In this digital age where information is available at the click of a button, life can be tough for an actor when audiences and fans get to read anything but the truth about their favourite star. Difficult and draining for some, but not for Nia Sharma, a star who’s dabbled with a host of appearances in television soaps, reality shows, and music videos as well. While one would hope to see articles on her impressive performances in them, the shallow thinking of trolls who comment on her body and her dressing style doesn’t let one know who the real Nia Sharma is. Behind all that is a confident, charismatic, and charming girl who takes little to no time to display all of this as we sit down to interview her.
She’s bold and she’s all things beautiful, and there’s simply no stopping the actor, the second actor in Cosmopolitan India’s #SerialChillers series, who opens up about her transformation, who the real Nia Sharma is—her relationship with the paparazzi, how she's always speaking her mind, her featuring in a music video alongside Honey Singh, and much more.
Cosmopolitan India: The poster of Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai was the very first thing that I looked up when researching my questions and there has been a complete transformation in terms of confidence, the way you carry yourself, etc. Was this current version of Nia something that people were always going to see and it was just a matter of time?
Nia Sharma: I grew up, you know. Back then, you were looking at a 21-year-old girl, fresh out of college, who had just come to Mumbai. She was raw, a newbie, who did not know anything. Today, you're looking at a polished girl, whose grown up, travelled the world, and seen things. So there is a difference. And yes, if you talk about my appearance, there has been a huge change. Over 12-13 years, if you do not reach that level, I think then you're not really growing up. I worked hard on myself and that’s the outcome of this.
I always wanted to be the girl I am today. I used to dream about it. I wanted to talk like that, dress up like that. But yes, it took a conscious effort. Also, if you watch my interviews back then, when I was playing Manvi in Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai, I would ask myself, “Why am I talking like that”, “Why am I so crass?”, “Why do I not have a hold on myself?”. I never liked my interviews, I used to always go “Who is this girl?” I worked on that by watching other interviews. I was actually Manvi off-screen as well and I was not working on myself.
CI: When someone reads about you online, just as a simple Google search, they find so many articles about you that are absolutely not true. Through this interview, if you had to answer this question “Who is Nia Sharma and what kind of a person she truly is?”, what would you say?
NS: I am somebody who can be loved and who is immensely charming. Those articles on Google are demeaning. If anyone searches (my name), I will come across to them as somebody who is just, you know, blah. I've been reduced to this girl who does not dress well and who does not have class. And the reality is quite contrary to that. I do have a life and conduct myself in a very, very classy way. The kind of life I live is something that they will never know about. I would feel very angry back in the day, but right now I feel it's trivial to even bother replying. I feel my life is too beautiful. I don't want to rectify those articles nor do I feel like I need to explain anything to anyone.
CI: But do you think being this way, being shown in this light, which is wrong, has seen you miss out on a lot of projects in the long run?
NS: No. Web portals often bring out articles on how girls with dusky skin tones lose out on projects. I don't know why they keep hammering the same thing again and again. They keep drilling it into people's heads. These are the girls, they are dusky, and they don't get projects.
I have never gone through it. I’ve got a lot of work where I’ve been working endlessly. You know, like they say, sleepless nights, working the entire week plus putting in extra hours. I've done it all. Presently, this is the time when I'm enjoying my life, where things have taken a backseat.
CI: From Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai to today, you mentioned earlier that you worked on yourself. What do you do for self-care? Do you work out? Do you have a routine?
NS: Earlier, I wouldn't take care of myself because I thought I was just a very lean girl who would never gain weight. It was very stupid of me. Over the past two years, I realised that things are not going to be the same, nor am I going to look the same. That’s when sense prevailed and I started working out. I have reached a point where I know that this is the way I want to live. It feels so refreshing and powerful. Taking care of yourself is a huge deal and people cannot do that. And I feel that I have taken that step. I am this girl who is very disciplined, who has realised that there is no shortcut to success and life.
CI: You are not only extremely good-looking but are extremely fit. Everyone’s a fan of your abs. What’s your workout like?
NS: I am not a gym person. I do gymnastics. They are two different things. While the world goes to the gym, it’s a place where I used to get bored. I started gymnastics and said “Okay, this is my thing”, where you are flying and you can do back flips, and front flips. That was my thing. And I went after it. Your body goes through an entirely different regime. Today, one and a half years later, I have learnt a lot but then I also realise that I have not learnt anything at all. It's so thrilling to be watching yourself do all of those things that you once imagined in your head.
