Singer and now set to turn an actor with her upcoming release, Nikamma, Shirley Setia has come a long way. From a point, where she didn’t even know if this dream of hers had any chance of getting fulfilled.
“I always dreamt of getting into acting, it was a childhood dream. But I never felt it was achievable. I lived in New Zealand, my parents had absolutely no connect with Mumbai, it was a crazy dream. I would watch these award nights on TV, and wonder how it all used to happen,” she confesses.
The 25-year-old’s debut vehicle stars Abhimanyu Dassani and Shilpa Shetty Kundra. She had started off with song covers such as Sanam Re and Bol Do Na Zara on YouTube which became popular and she started getting noticed.
“I would sing at home, like other people. But when my covers went viral, I went with the flow and once I came to India, I decided to work on originals. In 2017 and 2018 I did a lot of originals. I faced the camera for their videos and it was a different character in every one. I realized how much I love this,” says Setia.
However, now that her dream is finally getting fulfilled, she has realised there is more than what meets the eye. Apart from the glamour, there’s a lot of hard work.
“When I was small, I didn’t know that being an actor is quite difficult, it’s not easy. Like any new job, you do it with your whole heart. Even when I started off on YouTube, I had to learn everything myself. Now when I have transitioned, it’s been very challenging, mentally and physically,” she says.
Lined up next for her is also her Telugu debut opposite Naga Chaitanya. She says that her experience as a singer didn’t come in handy when it came to dubbing her dialogues for Nikamma, which she wrapped up during the pandemic period.
Setia reveals, “Saying those dialogues during dubbing is almost like how you feel on set, except it’s difficult to reproduce it in a studio setup, when there are walls all around and not the actual location or set. I was given a lot of advice, by our director Sabbir (Khan).”
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