
Post Bigg Boss, she has been seen more at social events. Her upcoming projects include participating in a new reality show. “I’m the brand ambassador for this product called Fact Miss Teen India. I’m the judge for the auditions and I’m a mentor to the girls. It’s very exciting because a lot of the work I do is grooming, confidence building and communication skills. This is right up my alley!” she says excitedly. She seems to be the next reality queen, “I love television! I fell in love with hosting television when I was a part of the Biography on the History Channel.” Her stint with Hindi movies didn’t go too well. “Ab Bas was a women powered film which finally became a skin flick. The director and producer had differences, which led to a complete change in the script. And by the time the producer realized, it was too late,” she says. “Tehzeeb was a guest appearance…which doesn’t count,” she quickly adds. “But I knew that films wasn’t something I was really interested in.”
Aside from her television, her charity work keeps her in the news as she shuffles between Los Angeles and Mumbai. “Most of your work with Miss World is charity work. It’s fundraising, dinners, or fashion shows. So that’s how I got into it, and because I love it, I kept doing it!” And with her nonstop traveling to and fro, it must get tiring. “Hardly. I’m blessed,” she exclaims, “Its two beautiful parts of the world and I love traveling. I’m spending a lot more time in India right now because of work, but I’m thoroughly loving it.”
She was quick to clarify that Ashutosh is definitely in the friendship zone, so her relationship status is up for questions. “I am single! And it’s a question a lot of my girlfriends ask me all the time.” So what does she want from her ideal man, Mr. World attributes? “Someone who has very strong values. I’m conservative by nature as much as I’m very modern. Somebody who is single, that’s for sure! Today you have to verify that. Someone who is on my wavelength, and has a sense of humor.” Are eligible single men listening out there?
As a parting note, she gives audiences and fans some essential tips to living life, “Life is very short, you’ve got to enjoy what you do, because if you don’t, what’s the whole point of life?” she says. One wonders if they shoot an intellect serum into Miss World’s and Miss Universes. They seem to work on a totally different wavelength and make you contemplate life and the intricacies of it. Diana Hayden is just the same. Just when you think you’ve stumped her, she pulls out a smarter one from her magician’s hat, better known as her intellect.
BollySpice wishes Diana the best of luck and success for all her future endeavors.