Nityaami is a neuroscience student and has studied behavioral science before she stepped into the industry as an actor. From participating in Nach Baliye with her partner Shantanu Maheshwari to being cast in the PM Selfiewala video to being featured in the blockbuster song ‘Baarish Lete Aana’ by Darshan Raval, this beauty is sure to be the next fresh face in Bollywood. Go through our conversation with Nityaami Shirke to know more about the stunning actress.
Questions and answers
Nityaami, you were born in India, then traveled to New Zealand and then to Australia. After a yet long time, you moved back here. What made you stay again?
I was born in Baroda, Gujarat, after which we moved to Fiji for a short time, then to New Zealand, then India for a short while, where I was lucky enough to go to school for a year and learn how to read and write Hindi! Then we finally made a move to Australia, where I did most of my growing up from primary school to high school to University. Post my Uni degree, and I came to Mumbai on a trip to see my grandad with my mom and dad. I got a job with Miss Malini and decided to stay the whole year to work and explore Mumbai! Within two years, I started auditioning for TVCs and other things – which is when I decided I wanted to stay in Mumbai. Also, I just loved Mumbai’s vibe – it was unlike anything else, and I was captivated!
Can you tell us about your experiences at Shiamak Davar's academy? Was dance always a passion?
I always enjoyed dance, but I never took it up professionally as I was always more academically orientated! It was always more of a hobby. In school, I was a part of the Hip Hop team – and we competed in various inter-school competitions. Then, I started with Shiamak towards the end of high school and the start of the University. I’ve always loved performing for an audience! The stage was my happy place.
If we are not wrong, you started as a model. Was it a conscious decision, or was it a decision taken in flow?
I didn’t start as a model. I graduated in Behavioural Neuroscience and always intended to follow through with that – more towards psychology or something else science orientated. Acting was something that happened along the way – though I couldn’t be happier that it did!
You were a child psychologist back then. What is the most valuable experience that you have taken back from psychology?
I was never a child psychologist, haha. I graduated in Behavioural Neuroscience and would have gone into some form of psychology if I stayed in Melbourne – probably child psychology because I love children. My experience at University during my degree was tough, but I’m so happy I undertook and completed a challenging but rewarding degree.
Nityaami, everyone has their highs and lows. Could you highlight what you do to get through tough times?
I feel like if you just had good moments in life, you’d never actually appreciate those moments. You need to experience heartbreak and sadness to really appreciate the good times. When I’m going through particularly tough times, I usually have family and friends who are there for me. So I reach out to them. Also, I try to always look for the positive in tough situations, and I always write down a gratitude list. What am I thankful for? It’s so important to remind yourself of all the amazing things you have in your life.
What, according to you, has stuck with you as inspiration, from your roots?
To follow your path, no matter what. Cause it’ll always be different to absolutely anyone else. I believe in finding inspiration in those few things that genuinely make you happy – don’t compare your journey to someone else’s.
You debuted with PM Selfiewallie. Can you tell us a bit about how the show came to your desk and what was your experience like filming for the first time?
I consider myself the luckiest girl to have landed a role like PM Selfiewallie, in which I was entrusted to play a female protagonist with an amazing team of female powerhouses all the way from Ekta Kapoor to my director, Ashima Chibber. I was a complete newbie when I got the part. The audition process was long, and I remember sending self-tests from Melbourne, as this is where I was at the time. I sent four self-tests, and then I had a Skype meeting with my director. I then had to fly to Mumbai immediately, where I was put on probation for two weeks, during which I had to get my body ready for the role and lose some weight! I also had to dye my hair for the first time ever. Workshops and mock shoots were held for about two to three months before we actually started shooting. The whole process was long and tough, but I remember feeling so complete when I was on set. Nothing in this world made me happier than being in front of the camera and getting into character, regardless of the fact that we were shooting through days and nights with multiple changes being made on the spot, and very little rest. It was a beautiful realization, and I learned so much from the whole experience!
What is the best makeup advice that you have ever received and would like to pass it on?
You do ! Whether you’re someone who truly enjoys the art of makeup application or whether you’re more of a just mascara and lip gloss girl, it is so important that you stick to what makes you feel your best. Personally, I’m not a huge makeup person, but I admire the girls who take the time out to really put effort into their makeup routines. I’m definitely more of a ‘less is more’ kinda gal.
What is your fitness regime for this quarantine?
Just get moving! Do something. Exercise releases endorphins and, they never fail to make me feel great. So whether I feel like just blasting some music and dancing it out, or going hard at a HIIT sesh at-home – physical activity and general fitness, for me, is very important!
What is a must-have wardrobe essential according to you?
White sneakers and distressed pieces of denim!
Was always acting the goal? Or did you stumble upon it by accident and fell in love?
From a very young age, I always loved performing for an audience or being on stage – whether that was through a dance concert or a play at school. I was more academically oriented, so I never thought of acting as a career – but when it happened in Mumbai, I never looked back!
You participated in Nach Baliye 9 with your partner Shantanu. How did it come along, and do you believe it helped your relationship grow?
It was a super experience! So challenging and my first in so many regards. First TV show, first reality show, first dance show. Super glad the whole thing was with Shantanu! The entire experience certainly helped our relationship grow. You tackle so many things together – highs, lows, good times, and stressful times. It teaches you to be there for each other through it all, and I think we definitely did that for each other. It made our bond stronger, and I know I have a friend in him, for life! 🙂
You've starred in several commercials on TV and a Music Video, too. Do you have a favorite medium to work in?
Honestly, I absolutely love portraying characters on screen. So anything that allows me to really delve into a character, workshop, and challenge myself – is a dream come true for me! The ultimate goal is, of course, films. Ideally, a sports or action film!
Lastly, who is your inspiration when it comes to Bollywood?
Priyanka Chopra. She is a force to be reckoned with, and I love how she has ventured beyond her comfort zone and how she continually strives to do more and get better! Like her, I’d also love to explore international projects and continue working on myself! I love her overall aura and confidence. It reflects in her personality whether she’s playing a character on screen or just being herself in an interview or chat.