At the age of five, Ruma Sharma did her first show at the Shree Ram Centre Auditorium in Delhi. Since then, Ruma Sharma has featured on small screen shows like Fear Files and Saavdhan India. Her cameo in Kaisi Yeh Yariyaan is the most memorable show to date.
Growing up, Ruma Sharma didn’t come from an acting background nor did she have a Godfather in the industry. Nevertheless, she has secured a place for her in the most uncertain of professions.
Fearless and fierce that she is, Ruma Sharma is here to tell us about her amazing journey. Keep reading this interview by Storiyaan to learn more about her.
Questions and answers
You started as a child actor. Was it a passion back then, or did it announce itself suddenly?
When I was five years old, I played the lead role in a play at Shri Ram Centre, Delhi. A director approached my mother for Kuch Yaaden Kuch Baatein that was aired on Star Gold and happened to be my first TV show. I played the character of Kalpana Iyer. Later, I did one more show called Jasoos Vijay for DD1 channel, where Sir Om Puri was the anchor.
I studied at the National School of Drama while I pursued my academics simultaneously. After completing my 12th, I did many acting projects. One of the many shows I did for DD1 was Mansa. You can say that I started as a child actor and paved my way accordingly.
We heard you moved from Delhi to Mumbai, which is a huge step. What made you leap, and how has your journey been?
After shifting to Mumbai, I started auditioning. I faced many rejections and was even told that I didn’t fit a role. It doesn’t matter how much you have worked in any other place, in Mumbai, you start from zero.
Being a Delhite, I wasn’t fancy at all. I still feel grounded as a fashion blogger. Earlier, I didn’t know how to do makeup, and I certainly didn’t carry myself like a model.
When I faced a lot of rejections, I realized that it was high time I worked on myself, and that’s when I opted for a few bold Photoshoots.
I think Instagram and one of the Photoshoots did the trick and landed me where I am today. I could refuse a role firmly now, and I wouldn’t regret it.
You had a cameo as Ridhima in the TV series called Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan, which aired on MTV and was well received by critics. Looking back, would you like to tell us more about the role.
I think Ridhima was all luck. Her character brought me a fan following. I still remember that was my first TV show, especially on MTV, and Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan was trending. We didn’t have a TV at that time in our house, and I wasn’t very active on social media too.
I was already shooting for some TVC at that time when I got a call for the show. They expected me to reach the set by 6 pm, but I ended up at 9 pm and had to convince them to give me the role.
I started shooting for the show from the next day and understood the character’s details on the set. Similarities between Ridhima and me were that we both were a very positive character.
I come across as arrogant to many people, which was the same case with Ridhima. It feels great to know that people still remember my character and appreciate my role.
Modeling or acting, what do you love doing more?
Although my priority is acting, both are very special to me. Through acting, you learn a lot of new techniques. As an actor, getting into your character is crucial as you have to learn different languages and words. You have to be adaptive as you meet new teams and directors. I always look forward to performing more. I’ve always wanted to be a director’s favorite.
Being a model has its pros. People follow your fads, fashion trends, and your lifestyle. Photoshoots are much more natural than acting onscreen, as it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I have been able to balance both things perfectly.
Can you let us into your quarantine acting practice?
One of my fans from the show Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan messaged me, telling me that MTV was telecasting the show during this quarantine. I hope the younger generation gets to watch it and like my character Ridhima.
Tell us about any mentorship or advice that you received and have stuck with you. Also, what is your take on not having a Godfather in the industry?
Without any godfather, it is quite tricky. My mom used to encourage me with these lines- Mehnat Karne Walo Ki Kabhi Haar Nahi Hoti. Whatever I have achieved today is because of my passion and hard work. I feel proud about making it big in the industry without any godfather.
I thank my mother for her blessings. At the same time, people support me for who I am, which brings a lot of motivation. So, yes, I think it is okay not to have a Godfather in the industry.
Have you ever been a victim of body shaming and bullying, and how did you deal with it?
It doesn’t just exist in the modeling or acting field but every area. Right now, public servants and other people who are helping save our lives are the worst ones getting bullied. Politicians also get bullied.
When it comes to body shaming and bullying, my first instinct is to avoid any comments because arguments lead to nothing. But if I feel that things are getting out of hand, I always take a stand whatever it may be. I think everybody should take a stand for themselves if it starts affecting them.
Being an actor-model, how do you maintain your diet and skincare?
I believe in a healthy diet. I make sure to carry my protein bar and fruits whenever I am shooting. I follow the concept of balancing junk food and a healthy diet alternatively if at all, I go for the former. I love Chole-Bhature.
For my skincare, I prefer homemade scrubs and facials and avoid chemical-based products. I am more inclined towards Ayurveda, but I would suggest my followers go with what works for them instead of blindly following someone.
What is a funny moment in your life that you'd like to share with our readers?
When I was five years old, I did a show for Star Gold. I wanted to go to the loo but was too scared to excuse myself from the crew. The next thing I did was pee in front of the camera. It felt embarrassing then, but thinking about it now makes me want to laugh at myself.
What's one thing you would like to change about yourself?
I aspire to be more pragmatic and less level-headed in the upcoming times. When you appear too sensitive, people take your emotions for granted.
Who is your inspiration/role model?
When I was in school, I read Sudha Chandran’s biography and found it very inspiring. Despite losing a leg in an accident, she never gave up. Using an artificial leg, she performed Bharatnatyam. She has also worked on many TV soaps. Such an inspiration, I must say!
How do you prepare to bring a character to life?
Practice makes a man perfect, but I believe in going with the flow. When I am on the set, I get into the character with time. I take at least two days to study my character as it helps me understand it more in-depth, which in turn helps me in playing the role efficiently. It also helps in improving myself. I don’t keep rehearsing, however. Repeating makes you lose interest in the character.
What was a turning point in your life?
I was running out of work when I shifted to Mumbai. There were times when I couldn’t afford the bread on the table. My mother asked me to get back to Delhi if nothing works out.
Luckily, I started getting projects. Kaisi Yeh Yaariyan was the turning point in my life, which helped improve my focus.
What are the projects you're working on right now?
I am planning to improve my writing skills from home. I am also working on new scripts on short films for my YouTube channel and my IGTV. Besides this, I have a few other things planned.
Is there any message that you would like to give to your viewers?
Thank you for showing your appreciation to Instagram and countless other things. I am grateful for all the love and support that you all shower. With the grace of God, I am sure I will be able to achieve my dreams.
Give your opinions on:
1. Something you hate in the industry– Nepotism
2. Role model– Sudha Chandran
3. Binge movie– URI
4. Favorite web series ever– The Haunting of the Hill House
5. Ideal Date– Candlelight dinner on the beachside with a piece of romantic music playing in the background