Crushing On: Manish Dayal

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How hot is Manish Dayal?!

I remember when I saw the trailer for The Hundred-Foot Journey. I saw a close up of Hassan, the culinary ingénue played by Manish Dayal, and I thought “Who is that?!” Well, he’s 31, he’s engaged (sorry ladies – but if it helps, I was just as devastated when I found out) and he’s hoping to make a difference through art and creativity. Here are five things you may not have known about Manish Dayal:


1. He thinks Helen Mirren is hot but she’s not his celeb crush

In The Hundred Foot Journey, Dayal’s character Hassan spends a lot of time trying to win over the hard nosed Madame Mallory (played by Helen Mirren) who runs the Michelin-starred French restaurant Le Saule Pleureur. In real life the two are not only friends, but Dayal says that she’s definitely got that certain something that words cannot describe. ”Helen Mirren has got it. That’s an undeniable fact.” Dayal says. “She’s sexy, she’s talented, she’s got it all. It’s this confidence and this strut, she’s got this mysterious side to her as well.” But the most alluring thing? “Working with her was a lot of fun. She likes to drop the f-bomb. When we were cooking the omelet, I changed the recipe to match the one my dad made when I was growing up and she was telling me ‘the omelet better be amazing or were completely fucked!’”

So Helen Mirren = fun! But when asked if he has a celeb crush; “Scarlet Johanson,” he says with a smile. “She’s got all the things that intrigue me.”


2. When it comes to love, he knows what he wants and he’s found it


For Dayal, his heart turns on at the idea of making a girl laugh. “I really like someone who can go with my sense of humor. And simplicity is something I like. I would say simple, confident and spontaneous is sexy.”

As for who embodies all this for Dayal, you may have noticed a picture he posted to his instagram account a couple of months ago. It showcases him with a beautiful girl with the caption “About to take off to NYC for the premiere of #100FootJourney. Unreal. HERE WE GO”. The two are cozied up together overlooking two glasses of bubbly. “That’s my fiancé,” Dayal says. “We’ve been together for just over two years. ” They do have a wedding date set, but he wasn’t ready to disclose it to the world and we totally understand.


3. He’s a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy

Despite looking deliciously dapper and suited up in Vanity Fair’s August issue (our featured pic above is by Lauren Dukoff from the shoot), he admits to being way more of a casual guy. “They really cleaned me up well,” he says with a smug smile. “They knew what they were doing.” Not that he’s a stranger to dressing up…he’s been on a lot of red carpets lately with his new pals Oprah and Steven Speilberg but on the daily its different story. “I wear a t-shirt and jeans all the time. Even if I have to dress up in a suit, I like something that’s cool but not too flashy. I’m simple. Normal? Boring? I don’t know.” Well we do! Its called not having to try cause you’ve already got it!


3. Unlike his character…He’s the part fiery and part funny…

Dayal’s character Hassan, is simple and modest to almost to a fault. “I’m very different to my character,” says Dayal. “humble and sensitive are qualities that I hope I exhibit but my character is introverted and quiet and he’s always observant. Those are qualities of a prodigy. I’m not that quiet and I’m not a prodigy!” His friends think of him “as a clown sometimes. I have a side to me that’s wild and obnoxious and a side to me that’s really quiet, but that’s from what people have told me.”


4. Dayal originally had no desire to be in front of the camera

“When I was a kid I wanted to be behind the camera,” says Dayal. “I wanted to direct and produce.” Until one day in high school when the camera was turned on him. “It was a little thing in school, I got to be in front of the camera and I just didn’t know what I was doing. It was a really weird experience, but I had a lot of fun doing it and that’s how I got hooked.”


5. He’s buddies with Oprah and shares a passion for changing the world

Not many people get to work with Oprah. Dayal considers himself very lucky to have been able to do that while sharing an important message of racial unity at the same time. “Oprah influenced the movie in that it goes beyond cultural limitation and racial bias. It does that really well,” says Dayal. More than that though, as a friend “she’s just really down to earth and is a great person.” The two of them share a passion for giving back. That’s why when Oprah put Dayal on blast to do the ice bucket challenge, he was all about it: “She called me, Steven and Helen,” says Dayal. “I responded within 24 hours as instructed.”

A US native (by way of a study detour in Sydney Australia), Raha Lewis is an influencer for all things fashion, pop culture and entertainment. A lawyer in her past life, who has written for publications such as the LA Times and People Magazine, Lewis is always on the latest news in the world of celebrity and is often seen touting exclusives on camera for the likes of E! News, Good Morning America and Showbiz Tonight. Her legal background anchors an innate analytic mindset, while her passion and have-fun-for-a-living attitude gives her the ability to provide telling insights on just about any subject matter. She extracts a unique reality in interviews because of her conversational free spirited interview style. She’s motivating, honest and reveals strengths in subjects that even they didn’t know they had.

She’s a content creator with a voice that speaks to the masses. And if she ends up at your dinner party, be prepared for a lot of laughter.

1 Comment

  1. Chelsea

    September 15, 2014 at 4:42 PM

    What a wonderful human being! Sounds like he’s having a great time enjoying the process of life, and he’s good at it. In the words of his friend Oprah… “The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.”

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