Living A Dream
Femina|Femina Volume 59 Issue 11

She exudes radiance and charm, but there’s more to her than meets the eye. Yami Gautam talks to Simran Ahuja about her life philosophy, how she’s evolved as a person, and the causes close to her heart.

Simran Ahuja
She is all of eight films old in Bollywood, but Yami Gautam is wise beyond her years. With her feet planted firmly on the ground, she neither lets success go to her head nor allows setbacks to drag her down. She may be an outsider in the industry, but when the going gets tough, the actor sure knows how to get going. Gautam started her career as the charming Ashima Roy in Vicky Donor, and more recently impressed everyone with her performance as the visually challenged Supriya Sharma in Kaabil. But just as the audience began to typecast her as the sweet girl-next-door, she surprised everyone with her portrayal of Annu Karkare in Sarkar 3, proving her versatility and mettle yet again as an actor. Hailing from Himachal Pradesh, she is free-spirited and her energy is as uncontained as the mountain breeze. By her own admission, she is a ‘closet actor’ and one conversation with her is enough to tell you that she rarely beats around the bush. In this interview, she looks back upon her childhood days and gives us a glimpse of what the future may have in store for her. Edited excerpts:

When did you know you wanted to be an actor?

I always wanted to get into films. I was one of those closet actors or dancers. But I also was quite studious and a bookworm. I used to watch Farooq Shaikh’s show Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai and my friends used to joke that one day I would call them on my show. Once some family friends had come over and they insisted that I try out in the industry. They took some pictures from my mom and sent it to a production house. I started my career in 2008 with a daily soap on television, a brief stint that lasted nine or ten months. I was asked to record a few scenes for the show; they liked it and called me. My first ticket ever to Mumbai was a paid ticket—not having to shell anything from my pocket meant a lot. It was probably destiny. We don’t understand what destiny is until it strikes you, which only happens when you take up an opportunity.

Having no support within this industry can be tough. What has your journey been like?

I have parents who are godly to me (laughs). That is what matters the most. I’m not being philosophical. I’m proud of the parenting my siblings and I have had. My parents told me to never be desperate for anything in life. If you are worthy of something and work hard, you will get it—that is something I swear by. It has been challenging and will be so in the future too. Challenges may change forms, but they will always be there. But then, this is true for everyone in the industry. If you have famous parents, you face the pressure of comparison. If you don’t have a godfather, then the biggest challenge is that if something you do doesn’t work, your opportunities may be limited.

It’s been six years since you made your debut with Vicky Donor. How have you changed as a person and as an actor?

I might get too critical if I comment on how I’ve changed as an actor, so let’s not get into that. But considering the kind of choices I have made, or I am going to make, I have evolved a lot. If you don’t grow as a person, it will not reflect in your work. When I look back, I think I’ve become more comfortable with a lot more aspects of being an actor. I’m happy it took its own time to happen though. I don’t think anything will work if it is imposed on me. I’m in a phase where I’m happy and I’m enjoying it. I love experimenting with roles, shoots or even with what I wear.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM FEMINAView All

THE INSIDE STORY

TARA SUTARIA GETS REAL WITH SUKRITI SHAHI IN A CANDID CONVERSATION ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS, LOCKDOWN LEARNINGS, AND AN UPCOMING YEAR OF EXCITING PROJECTS

8 mins read
Femina
April 2021

It's time to plan a FAMILY VACAY!

While we wait to travel again, here’s how you can ready yourself to vacation avec famille.

5 mins read
Femina
April 2021

LESSONS on LOVE

Relationships, good and bad, help us grow and understand ourselves better and here are five lessons that we can surely learn from it.

2 mins read
Femina
April 2021

DESI POWER IN THE US CABINET

MEET THE INDIAN-AMERICAN WOMEN IN US PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN’S CABINET.

7 mins read
Femina
April 2021

THE NEW PARENT survival guide

Becoming a parent can be exciting, overwhelming and stressful, but you can learn to handle the pressures that come with infant care and balance life accordingly, says Kayalvizhi Arivalan

4 mins read
Femina
April 2021

SKINCARE 101

DR JAISHREE SHARAD busts common skincare myths, and gives us the lowdown on acids for skin, and anti-ageing treatments.

