Shirley gets nervous talking to strangers

Shirley Setia will make her Bollywood debut this year with Nikamma. But the New Zealand-based singer-actress has already made a big impression with her role in the Netflix film Maska.

The 24-year-old plays a blogger who is strong-willed and independent.

Shirley said she shares several similarities with the character but is also different in many ways.

"Some things I relate to like her passion for stories," said the commerce student at the University of Auckland.

"I've always been very passionate about stories even when I was just a singer.

"I still sing. When you are writing a song, you want to put a story in it which the audience and your fans can relate to.

"But there are some aspects in her character which I might not absolutely agree with. I guess that's where we differ.

"But both of us are quite independent and strong-headed. We know what we want to do, how we want to focus on things."

Being an introvert, it was not easy for Shirley to play a blogger, especially because she gets nervous and scared while talking to strangers.

She said: "It was a little difficult because I am an introvert. When you are a blogger, you have to go to random people, talk to them, take their pictures, you have to be out of your comfort zone.

"This was very difficult for me because I get very scared and nervous while talking to strangers."

However, things became easier after a few workshops. "Our director did workshops and put me in such a situation that I had to go talk to random people and ask them about their stories," said Shirley.

"It was unexpected but helped me understand the mindset of the character.

"She is free and doesn't care about what people think of her. She does what she feels is right. I wish I could also be like that."

Maska, directed by Neeraj Udhwani, also stars Manisha Koirala, Javed Jaffrey and Prit Kamani.

Even though Shirley was brought up in New Zealand, she speaks fluent Hindi. Her father is from Haryana and her mother from Goa.

"We speak Hindi at home," she said.

"Also, when I was in high school, I used to work as a radio jockey in a Hindi radio station in New Zealand."

She rose to fame in 2013 after she won a competition organised by T-Series.

She recorded the popular Hindi song Tum Hi Ho that gathered a lot of views on YouTube.

The actress is set to make her Bollywood debut with Sabbir Khan's Nikamma, which also has Shilpa Shetty and Abhimanyu Dassani in prominent roles.

Indo-Asian News Service


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