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Kunal Sharma - A Star In The Making

Ranjani Saigal
02/09/2004

“Ever since I was five years old all I wanted to do was to become an actor” says Kunal Sharma. While many teens dream about becoming an actor Kunal has been working steadily towards achieving this goal. He enrolled himself in dancing, modeling and acting classes. Only sixteen, Kunal has had the unique opportunity of acting in a full length feature film. Recently his talents were noticed at the IMTA’s semi-annual event held in Los Angelos, CA. International Modeling and Talent Association is the largest association of Modeling and Talent schools and training centers His was spotted by Hollywood talent scouts. An articulate young man with a wonderful personality one can clearly see his passion for his work. He spoke to Lokvani about his acting experience and his future career aspirations.

Lokvani: You are only sixteen and you have already had the opportunity to work in a full length feature film. How did you get this role?

Kunal: My agency told me about auditions being held by a New York film company for the role of an Indian high school student. I auditioned and was selected.

Lokvani:What is the film about? How did you prepare for the role?

Kunal:It is a coming of age film. In the movie I play an Indian boy who has just arrived in the US from India and is trying to fit in. To prepare for the role, I watched many movies. I was very inspired by Hrithik Roshan’s acting in Koyi Mil Gaya where he plays the role of a misfit in society.

Lokvani:Could you describe the experience of acting in a film? Was it what you expected it to be?

Kunal:Acting in the film was a very different experience than what I had imagined. It was a lot of fun but it was also a lot of hard work. Shooting was going on for nearly two months. I learnt a lot. There were days when we were on the set from 8:00 am to 11:00 pm. There were times when we were shooting outdoors on very cold days. The directors Eric Legion and Steve Snider were really great. It was a great experience and I am glad I had the opportunity.

Lokvani:You were recently spotted at the IMTA convention where you won many awards and was apotted by Hollywood talent scouts? Could you tell us about this event?

Kunal: It is a convention for young aspiring actors. There were over 5000 attendees. It was held in LA. There were many competitions in categories such as modeling, dancing, Coderead etc. It was attended by many talent scouts. I was fortunate to be spotted and I have offers from a couple of agencies and a few scholarships for film courses at some leading film schools.

Lokvani: Acting is an unusual career choice for an Indian American . What do your parents think of your choice for a career? Are they supportive?

Kunal: While they were always very supportive, they were not sure of my choice for acting as a career. I think my recent work in the film and at the IMTA convention has convinced them that I am serious about this and I am willing to work hard to achieve my goal. I am not sure whatthe future holds but my parents are now willing to allow me to try to make a career out of this. They feel that I have a special talent which may lead to something. The good thing about living in the US is that if this does not pan out, I can always choose another career. But at least I would have tried. I have received an offer to spend the summer in LA, where I will be attending acting school while auditioning for parts. It will be a perfect time for me to test the waters.

Lokvani:In your opinion, what does it take to succeed in the film world?

Kunal: I think personality, hard work and commitment are ingredients needed for success. You need constantly learn and evolve. For me watching a film is almost an educational experience. I try to understand and learn from the actors. I rehearse a lot. I always try to be prepared. There is always luck of course.

Lokvani:What advice do you have for other youngsters who may want to choose this career path?

I would like to warn them that it is not an easy path. If you are prepared for the hard work and enjoy acting, you will have a lot of fun.

Kunal: I suggest taking the summer programs offered by the good film schools like the New York Film Institute. These programs can connect with you some of the greatest directors. The summer programs also give you a good feel for what it takes to become an actor.

Lokvani: Wish you the very best of luck. I hope you achieve success in your career

Kunal: Thankyou very much.



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