“Camera-ready.” That, in simplified television industry parlance, is the time-consuming process of getting hair and makeup done before facing the camera. Most request time and talent to get themselves ready. For Emily Shah, it doesn’t matter so much. When she spoke to us from her hotel room in Mumbai, it was late evening after a hectic day and had no time to get ready. The best option, she thought, would be to wear a hat. But the remedial prop obstructed the lighting, casting a shadow on her face. Thankfully she was requested to take it off, revealing delightful natural beauty, proving that some faces do not need to get camera-ready.
As Samsara Yett’s character greets Kristen Bell’s for the first time in the satirical production, “The Woman in the House Across the Street From the Girl in the Window,” she puts on a big, beautiful, disarming smile, one that effectively camouflages her real intentions. As the story continues, she plays the sweet little girl next door until she finally reveals herself in the last episode to be the who in the whodunnit. And then comes a fight scene. It’s impressive when you learn that Samsara is all of 9, playing a double role and then a cold-blooded killer of grown adults.
“The Woman…” is a satire that mocks the often formulaic and clichéd tropes in several popular bestselling crime thrillers, so it’s not immediately funny unless one has seen others with the tropes it includes — not really children’s reading. Yet, Samsara’s delivery was spot on, and her acting prowess drew praise from costars and crew alike.
But Samsara’s largely unfazed by it.
“When you’re a kid actor, you don’t know what you’re doing, and you don’t always understand the story,” she says. “When I act, I try to be natural. I act like I’m just talking, and pretend there are no cameras around. My job is to do what the character would do. Someday, I’ll watch the shows and get it.”
It was a hot summer afternoon and the Zinta family was on a hike up the tallest peak near Aurangabad in India. Barely in her teens, the young daughter considered abandoning the ascent due to the difficult terrain. She dropped her bottle of water to indicate she was giving up. Her father, a military man, commanded her to pick up the bottle, fix her gear, walk up and finish the climb. Once she made it on top he told her “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. You should learn to fight and stand firm for your reasons.”
Seeking new summits to conquer comes naturally to Preity Zinta.
It is, in fact, in her Rajput blood, something which was instilled by her father, with whom she spent very little time in her life. She held on to every lesson he taught her for much longer; she held on to it much tighter because of the memories of him. An Indian army officer, her tragically died when she was just 14.
Preity Zinta has been scaling some lofty heights ever since and sets her target higher once she has triumphed over one.
While studying English and criminal psychology in Shimla – a hill station in northern India, Zinta had no idea that she would end up in Mumbai and be one of the most successful actors of her time. She spoke to SEEMA from her home in LA, while she had some respite from changing diapers and sanitizing feeding bottles, of her 4 month old twins.
She relives the circumstances which took her from the hill station to Mumbai, where her professional journey to stardom began.
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“The Son in Law,” premiering on ABC in 2023, is an age-old story—poor boy meets rich girl and has to impress difficult, sneering in-laws. But what when we’re talking a significantly older…
Since 1992, Rituparna Sengupta has been enriching Bengali cinema with her screen presence. I do not know of any other heroine in the history of Indian cinema who has enjoyed such a long innings of immense popularity. However, along with tremendous popularity many of her superlative performances have garnered considerable critical acclaim, too.
Rituparna is one of the very few actresses in Indian cinema (including all languages) who can draw huge audience to theatres without the star power of a male lead. It is a rare feat in male-centric Indian cinema, which of course is a reflection of India’s male-dominated society.
Even in her late 40s she gave hits with almost unknown heroes, some of whom 15-20 years younger than her.
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Actor and writer Lily Shaw broke new ground as a motivational speaker when in lockdown, now using her voice to empower others along the way
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