Interviews

Rising Star Manya Singh’s Journey From Miss India To Bollywood Debut

Rising Star Manya Singh’s Journey From Miss India To Bollywood Debut

Manya Singh is a well-known Indian model social activist businesswoman volunteer and beauty queen from Mumbai India. Manya Singh first gained notoriety as the first runner-up in the VLCC Femina Miss India 2022 competition.

Singh is proving just that as she gears up to mark her debut with Karan Johar's 'Ae Watan Mere Watan'. Overcoming numerous obstacles, her ascent to this milestone is a testament to her resilience and determination. Witnessing her grace the silver screen is indeed a cause for celebration.

In a candid conversation with loudest.in's Rising Star show, she discusses her journey from Miss India to her current ventures in Bollywood. She reflects on her experiences as an actress and how she's navigating through them.

Here are edited excerpts:

Q1.Can you walk us through your journey from where you started to becoming Miss India? What were the key milestones, challenges, and moments of triumph along the way?

You know, the journey has been long. I think I got crowned in 2021, and then, if I have to encapsulate it in one word, it would be impossible. You see, a person desires to reach somewhere they have dreamed about. For me, I come from a place where people don't even dream about going to Bombay or pursuing something seemingly impossible. So, when I decided to participate in Miss India, it was quite different. I had a lot of doubts about whether I would be able to make my way there. However, I think deep down I knew that I had to pursue this dream.

When I arrived in Bombay, my ego was challenged. I have a habit, you see; it's an inherent quality I possess. If I'm unable to accomplish something in my life, even a small task, I question myself. I remind myself that I am human, and if someone else has achieved it, why can't I? So, if other girls can become Miss India, why can't I be that person? Why can't I be Mania Singh and become Miss India? That was the driving force behind my actions, and I never expected it to happen so soon. I always thought I would get crowned by the age of 25, but it happened when I was just 19. It was quite surprising, and I'm enjoying my journey. It's been three years now, and I'm happy, though not entirely content. I can say that I'm happy, and yet, I'm still striving for more. Somewhere along the way, I'm inching towards satisfaction.

Q2.Transitioning from the Miss India platform to reality television, what was your experience like on Big Boss? How did it differ from your expectations, and what did you learn about yourself during that time?

I never intended to participate in a reality show, to be honest. I did it solely for the purpose of earning money, as I come from a family where I've taken on the responsibility of supporting my parents and those around me. I felt compelled to work when I faced challenges and was going through a rough patch. Though I wasn't particularly talented in acting, I considered trying it out. Big Boss approached me twice; during OTT, I declined as I wanted to convey the message that I was focused on purposeful endeavors post my Miss India reign. However, after passing on my crown, I decided to give it a shot. In the Big Boss house, I realized that being oneself wasn't entirely feasible; everyone was performing 24/7.

Despite the opportunity, it didn't quite align with me, and I believe everything happens for a reason. Exiting the show after three weeks turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Had I stayed longer or won, there would have been heightened expectations. Now, I understand that starting from scratch isn't a setback; it's an opportunity to build something truly authentic. Whether I succeed or fail, it will be entirely my own journey, devoid of any external influence or backup plans.

Q3.Reflecting on your first commercial ad, what emotions and thoughts were running through your mind during the shoot? How did this opportunity shape your career and aspirations in the entertainment industry?

I did my first commercial with Anurag Basu sir and a renowned cinematographer, Ayanka Bose sir. It was a lovely experience, my first commercial ad shot with a big camera and all the professional setups. I had a great time. Anurag sir encouraged me to pursue acting, noting that I'm a natural actor who effortlessly embodies characters. Otherwise, I might have prepared for something like UPSC, as I'm fascinated by it. Since then, it's been two and a half years of trying, and I recently landed my first cameo in a Dharma production. Hopefully, this marks the beginning of my acting journey.

Q4.Could you share your insights into your role in AWMW (A World Made With), including how you secured the role and your preparation process for it? What aspects of the character did you find most challenging, and how did you approach overcoming them?

Oh, it was quite a spontaneous moment. I mean, transitioning from a pageant winner to an actor, especially as a lead actress, wasn't something I had envisioned. I always believed in patience, even if it meant waiting for 7-8 years. Despite all the workshops and acting classes, I knew the true learning experience would come in front of the camera, portraying someone else's character.

Then came my first project, where I had never acted before. It was both exciting and nerve-wracking. When it comes to portraying normal characters, there's no set benchmark; you just empathize with the character and act it out. But portraying historical figures like Sarojini Naidu was a different challenge altogether. I auditioned for the role, unsure if I could truly embody her.

Researching Naidu's mannerisms and poise, I knew I couldn't replicate her entirely, but I strived to capture at least 50% of her essence. The experience was enriching, and I received encouraging feedback from the team, being dubbed a "one-take artist." Working with directors like Vikram Dhaiya and Kanan Iyer added to the learning curve, making it a memorable experience overall.

Q5.Looking ahead, what future projects do you have in the pipeline, and what excites you most about these opportunities? How do you envision your career evolving in the coming years, and are there any specific goals you hope to achieve?

And I literally dream beyond my reach. That's how I live. Without a vision, I wouldn't be able to dream. It's fundamental to me. Also, there's another project on the horizon, which I'll be able to share with you soon, very soon. Unfortunately, I can't talk about it yet, but it will be announced, probably this week or the next. It's in Bollywood. And alongside, I'm continuing my studies. I'm pursuing my master's degree this year from Mumbai University, followed by a PhD in Delhi. That's my plan. The rest is up to God.

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