6 mins read
Femina
April 2021

THE EX FACTOR

It is possible to have a cordial relationship with your ex-husband. Radhika Sathe-Patwardhan has some pointers

4 mins read
Femina
April 2021

REACHING OUT TO THE STARS

AWARDED BY BOTH HON. PRESIDENT AND HON. VICE PRESIDENT OF INDIA, DR SOHINI SASTRI’S ACCURATE PREDICTION SKILLS MADE HER ONE OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL AND BEST ASTROLOGERS IN INDIA.

1 min read
Femina
April 2021

DESIGN DREAMER

Interior designer Kajal Agrawal shares her journey, her thoughts on gender-related issues in the design sector, and more with Ravina Sachdev

2 mins read
Femina
April 2021

A ‘BAG'FUL OF SPIRIT

What started as an activity to keep her busy in a dropped academic year soon turned into an all-consuming passion to offer women the bags they need. NINA LEKHI, MD and Chief Design Curator, Baggit, shares her ideas with Shraddha Kamdar

5 mins read
Femina
April 2021
RELATED STORIES

Train Wreck

An aerial view, on May 3, of the scene after an elevated section of metro track carrying train cars collapsed onto a busy road.

1 min read
Newsweek
May 21 - 28, 2021 (Double Issue)

Winning at Wall Street—and Life!

Dorie Clark, star of the Newsweek/LinkedIn Live show, Better, asks author William Green what lessons the world’s greatest investors have for the rest of us

6 mins read
Newsweek
May 21 - 28, 2021 (Double Issue)

To Hell in a Handbag

Rebecca Minkoff’s luxury fashion brand cratered in the pandemic. But she’s been at the bottom before, and she knows the way back up: You have to be fearless.

6 mins read
Entrepreneur
June 2021

Too Little, Too Slow, Too Late Is Not an Option

On climate change, it is a lot later than a lot of us want to admit

6 mins read
Newsweek
May 21 - 28, 2021 (Double Issue)

More Is More

Why do many franchise systems prefer working with multi-unit operators? We dig into four different companies—learning why they recruit franchisees the way they do, and what life is like for someone who owns multiple units.

10 mins read
Entrepreneur
June 2021

TESTOSTERONE AND HAIR LOSS: How to Get Ahead

The simple fact is that most men are concerned about their looks; for the bodybuilder and fitness enthusiast, appearance is a strong factor in one’s satisfaction. It is undeniable that testosterone (T) directly impacts the physical health, function, and appearance of a man; as well, one’s mental health and cognitive abilities. In the chronology of life, testosterone’s effects produce milestones that easily identify the stages of life: the ultrasound’s shadow of a penis during pregnancy; a wispy mustache during adolescence; a deep voice during adulthood; and with its decline late in life, the loss of muscle, and erectile dysfunction.

10 mins read
Muscular Development
June 2021

STARS AND STRIFE

How two feuding tea party leaders helped lay the groundwork for the insurrection

10+ mins read
Mother Jones
May/June 2021

The BEST CREDIT CARDS of 2021

Credit card companies pumped up their rewards to keep consumers spending during the pandemic. Newsweek’s first card ranking will help you pick your best offer

10+ mins read
Newsweek
May 21 - 28, 2021 (Double Issue)

The Recipe for Success: Strategy and Flexibility

A year after opening his first Curry Up Now, Pritesh Benjamin knows one thing about business ownership: You’ve got to be ready for anything.

3 mins read
Entrepreneur
June 2021

TESTOSTERONE AND GH RESPONSES: FREE WEIGHTS VS. MACHINES

All forms of resistance training provide a stimulus that induces an anabolic-hormonal response, which contributes to adaptations associated with weight training such as muscle growth and strength. More precisely, weight training causes an increase in the two most prominent muscle-building hormones, testosterone and growth hormone (GH). Testosterone drives muscle growth by stimulating muscle protein synthesis and inhibiting muscle protein degradation. GH triggers greater muscle growth primarily by stimulating the production of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1), which has been shown to also potently stimulate muscle growth by increasing muscle cell protein synthesis.

5 mins read
Muscular Development
June 2021