CI: The paparazzi and you have had a very like a love-hate relationship. Do you enjoy being papped?
NS: I have never had a PR team or had people call them. I have always happened to be at places where they were already there. There is a difference between being famous and being a glory hound. You see a person and know if it is a sincere effort or a deliberate attempt to have the cameras in front of you and be papped.
That glow of success is different, the way they walk is different. I do not want that. So sometimes, when I am being clicked organically, I love it because I am always dressed. Right now, if somebody comes to take a photo of/with me, I would love it. But I am not going to go out of my way to call them and make me feel like, “Oh I am that star. Oh my god, the media is always after me.” That is never going to happen.
CI: As far as being a celebrity is concerned, what are the things you did not understand at the start? What are the things that you’re still learning on the way?
NS: I never considered myself to be a celebrity. It comes with a lot of baggage. Today every other person is a celebrity. People on Instagram with a following of 10 million are celebs. But I grew up to realise that I am a nobody. And that made things a lot easier for me. I am living a very beautiful life but I haven't reached anywhere. I haven't done anything to be called a celebrity or a star.
CI: This answer you gave just builds on to the next question. You seem happy and more than happy being content in your own space.
NS: I am happy with the way life is going on. This sense of establishment was always not there. If I am in a state where I am laid back and happy in my own space, it’s because I have done that work. I have created that kind of niche for myself, where people know you already and I don't have to make a desperate attempt to tell anybody else who I am, please look at me. That's not going to happen.
CI: A lot of the women and girls think twice about what they have to say, or what they have to look like because there's always someone to give their two cents. Would you like to tell women, who keep thinking about what should they wear, and how should they talk to stop doing so and just be themselves?
NS: I am nobody to guide you. I have experimented on myself, got brutally trolled, and called out to grow into this woman who is now okay with how she dresses up. I am not somebody who will listen to somebody's two cents when they have to comment on my dress. You just have to understand that there is a world out there. Half of them will appreciate you for what you wear, and half of them are never going to like what you wear and how you dress up. I create my dresses, I create my looks in my head, and I am very particular about it.
CI: With you, there is never an agenda, it's natural and it feels very different. You just want to say what's on your mind and that's the best part about why people should see and know more of you.
NS: But I do choose to speak because when somebody is interviewing you, first of all, if you express yourself, what's the point of that interview?
If there is so much of thought behind it, why even give that interview, why even turn up? I've seen some of the most successful people in interviews where they don't talk. There’s a lot of ‘oh’ and ‘hmm’. They beat around the bush, they do not talk. And that's why I like Priyanka Chopra because she says things like they are. I don't want to waste anyone’s time and have them feel like they've not learnt something.
CI: We have to talk about Soul. How was it being in a music video with Yo Yo Honey Singh?
NS: He is extremely humble, warm, and down to earth to begin with. Because such people have seen the world, and the world knows about them, they don’t need to or have to brag about their superstardom. That’s what I learnt from him.
CI: Tell us about the first time you saw the entire video. What did you feel like?
NS: I must first tell you about the crew from Delhi. They were so humble, that they clapped after every short and said, “Oh my God! You're so good!”. You work elsewhere for so many years and nobody claps for you and here they applaud every shot with, “Nia you're so on point, you're so good”.
CI: What do you have in store for audiences and your fans in 2024?
NS: I'm not somebody who talks and says “I have 15000 in the pipeline” or “You will know when there is an announcement”. I'm not that girl. I would just straight up tell you, “Hey guys, right now I'm not doing anything, there is nothing that's being offered to me and I'm so sorry if I disappointed you in any way”. But I hope and I pray that I end up bumping into somebody who gives me something to hold on to.
CI: Do want to make stuff and act in it as well?
NS: I'm very lazy. My entire upbringing and conditioning has been to just go to work, be given scripts, and continue to work. My mind has never entered that creative space. I might consider a music video, that’s something I’ve thought about. I want to do something where I'm riding a bike in a desert, or taking a car for a spin like in Tokyo Drift. That's how I want to be portrayed and what I want to invest in, a music video like that.
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