YouTube sensation Shirley Setia recently made her acting debut in the Netflix movie, Maska. From being the youngest pop sensation to making her way into Bollywood, she went through N number of auditions and rejections. Finally, the cute and adorable Shirley is living and loving her Bollywood dream. Her recently released web film Maska is receiving a humongous response for her acting skills too.

In an exclusive Tete -a-tete with International Business Times, Shirley Setia spoke in length about her big Bollywood dreams, her journey from Auckland to Mumbai, signing scripts, being the youngest YouTube sensation and shedding inhibitions while kissing on screen.

Read on: Up, close and personal with Shirley Setia

Shirley Setia

On playing a Parsi character

I am so overwhelmed with all the response that I have got for my role as Persis Mistry in Maska. Not being from India, not knowing the language or culture of Parsis I worked a lot to get into the skin of the character. I did workshops, I also took photography lessons went to ceratin areas of Mumbai and leaned photography skills. I went to  Irani café's and interacted with them Parsis to get comfortable and understand their culture more. My director gave me certain vides to watch so that I understand the Parsi -Gujrathi culture and a few words I grasped.

 On challenges faced

 For me, the biggest challenge was to convince the makers that I can be an actor. Moreover, I had to convince myself as well. I have featured in my own albums and music videos,  so it happened that many people would tell me I should try my hands-on acting. I also wanted to be an actor but before I decided to get into acting I took formal learning in New York academy for acting. After the completion of the course, I gave audition for Maska and then eventually bagged my first Bollywood film Nikkama.

How similar or different is Shirley from Persis

I am very different from what Persis is, Shirley as a person is very introvert. I don't talk or open up easily. While Persis is more upfront she can strike a conversation.  I randomly can't start a conversation.

On sharing screen space with Manisha Koirala

 It was an enriching experience. I have grown up watching her films and working with her was something I am so grateful of. I learnt a lot just by watching her, the ways she would read her lines and carry herself.

On having Parsi cuisine

As I am not from this country, I knew nothing about Parsi cuisine. While shooting we had scenes at Irani bakeries. I ate bun maska, the sweet chai and I must say its yummy. I simply loved it, Now I have fallen in love with Parsi food and culture.

On kissing on screen

My parents have always trusted me and allowed me to stay and travel to various parts of the world. There are places I have stayed all alone had my share of struggle and it wasn't easy for me to convince my parents for the same. They allowed me to pursue my dreams and stood by me. I don't want them to be uncomfortable seeing me on-screen nor do I want to let them down. Having said that I did have a kissing scene with Prit in Maska and the director shot it very aesthetically. I had discussed the kissing scene with my family. When they said 'yes' I went ahead with the scene. So, there aren't inhibitions if it is demanded.

On chemistry with Prit

So, it's a very heartwarming story. We both met during auditions couple of times. When I first met him, he said he has heard my songs and we started to discuss about the audition and songs. Eventually, we got selected and during the worship we became friends and that's how our ice broke and we started to speak everything under the sun.

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♥️ #ShirleyTravels #Maldives

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On coping up with her on-going singing career

I am loving acting and it's not that I am acting and I have kept my singing career aside. I am balancing both. I want to keep doing both. In Maska also I sang.

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#HappyTeddyDay ???

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