'When I walk out of a room or enter a gathering, everybody should notice me.'
'I always want to make a statement.'
'I flaunt myself and there is no stopping me.'
Television actress Nia Sharma is excited about her latest show, Naagin 4. A supernatural thriller, the show will be aired on the Colors channel.
Known for her quirky fashion choices, Nia feels surprised at the celebrity folk who always need stylists to dress up.
"I genuinely do not understand how you can get styled by a stylist every day even when you go out for dinner or hang out with friends," she tells Rediff.com Contributor Rajul Hegde, adding, "I am so quirky with my choices that I know nobody will get me what I want."
You love fashion, don't you?
I used to get dreams of me coming out the stores with bags, wearing boots and little dresses!
That's how I wanted to be.
But my parents could not afford that kind of lifestyle.
I started experimenting after I become financially independent and did everything that I dreamt of.
I used to watch those rock chicks on TV, those gothic and emu looks of the FTV models, and I would wonder when would I look like this?
The way I look right now is my dream as a kid.
It gives me immense pleasure to dress up all the time.
Where do you get your fashion advice from?
I see a lot on TV, but I do not copy.
I take inspiration from various things.
Instagram has helped me a lot; I follow some English models on it.
I don't even know their names, I just searched for people who effortlessly dress up.
In India, everybody is trying so hard with their stylist team by their side.
I genuinely do not understand how you can get styled by a stylist every day even when you go out for dinner or hang out with friends.
It has become a trend. But why?
When will you get your style on board?
I dress up myself. I buy my own clothes, match my own stuff.
I am so quirky with my choices that I know nobody will get me what I want.
Even when I have gone ahead with stylists, it has been my inputs to dress up in a certain way, to use my own accessories and use my own head.
And that's very important to me.
I am very confident in what I wear and very precise with my choices.
You have been trolled for your unconventional lipstick colours. How does the industry react to your fashion choices?
It started with people in the industry saying that you have a good dress sense. Then, it became: 'Dude, what were you wearing?'
Then it became 'Oh Neha is so experimental, so bold.'
The words 'sartorial choice' were used for me in articles.
I didn't know what sartorial choices were.
It is what the media has made me, written about me.
They made my experimental choices such a norm that I am now known to be bold, quirky and experimental and I agree with it.
I think I want to go ahead with it (smiles).
The lipstick colours I choose are so common all over the world.
It's just that in the TV industry everybody makes such a mountain out of a molehill.
Rihanna wears purple lipstick.
Maybe I am doing it in a closed circle of TV, that's why I am chosen as the star of trolls.
I get that and I enjoy it.
I wore a black lipstick to a party. Nobody trolled me because they know I will do it.
People are tired of trolling me.
Any plans of starting a clothing line?
I want to have such a strong fashion game that nobody can beat me, but I am not sure about launching a fashion line because that needs a lot of investment.
Five years down the line, maybe.
Whether anyone wears it or not, I will! (laughs)
Do you feel the pressure to look good all the time?
Yes, every time.
It is not because I want to impress a boy or anyone.
It's just that when I walk out of a room or enter a gathering, everybody should notice me.
I always want to make a statement.
There were times when my cousins would look way better than me at family functions. They would flaunt themselves while I would be standing in a corner.
But now, I flaunt myself and there is no stopping me.
I have worked hard for it.
Who do you consider a fashion icon?
People look up to Priyanka Chopra and Sonam Kapoor.
Sonam is very good and you can't match the level she is in.
But if you ask me, someone who is effortlessly stylish is Shibani Dandekar.
We haven't noticed Mouni Roy dressing up.
They have an impeccable sense of styling.
I like effortless styling.
Everybody is posting on Instagram, that they are styled by so and so. That's so superficial.
There are few girls who have their style statement and these two girls are on point.
Did you always want to act?
I did mass communications, and wanted to become the next Barkha Dutt.
Then came a time where I auditioned for a TV show called Kaali: Ek Agnipariksha.
Fortunately, renowned writer Mrunal Jha had come to Delhi for the auditions and I got selected.
They sponsored my flight tickets and the initial few months of stay in Mumbai.
I thought I would stay six months and then go back, but that never happened, maybe because it was my destiny.
It was followed by Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai and then Jamai Raja.
Then I became a TV name.
If I hadn't got Ek Hazaaron at the start of my career, I would not have been where I am today.
My character Manavi clicked so much that she made people laugh and cry.
I had a small house and I got so many gifts that I could not fit them in.
That was the level of love that came my way!
People said no actor in this industry has received so many gifts.
I used to sit and open the gifts for two days.
I love that time and I miss it.
What made you take up Naagin 4?
When you get a call from Balaji Telefilms, you can't get more blessed.
Who doesn't want to work with them?
I am working with Ekta Kapoor for the first time.
You get such star treatment.
The first thing they asked me was, 'Are you okay to play a naagin?'
I said yes.
I know the entire tension is on me.
The show will start on December 14, and everyone's eyes will be on us. It makes you so excited.
Every season, the Naagin look is talked about.
It's unlike the character I played in (the Web series) Twisted.
It's a simple, pretty-looking character Brinda, a kind-hearted girl, whom every girl will relate to.
She loves taking care of her family and never gives back even if people are batameez to her. Unlike me.
You have done TV and Web series. Any plans to work in a film?
I have film offers, but haven't taken them up because they were not going to make a difference to my career.
At this point, I don't want to waste my time on a film or a project that will come and go, and it will be called my debut. That's not my agenda.
I want to do good projects and be financially strong.
This is the time for me to earn and make a mark on television.
And if TV is giving me so many opportunities, how do I let them go?
I want to be the biggest face on television.
Movie and television buff, an avid cook and a manic shopper, Rajul Hegde stumbled into journalism because of her love for the Idiot Box.
From syrupy soaps to raucous reality shows, she misses very little. She loves a good mystery but stays off the violent stuff.
She lives in Bengaluru with her family, but continues to document the follies and foibles of tinsel town. You can contact Rajul at firstname.lastname@example.org