Profession | Model, Actor
A creative soul who loves to dream, Neelam Sharma is a talented model and actor from Assam. Born on 23rd March, she first came under the limelight when she was in the top 10 of Eclectic Model Hunt 2011. That exposure helped her get out there and pursue her dreams of becoming an actor. Currently she is playing the role of the lead hero’s love interest in the serial Tumi Annanya.
Tell us a little about yourself and what motivated you to pursue modelling and acting?
I am a 90’s kid who believes in never-ending love and friendship. I was an average student during my school days but gained popularity marks for participation in cultural activities, sports and my captainship. I realized that I needed to do well academically after my HSLC, I was determined to obtain good marks. I got star marks in my HS and passed my graduation with 1st class distinction and even became the college topper.
I always loved singing, dancing and painting. In class 8, I started dreaming of becoming an actress or social worker. Belonging to a small town of North Lakhimpur, there was no proper guidance, or platform to showcase my talent. In 2011, I arrived in Guwahati for an entrance exam to secure a seat in the Sociology Department, Guwahati University. I successfully cleared the exam. I got an opportunity to perform in the Guwahati University auditorium and I got wonderful feedback. It boosted my confidence and I wanted to try to make it in the television industry without anybody’s support.
Modelling wasn’t on my radar but I believe it was God’s wish to help me to get into the television industry through modelling. In 2011, through Eclectic NorthEast magazine I got to know about Eclectic Model Hunt 2011. I decided to give a try. After a lot of hard work, I managed to be in the top 10. Though I couldn’t win the crown, it gave me my first break. I walked the ramp for renowned designers and choreographers from the Northeast.
After that breakthrough, I kept on moving ahead without looking back. For me, it is an honour and privilege that I am giving this interview to that magazine which helped me fulfil my dreams. Thank you Eclectic!
Which is more challenging? Acting or modelling?
Both in different ways. In a beauty pageant, you have to be very graceful. A model in a beauty pageant is someone with intelligence, and a high octane personality. Modelling for a designer show is different as you carry a huge responsibility of showcasing the art. You are responsible for showcasing the hard work and vision of the designer and also the makeup artist who plays a vital role in the beautification process. It is a challenging task for the model to carry and showcase the creativity of both artistes in the most graceful way and do justice to their work.
About acting, I feel that I am a born actor! When I get an opportunity to play a character, I feel like I am living that character’s life. To feel the character’s pain I believe is the most challenging. Acting is an intense and beautiful feeling, I think, words will fall short if you ask me to explain it.
Tell us a little about the TV shows you have appeared on till date.
I started my journey as a television and silver screen actress in 2013 with a mega serial ‘4 Idiots’. I also appeared in feature films namely Saya, Suma Porokhote, and Surya the Power; telefilms and series, Elani Sithi and Abhijaan and mega serials, Bularam Mbbs and Tumi Annanya. I also acted in Apekhyat, a translation of a famous Russian play – Lithuania by Robert Brooke.
I also solely anchored the reality show Focus Hifi presents Miss Hifi and also was the Curtain Raiser of Lux Prag Cine Awards 2014, Bangalore.
Who are your role models?
It’s one and only Priyanka Chopra! I feel like I am similar to her in many ways regarding personal life, professional life, her philosophy of life or generosity towards people. I admire her and I feel connected to her words because they reflect what I think.
What projects are you involved with right now?
I am doing Tumi Annanya, a mega serial aired on Rang Channel. I am playing the role of a NRI girlfriend of the lead hero Utpal Das. It is directed by Rakesh Sharma/Nayan Mani Saikia and written by Nayan Mani Saikia.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
I love to write. Dancing helps me exercise and keeps me happy. I sing with my younger sister Priyam Sharma, who is a very melodious singer. I like colouring and recycling old goods. I cook for family and friends when I am home. I always make sure to travel whenever I can because I believe that is the best way to enhance ourselves and our creativity.
What is the most expensive thing you have ever bought for yourself?
For me, I don’t have a weakness for expensive things. I like to spend on others, I buy fruits, bread and chocolates for homeless kids. I am also a social worker so their smiles make me happy.
I am a bit of a gadget geek and I love watches. So, I think my iPhone and Timex watch are the two expensive things that I own. The watch reminds me that time waits for no one, so I shouldn’t waste it.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever gotten?
Till date, the best piece of advice I got was from my parents. Some of my seniors and friends used to make fun of my buck tooth and slim figure when I was at school. I used to cry for hours and hours. But one day my parents asked me, “Do you hate yourself?” I said no. They asked again, “Do you think you are beautiful in your eyes?” And I said yes. Then they said, “If you are beautiful in your eyes, then you are the most beautiful person in the world. But make sure to keep your soul pure and honest. It should always reflect through your eyes and you will be always the most beautiful girl.”
After that piece of advice, I never let anyone hurt me and that is the reason why I always make fun of myself. My parents say that the one who can make fun of themselves are the most confident ones, as they don’t need to beat or compete with anyone. Because at the end of the day, the only thing that matters is, yourself.
As told to Meeta Borah