Big bright eyes, a wide infectious smile, and a manic energy that shines through every pore; all of this perfectly describes our FHM Fantasy, Soundarya Sharma. This dentist turned actress has had quite an unpredictable journey so far that perfectly reflects her mercurial personality, which changes from bubbly enthusiasm to overpowering ambition at the drop of a hat. With a production house of her own, this modern Renaissance woman has made sure that her journey is not limited by her opportunities, and even looks forward to providing a break to talented artists that haven’t been as lucky as her. We spoke to her to learn what drives her forward, and what we can expect from this beauty in years to come. Edited excerpts...
Tell us a bit about your journey and what led you to choose a career in the entertainment industry?
I was born and raised in Delhi. While I was completing my Bachelor of Dental Studies, I participated in the Miss India pageant. Even though I was in the finals, it didn’t work out, because I had to finish my studies first. So I focused on that, and went on to pursue residency opportunities in a couple of hospitals, in Delhi. It was during this time when I started getting offers for auditions that initially made me undergo formal training with the ACT 1 theatre group, and the National School of Drama. After that, I moved to Mumbai, where I realised I wanted to pursue acting as a career.
My journey has been quite interesting because I was a dental student, so for me it was a completely different world. I come from a Brahmin family in Delhi, with conservative parents who didn’t want me to be an actor. They knew I was a certified wild child and the biggest rule breaker in the history of my entire family, but somehow I convinced them, and they became very supportive.
It was hard initially, as I felt that only star kids were being introduced, and you had to have a Godfather or someone who would keep pushing you. I didn’t have any of that, but I wanted to be an actor as bad as we need oxygen to breathe. Only positivity kept me going. Even though there was no one around me who would say yes you can do this, I had faith in me; and thankfully with God’s grace and a bit of my own madness, things became a bit more streamlined. I feel that one needs to be very passionate and dedicated if they want to achieve something in their life.