Shirley Setia who is nicknamed as the ‘Pyjama Popstar’ has had a hugely successful career as a singer. Her career as an RJ and a popular YouTuber started early and she has only gone ahead in her race to success.
Loved by her millions of fans on YouTube, Shirley has now decided to walk the path that she has always dreamt of treading, and that is of acting.
And how well has she done that!! Her recent web film Maska for Netflix has only given her accolades and praises for her performance.
Thrilled at her first success as an actor, Shirley Setia got into an exclusive conversation with IWMBuzz.com.
Here are excerpts for all you, fans!!
You have added a new feather into your already studded cap. How easy or tough was it to become an actor?
Actually it was very easy. I did not have to convince myself to become an actor. I have always wanted to be an actor. But I had not got an opportunity to become one. After coming to Mumbai, I tried doing auditions for so many different films. I went to Newyork to study acting for a couple of months. At the same time, I was working and could not leave that too. But I did not know whether it was my calling or it was what I wanted to do. But all of these efforts got me motivated. That was when I got a call from the Producers of Maska.
How was it playing Persis Mistry in Maska?
It was really good. It was a new learning curve for me. I remember, when I met Neeraj Sir for the first time, he wanted to see whether I have an accent in my English. He also wanted to see whether I had this accent in Hindi too. So I had to tone down all of that, especially for English. I could not be Shirley in Maska and had to be Persis. I also did a lot of workshops with our photographer and got to know a lot. Persis is a blogger and she is very fluent in talking to people she does not know. She is so comfortable in the process that she makes the other person also feel really good and talk to her with an open heart. This was something that I had to learn and get the naturality going. I hope it has come out on screen too.
People have always seen me as Shirley for years now on YouTube and my Instagram posts. So I wanted people to get away from that and see me as Persis.
You have had an amazing career as a singer and have won for yourself a lot of laurels. Now that you have stepped into acting, how much of an importance does the success of Maska have in your life?
Personally, Maska has just now released and I can talk on the basis of what I have seen and read. We are all indoors and I have not got the opportunity to meet a lot of people post the release of Maska and learn from them. So as of now, all have been really supportive and the messages have been good. I actually feel that I am on the right path with the kind of reactions coming in. I feel satisfied and happy that people are appreciating what I have done and have liked seeing me as Persis. That was very important for me. People have always seen me as Shirley for years now on YouTube and my Instagram posts. So I wanted people to get away from that and see me as Persis. I have a real good feeling about this.
After the lockdown and the scare around the virus settles down, I have a schedule left to shoot for my film Nikamma. My confidence level will surely be up after the success of Maska. Having said this, even while shooting for Maska which was actually my first in acting, the way that my crew and Director stood with me and supported me, it never made me feel like a first-timer. If your conscience says that you are good at something, you just have to keep doing it.
Even in my singing, I have grown with confidence over the years and you can see this difference and scale in my earlier singing pattern to the recent ones.
Now that you have kept your baby steps as an actor, and if God willing, you become a successful actor too, how will you juggle between your two passions of music and acting?
Actually, it is very sweet that you mentioned this (smiles). Thank you, I hope aise ho jaaye!! First of all, I will want to keep doing good work. As far as juggling between music and acting goes, I will do so and will not want to give up on anything. In fact, I have sung a song in Maska as well, ‘I want to hang with you’. When we shot for this sequence, I did not know that I will be singing the song. At that point, I realized that I can manage both acting and singing.
You will next have your release in the movie Nikamma.
Yes, hopefully, that will be out soon. I am only left with a small chunk of the shoot. We were actually shooting when the outbreak was starting to emerge. We were asked to stop shoot way before the lockdown was announced.
I did not have to convince myself to become an actor. I have always wanted to be an actor.
What are your acting aspirations after Maska now?
I am open to any kind of role that I will connect with. After Maska, I have Nikamma which is almost done. I have a couple of other stuff in the pipeline. Whenever the right time comes, I can get talking about that. At the moment I will focus on my wellbeing at home. After this, the first thing will be to work on Nikamma. Let’s see where destiny takes me. I will love to experiment and do all kinds of films. I have learnt a lot from Manisha Mam (Koirala). She was so into her character and it was inspiring to see her work. Now seeing her effort on screen makes me feel good. She’s a great listener and I used to learn these nuances from her. I hope to go further in my path as an actor and do well.