Ananya Birla

Teena Singh says that Challenges Drive her to Change the Conventional.

“I make conventional brands choose an unconventional face like me.”

Model Teena Singh talks about how she loves a good challenge and being the first brown girl to be the face of a beauty brand in India. Both Nescafe, Vaseline, the two top brands she endorses, changed their prototype with her.

“I’ve been told at multiple auditions, how I am not fair skinned. It’s very straight up, if you are not fair, you can’t get this job.”

She describes how suddenly even after several rejections for her skin color, her face was on billboards all over India!

“I like a good challenge. I love when people tell me I can’t do something. I make sure that I make it happen.”

She talks about how since she was a child, she longed to leave Ludhiana in Punjab where she grew up and ‘go to a big city and do big things’. From choosing a career in modeling, to landing up in Mumbai all on her own, her journey hasn’t been smooth. She talks about the lack of initial support from her family and her failed auditions. She says that the best thing is to use the negativity of people to propel oneself instead of getting bogged down.

Although she started as a model, she says that her real love has always been acting. After making a significant mark in her recent movie, Akira, she is waiting for another movie, Kabir Singh, with Actor Shahid Kapoor and, two movies are to be released in June 2019.

She highlights the existing nepotism in Bollywood.

“Karan Johar is not going to land up at my doorstep, wanting to launch me in a film because I’m a nobody from Punjab.”

So modeling was her way to get noticed, she explains, it was never her end goal. Modeling came quite easy to her. She says that establishing a great body language and comfort with the camera comes naturally to her.

When I am in front of the camera, in another character, it’s a feeling that I can’t describe.”

This is the reason she harbors a great love for acting. Portraying especially characters that are very different from whom she really is a challenge, she says. But because she loves a good challenge, acting gets her excitement levels high. She talks about the role in “Akira” where she played the antagonist to Sonakshi Sinha’s character. Her character was that of a college bully when in her real life she was bullied in school instead.

“I want to live my life acting even till I am 80!”

She talks about the initial reactions to success which is the best drive, especially her mother’s reaction to her movies.

From someone that didn’t believe in my dreams, to accepting it, and saying things like I am proud of you, those things really drive you.”

She talks about the importance of family that is a definite backbone.

“Every time a new campaign releases, the happiness on her (her sister) face. Those are things that drive.”

Also most importantly, as an artist, there is a constant hunger for more, to do more, be more, she says.

“As an artist, the most days we wake up wanting to do more.”

Finally, the love and affection from fans that are equally motivating to her work, whether it is acting or modeling, she expresses.

Finally, the love and affection from fans that are equally motivating to her work, whether it is acting or modeling, she expresses.

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