“I really want to explore myself as an actor…” – Shama Sikander

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Shama Sikander’s name and face may be new to you, but soon she will be gracing the silver screen. This beautiful actress and dancer made a name for herself as a model and then on the television show Yeh Meri Life Hai. Currently, she can be seen dancing her heart out on Ek Khialdi Ek Hassena. We thought it would be great to get to know her better, so meet Shama Sikander as she talks about her journey, being in the industry and what we can expect from her in the near future.

What was your first big break?

My first big break that got me a lot of fame was on television in a show called Yeh Meri Life Hai. After that, I did a film called Dhoom Dhadaka and now I am doing a couple of films. Also I am doing a reality TV show, Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena on Colors.

Was being part of the film industry something you always wanted to do?

Yes, as a child I was always interested in doing lots of plays in school, lots of drama, and this was basically my father’s dream for me to become an actor. My father chose this career for me and I think he was absolutely right!

You have been a model, dancer, in television ads, and movies. Which is your most favourite and least favourite and why?

I love performing. It can be anywhere – it can be movies, can be TV, but I would say films, because they give you a different kind of kick. You get to play many characters in many different films and at the same time, they give you a chance to grow as an actor. My least favourite is … well, I am not too fond of theatre. People might say I am a bit different, because people usually start with theatre and then go to movies. But I did do theatre – I didn’t really enjoy it. Maybe my experience wasn’t great, that is why.

What has been your favourite role so far?

My favourite role has been the one I did on the TV show Yeh Meri Life Hai. It was a girl named Pooja Mehta. That is one of my favorite roles – something very near to my heart. There is also a role I am doing in an upcoming film, a love story, and that is also something very, very close to my heart. That is something I am really looking forward to now.

What preconceived notions did you have about the industry, and which ones have been proven right or wrong?

Actually I never had any conception about the industry because I was very young when I started, and I had no knowledge about anything. We all used to feel that it’s a glamour world and we wanted to be a part of it. And yes, I gained every experience day by day, but because I didn’t have any idea in my mind before, I really can’t say this was right, or that was wrong, or this is what I have heard before – this never happened. So everything I learned every day. And I enjoyed it each and every moment.

Was the path hard to get where you are now?

Yes. It was very very difficult. I have worked really hard. But it has been fun that way. Because when you go through a difficult part it teaches you a lot – it makes you a better human being and it makes you a better actor, so I would not regret choosing the hard part.

It probably makes you appreciate it maybe a bit more.

I definitely appreciate it, yes.

What has been your experience dancing on Ek Khiladi Ek Haseena? Are there any memorable moments?

It was amazing. I loved dancing and this was something I had been looking forward to. I had never been part of a reality TV show about dancing. So yes, it was a lot of fun, dancing with the cricketers who are not from this field, and to make them dance was even better because we had all the very big cricketers who are big stars already, but the way they came to us with a very learning attitude, they wanted to learn everything and they were like students. So it was fun to, how do you say … make them dance on your finger tips. (Laughs).

When Sushmita Sen said “Shama, you are wonderful with expressions and one of the most fabulous dancers I’ve ever seen. ” How did that feel?

It felt great coming out of that beautiful lady’s mouth. It really felt great, because she is one of my favourite personalities. She comes across as a very, very positive and very honest soul. So when she said all this, I really felt good, because I could really see that honesty in her. I knew she was not just bluffing so I was very happy.

Do you think your dancing abilities and training has helped with your acting?

Yes, of course it does. Because in Hindi movies you have a lot of dancing and music. If you are a good actor, you can dance really well because dancing I believe is not about dancing with your body, it is about dancing with your face, your soul, your eyes – that is what matters a lot. When you’re performing your eyes should dance, your face should dance, and your body will dance automatically.

Being a dancer would you consider doing an item number? Would you be afraid to be labeled an item girl?

You know I really wouldn’t mind doing an item number. It has to really appeal to me and has to be really, really nice. There is a film in which I am doing an item number. It’s a typical Hindi folk item number. I really loved doing that; it is with the great Kali. That was really exciting, but also because it was choreographed by my very close friend Pony Verma; she is one of the upcoming choreographers here. I really enjoy them: item numbers are good because they make you popular and give you a chance to dance a number that you probably wouldn’t dance as the main lead of the film, and it’s fun. Also, as an actor, I’d like to experience and experiment with everything. I want to see what happens, because people say ‘this is right, this is wrong’, ‘you shouldn’t do this, you shouldn’t do that’, but I really want to go through that and see what happens.

What roles and genres would you like to tackle throughout your career?

All kinds of genres actually. I want to work in all kinds of different cinema. I really want to explore myself as an actor and not leave anything out. This is one life I have got, and I would like to experience everything.

Are there any directors or actors you’re dying to work with?

Many of them, in fact, that I am LIVING to work with! (Laughs.) Yes, Mr. Aamir Khan for sure. And if I ever get a chance to work with Mr. Al Pacino, I think it would be a dream come true. He’s one of my favourite favourite actors. And of course Mr. Bachchan, and so many of these youngsters. I want to work with everyone, SRK, all these people.

Currently who are your favourite actors and actresses?

Mr. Aamir Khan. Mr. Al Pacino. These are my two favourites. And also Mr. Naseerudin Shah.

Can you tell a bit about your roles in your upcoming projects.

Yes, I am doing Kamlesh Kunti’s film. And another film which is just finalized which is called Coffee and Mocha. It’s a love story. It only has two characters in the film and it’s only based on their performance. It’s a beautiful love story – one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever heard. So I am really looking forward to that.

Do you have any goals set for yourself?

Umm … I am a very happy-go-lucky person. I don’t really set goals and then go for it. I am here to live life the way it comes. I will put 100% in whatever comes my way and I will make the best of it.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

I don’t know, (laughs) … wherever my destiny takes me I’ll be happy.

Do you have any advice for inspiring actors or actresses out there?

I am not one to give advice to anyone, but I do just want to say, be honest with yourself. Be true and genuine to yourself and you will always find success in life, because many people try to be somebody else whom they are not and they’re always wanting to achieve something – they are always running after something and lose particular moments. So just be yourself, have confidence in yourself. You are beautiful the way you are, and you will reach your goals no matter what.

It was really nice getting to know Ms. Sikander and we thank her for talking with us. We wish her the best of luck as she begins her journey to making it big in Bollywood. We feel soon she will be starring opposite Mr. Aamir Khan and perhaps ever Mr. Al Pacino, and can’t wait to see it!

Image Courtesy: Dale Bhagwagar Media Group

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