Ketika Sharma, who was last seen in Gireesaaya’s rom-com Ranga Ranga Vaibhavanga, has wanted to be an actress for as long as she can remember. The Telugu actress, who kickstarted her journey in the limelight as a social media influencer, still has a lot left to tick off on her checklist, she reveals in a conversation with Lahari Velicheti.
“I have a huge checklist. But where I have come till now is also no less than a dream. I come from a family of doctors and we had no link with the industry. So, cinema was like a far-fetched dreamland that I’ve always wanted to be part of. Honestly, I am living a dream but I want to do a lot more and have bigger dreams,” says the actress.
The actress made her big screen debut with Puri Jagannadh’s production Romantic in 2021. And her casting in the film has an amusing backstory. When she got a call from Jagannadh, she almost turned it down, assuming it to be a scam call. “I remember when I shifted to Bombay to pursue acting, sometimes you’d get fake calls from people pretending to cast for a south film. One day, I got a call from Maniraj sir (casting director Maniraj Padigomula). He said he was calling from Puri Connects and that Puri Jagannadh sir wanted to meet me, further asking me to fly down to Hyderabad. I thought it was fake, I mean, why would such a big director call me,” she recalls, adding that she swiftly cut the call.
Maniraj later got through to her through mutual contacts to make her understand that it was a genuine casting call. “They told me that Puri sir had seen my Instagram and that he liked my looks and everything. So he wanted to call me to the south. And that’s how it happened. I flew down, met sir, and everybody was so warm and amazing,” says Sharma.
Born and brought up in Delhi, Sharma was very new to Telugu cinema. Neither did she understand the language nor did she know anyone in the industry. “Even if I were to watch Telugu movies, it would probably be the Hindi dubbed versions,” she says, adding that the experience turned out to be an enriching one.
“Puri sir can instantly make you feel so comfortable because he’s so grounded and that’s his beauty. An interesting fact that no one knows is that I took an audition test for Nabha Natesh’s role in . But they changed my script. Puri sir told me that he had changed my script and in turn wanted me to test for the lead role in a movie called Romantic, starring opposite his son, Akash Puri. I tested for the role and got the part. So I came back to my parents with a movie in my hand,” Sharma smiles.
Recalling the moment she decided to become an actress, Sharma says, “I remember it was while watching (1997 Hindi film starring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Karisma Kapoor). I was very young back then and I remember asking my mom how these people were on the big screen. I asked her how I can go there and she told me that I had to be an actor if I wanted to go there. So that’s how it started. During my 8th grade, my friends and I were watching a movie and I remember telling them that they all were going to see me on the big screen one day. I just knew that this is what I wanted to do.”