Meet Ms Fizzical
If you thought beauty with brains is a myth (especially after those beauty pageants), you probably haven't met Tara Sharma.
Petite, pretty and poised, she's got the perfect body, luminescent eyes, an out-of-this world smile...the list goes on. Vivek Fernandes met up with her to find out more about the ubharta sitara.
Everyone knows you as 'Pratap Sharma's daughter who did the Pepsi shoot with Shah Rukh Khan'. Tell us a little more about yourself.
I was born and brought up in Bombay even though my mum is British. I studied at the Bombay International High School and I even topped my school at the ICSE Std 10 examinations.
At 16, I won the Mahindra group scholarship to complete my undergraduate studies at the United World Colleges in Italy. I shifted base to England and completed my B.Sc in Business Administration and have been working with Andersen Consulting in London for the past year and a half.
What brings you back, then?
Right through school and college and even when I was working, I was always actively involved with theatre. I loved performing.
When I came done to Bombay during the holidays, I did a few commercials - Lakme, Ponds, Fair and Lovely, Pepsi. But I was never around when the advertisements were aired. Little did I know that my 'vacation vocation' would become a calling! It was in London, while attending a drama workshop, that I realised that the acting bug had bitten.
And as fate would have it Tabreez Noorani, who had seen some of my work and who knew how keen I was on acting, telephoned me and said he was auditioning in India for his first film, Dream-catcher.
In December 2000 I auditioned, and got the part. So I went back to London to tell Andersen that I wanted to quit… I wanted to give acting my best shot.
But my career-counselor, my mentor, an Italian gentleman, is so excited at the prospect of me acting in a movie that he granted me leave of absence for five months. So here I am.
Dream-catcher...what is it all about?
Dream-catcher is an English movie based on the lives of the American Indian community in Los Angeles. It is basically a love story, which repeats itself. It also portrays a darker side… the struggle one must go through when living in LA.
There are four of us from Bombay working in the film -- Raveena Tandon, Kashmira Shah, Gulshan Grover and myself. I believe that two of the three producers are Indian, as well.
I play a young girl of Indian origin living abroad, which something I can definitely relate to. That's why Tabreez thinks I'm perfect for the part...he doesn't want me to appear rehearsed, he wants me raw, natural.
So how has it gone so far?
Well, the shooting actually begins in April, and I'm terribly excited and nervous. I just wish I could get it over with. The shooting will probably take two months. I'm waiting to meet the entire cast and crew...I'm looking forward to the whole experience.
Dream-catcher is a first for many of us, in many ways...it is my first film, it is Tabreez's directorial debut, and I don't think Raveena has done this sort of thing before.
Tabreez is wonderful as a director, a whole lot of fun yet very professional. He is completely open to suggestions; he keeps in touch every other day.
Why choose such an unconventional film for your debut?
Dream-catcher is not a regular Hollywood or Bollywood commercial flick. I don't think Tabreez's target audience is the run-of-the-mill Indian cinemagoer, either. The film will be released internationally and probably will be targeted at the film-festival circuit.
I didn't choose the film; it chose me!
For me it was perfect timing, I was ready to move on. I worked in the corporate world and wanted to try my hand at something I had always wanted to do, something I thought I was good at, but had never pursued.
I'm glad I've worked in the corporate environment. If I hadn't, I would have always wondered what that experience would be like.
You could be the next big Bollywood flavour if this works...
Actually, I don't really see myself fitting into the stereotype of an Indian film actress. Call me snobbish, but the notion of becoming a Bollywood bombshell didn't appeal to me.
Also, philmy dialogues are not my cup of tea. I think I'm too tiny to become the actress that prances around trees. You've got to have more than most, if you know what I mean, to make it big.
But things have been changing with the dawning of new age Indian cinema and I'm not averse to giving Bollywood a shot.
So, besides regular gymming and swimming, I've also enrolled for Urdu classes and Kathak dance class. It's like going to school all over again. Urdu homework doesn't bother me though, being the nerd I was in school. I take things one day at a time. I don't want to count my chickens before they're hatched...but I'll keep my fingers crossed.