Aanchal Sharma is an actor known for her bubbly charm and youthful spirit. With seven films to her credit, Aanchal wants to now also explore the more intense side of cinema and character roles. What started as a stint with a beauty pageant has turned into a lifelong romance with the screen for the actor who believes strongly in self-love and prioritising her needs. Happily married, she believes love, respect and communication are the keys to a successful marriage.
Tell us a little about your childhood.
I was born and brought up in Kathmandu. My childhood revolved around my two siblings. I was a competitive child with a curious eye. My parents always say that I am still as talkative and jolly as I was as a young child.
Did you always want to be an actor?
I wanted to be a lawyer. Acting is an accidental career. My dad wanted me to be a ‘Miss Nepal’ and the pageant attracted me too. I participated in Miss Plus Two Nepal and even won the title. I was 17 then. I went on an audition initially to support a friend who was auditioning, and I got selected and bagged my first film Nai Nabhannu La 4. There has been no looking back since. My desire to be an actor can also be traced back to my childhood where I was always excited to act in front of friends and family.
When you look in the mirror, what do you like the most about yourself?
I am ‘my favourite’. I am one of those people who loves complimenting herself, often looking at the mirror. I don’t care if someone likes me or not, I love myself. I am a self-obsessed person.
Lessons learnt when A film does nOt do well
A film is all about teamwork. If a film fails, it is the team which failed and not a particular person. So, I try focusing on the next film lined up and be careful about the kinds of scripts which don’t do well among the audience.
Any film character which has stayed with you forever?
My upcoming release Jhinge Dau will have a lasting impression on me. The character that I am playing is very different from the way I am. Usually I am offered roles which blend perfectly with my real personality, but this role is different. The role I am playing is straightforward and very articulate. I learnt a lot from her. The character will stay with me for a long time.
How open are you when it comes to experimenting with roles?
I have been typecast. I am usually offered romantic, bubbly girl roles which people have already seen me in. The casting directors find it easy to cast me in such roles as there is no risk involved. When it comes to experimentation, I want to do action and female oriented characters. Through my films, I want to talk about the different social issues of the country. I want to talk about rape of young girls at home. We have read and heard many news stories which talk about rape of kids by their own fathers. I want to spread awareness about such horrible incidents through the medium of films.
You said you have plans to have a family in five years; what about your acting career?
I want to live in the present. When I have kids, I plan to devote all my attention to them for a few years. I don’t want to miss the happiness that comes with it. For instance, the first word they say or the first time they take a baby step. These are really important for me as an individual. Having said that, I have huge respect for working mothers. The way they manage and balance their personal and professional life is amazing. However, to be or not to be is always a choice.
How important is socialiSing and hanging around with producers and actors off screen in the industry?
It is one of the very common practices witnessed among actors and producers. But I try avoiding it as much as I can. I am not a socialite. Many people are amazed to hear that I have never been to a night club yet and that I don’t drink.
A myth about the industry that you would like to break…
Many think that male and female actors are not treated equally but this isn’t true. On the set, both actors are treated equally. Gone are those days when the entire crew revolved around the male actor.
How has life changed after marriage?
Life is the same as it used to be. The reason being there’s no interference. Yes, there are responsibilities but equally divided between me and Udip.
Daughter-in-laws as actors: how accepted is this in the Nepali society?
My in-laws have always seen me as an actor. And they also come from the film background being distributors, so it was easy to blend in. This way they were already aware about the life of an actor.
You said that you and Udip are very different, so what brought you together?
Opposites attract and this is so true in my case. We both come from different professions and have huge respect for each other. Besides, immense love, respect and communication have been the basis of our relationship.
What’s your love story?
The year was 2016. I was looking for a dietician and got in touch with Udip. We talked professionally for the next three years and love bloomed.
What are the qualities in your partner that you admire the most?
He is a gentleman. He knows how to treat today’s woman. He is a complete family man, knows how to balance new and old relationships in the family.
You had a massive makeover in terms of weight, was this intentional?
I wanted people to see a new Aanchal after marriage, and in my best shape. Being fit and active was always my goal. I also wanted to break the image of a chubby bubbly girl as well.
Do you think gender equality exists?
No, the fact that this question is still asked makes it obvious that gender equality has a long way to go. I always believe that it is the smaller things that make a huge impact. Women who live on their own terms are still regarded as disrespectful and characterless whereas a man doing the same is termed as a leader and independent. He is made a role model and people nearly worship him. Gender equality in our society has a long way to go.
What would you tell a young woman who is struggling to love herself?
Prioritise yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness and no one else. There’s no harm in being a little self-obsessed.
An actor you admire in the film industry
A director you want to work with
Bikash Raj Acharya
Know the Designer
Khusbhu Dangol, Luxury Wedding Designer
Khushbu Dangol is a designer and the owner of Oodni Boutique. Khusbhu got into fashion design as an organic shift from sketching which she did since school days. Today, she is a household name and her creations are widely appreciated by celebrities, brides and fashion enthusiasts across the country and among NRN’s across the world. Here, she shares her pick of fashion gyan
The Khusbu Dangol bride is…
My bride is bold and fearless who doesn’t step back from experimenting with colours and designs. They are independent souls who want to make their dream wedding the best memory in their life.
A new-age bride is…
She is an ode to the self-made, intelligent woman who lives life with joy, abandon, courage and kindness. This modern woman knows how to have fun, and how to make sure everyone is touched by her spirit.
Jewellery first or the outfit?
As a designer, I will always choose the outfit first but outfit made in coordination with jewellery is a killer combination . I have done the same with my upcoming collection Satrangi
Is experimenting essential?
It totally depends on the type of person you are. I won’t say it’s essential as long as you are wearing your bridal saree or lehenga with poise. But having said this, in today’s day and age, brides don’t hesitate to experiment with different shades and cuts. They won’t even shy away from having pockets in their bridal wear.
Blouses to bet on…
The classic V-neck blouse designs never really go out of style. Rock these V-neck blouses by pairing it with a designer saree or a lehenga. You can also add a few tassels or buttons to look gorgeous. This wedding season, don’t miss a chance to flaunt your toned back.
The trick to giving traditional wear a twist…
I will say there are a lot of things that can come into play. Play with pastel colours and styling.
Is coordination key?
I guess that’s the most important part in any kind of style.
The three non-negotiables in every trousseau
A full-embellished bridal lehenga, matching jewellery, and drape sarees.
Post wedding use of the bridal lehngas?
You can always restyle it with light jewellery and rock the party with sneakers beneath.
Style: More drapes and flowy
Fabric : Mostly sheer
Photographer: Suzan Shrestha
Concept & Coordination: Ankita Jain
HMUA: Nilima Basnet
Stylist: Anush Shrestha
Wardrobe: Oodni Boutique
Jewellery partner: Ganapati Jewellers
Hospitality partner: The Ministry at Hotel Ambassador
The Ministry at Hotel Ambassador by ACE Hotels is a venue to know. It is a ground-floor chic coffee shop and bar adjoining the lobby. It is ideal for a post-work drink with its special Follador Prosecco cocktails, and is probably the only venue in Kathmandu offering cold-pressed Fuji apple juice, and of course there’s Segafreddo coffee for caffeine lovers. And if you want to take a special someone for a date, treat them to Kathmandu’s only Bridgerton-esque La Mari hi-tea set. The Ministry also serves a highly curated menu of gourmet sandwiches and salads for light lunch or as a mid day meal, so there’s something special just about for everyone.