HOW-TO WIN MISS INDIA AMERICA – Exclusive Interview with Star Tiya Sircar!By Delaina Dixon | April 7, 2016 | Entertainment
In the new film Miss India America, Lily Prasad is an A-type honor student who enters a beauty pageant after her high school boyfriend breaks up with her! Of course, she sets a strategy to win … by any means necessary! The movie premiered on Digital HD and On Demand April 5.
We spoke with the star, Tiya Sircar (pictured right), about the film, her own Indian heritage and her fashion obsession!
Tell me about Lily in your own words.
She is driven, ambitious, super confident — sometimes to a fault — talented and intelligent and maybe a little rough around the edges.
Do you relate to her perfectionist persona?
I wasn’t that person in high school. I’m sure my parents would have loved for me a little more like Lily school-wise (laughs). I definitely like to be good at things, and I have that drive to excel and succeed. I can definitely relate to Lily in that way. But I like to think I’m a little more well rounded, and definitely more of a people person.
Lily’s not the most likable character in history… at least at the beginning.
After the movie wrapped, I spoke to a PA on the set who was really concerned that he was going to hate the movie’s protagonist. But I felt for her. I knew her struggles, strengths and weaknesses. I felt that she was sympathetic character and it never occurred to me that she might be unlikeable. You want to play a character who has some growth, so I definitely love how it ends up.
Does the movie tap into Indian American culture that is familiar to you?
I’ve played ethnically ambiguous characters in the past, and I’ve played explicitly Indian American characters. But never have I played a character that lives in a world so familiar to me. There’s that expectation to be studious and excel in school, and juggle that with being a well-rounded person: being able to sing, dance or play an instrument, and maybe a sport. That was totally part of my life growing up. My parents are both professors – Indian professors – academics were always paramount in my life. I started dancing when I was 2, and my sister and I were enrolled in every class you can think of. It’s definitely part of the culture to raise totally well-rounded human beings that are going to go on to be neurosurgeons!
You do some traditional Indian dance in the movie! Was that fun?
I consider myself a dancer before an actor. The first dance I did was Indian classical and folk dance. My mother was my first dance teacher; she was a dancer and choreographer for most of my life. But the one in the movie wasn’t one I studied, so it was still kind of new to me. I always wanted to marry acting and dance in a film, so this was a taste of that. It was such a gift.
Let’s talk fashion. What’s your go to spot for style?
I’m obsessed with GILT.com! It’s my GILT-y pleasure. They save your credit card info and it’s so beautifully curated, it’s all stuff that I want and feel that I need. I check GILT on a daily basis to see what I else I need in my life, though my credit card statement disagrees!
Miss India America also stars New Girl‘s Hannah Simone, and is currently playing on Digital HD and On Demand.
photo credit: MarVista Entertainment