Yami Gautam is full of surprises. For one, she’s very petite. Granted, this isn’t a remarkable fact, but given her towering performances in blockbusters such as Vicky Donor, Kaabil and most recently Sarkar 3, you anticipate more inches than her 5”2 stature.
Second, the actress, who spent an idyllic childhood growing up in Chandigarh, tussled between a career in law and acting. In the end, the lure of stardom proved too much and the then 20-year old left full-time education for the bright lights of Mumbai.
And although the diminutive beauty is very much a 21st-century woman with modern sensibilities, there’s also an unexpected old-fashioned streak - especially when it comes to her dream Big Day. Read on and get to know the actress that’s carving a place for herself in Bollywood.
Tell us about your journey to stardom
This question always stumps me because my journey is still continuing. It’s been very interesting and while I’ve been quite lucky, I’ve also had my share of experiences. Things don’t always turn out how you expect, but that’s life; that’s how you grow. I’m always excited by the possibility of what could happen next.
Your transition from the small to big screen has been interesting to follow
I didn’t start out with a TV-only or movie-only goal in mind. I just took opportunities and did work I connected with. I branched into movies when I took a pause from TV. I wasn’t in a happy creative space, and was burning the candle at both ends. I still went to auditions, and one of them happened to be for Vicky Donor, my first film.
You’ve starred alongside some big names - who’s your favourite?
Working with each actor is a unique experience; they all have something you can learn from. But Hrithik Roshan was amazing. Working with him on Kaabil was one of the most special experiences in my career to date. He’s one of the most selfless actors I’ve worked with, which is a rarity. As actors, it’s natural to watch monitors to see how you performed, make sure you look right, etc. Hrithik’s self-belief meant he skipped all that and instead offered support and constructive feedback.
Your skin is flawless, what’s your secret?
I have a really thorough cleansing regime in place to make sure I remove every scrap of makeup to let my skin breathe. When I’m not working I don’t wear makeup, and I moisturise religiously. Other than that, I stay hydrated, eat fresh and hang out with people who make me happy! I also use homemade skincare recipes that I keep safe in my diary.
You keep a diary?!
Yes! I note down D.I.Y beauty remedies, the kind of ones our grandmas used to stay beautiful, using everyday staples like yoghurt and lemon.
Tell us about your upcoming film Uri
It’s based on a surgical strike carried out by Indian Special Forces in 2016. It marks a landmark event in the history of the Indian military. Opportunities to work on a project this exciting are extremely rare. I’m very proud of Uri.
#MeToo has swept India, what’s your take?
It’s about time this dialogue presented itself in Indian society and while I’m glad victims are finally speaking out, there are probably so many more stories that people are too afraid to share. There’s lots of fear and pressure; people think if
they speak up they won’t get work - which is a legitimate concern, especially when powerful names have been cited. The only way forward is to join hands, support each other and watch each other’s backs. Not isolate victims who have the courage to speak out.
Several stars have publicly discussed sexual harassment, yet many remain noticeably silent on the subject – why?
I don’t know, there are so many possible reasons. It could be that they don’t want to harm relationships or maybe they don’t believe the victim. It’s important people say what they actually think, rather than jump on the bandwagon because they think it’s the topic of the month. A show of support can’t be for publicity; it needs to be genuine and come from within. Maybe that’s why so many have remained silent.
Let’s talks about your dream wedding. Who would you wear on your Big Day?
I can’t say the designer; there are so many I love! It will be red, the ultimate bridal hue.
My Nani had a huge traditional-looking naath made when my cousins and I were teenagers, so it will be the centrepiece of my bridal look. I haven’t got my nose pierced so I’ll have to do that just before the wedding!
What about the rest of the day?
I’m very traditional when it comes to certain things. I’d want to perform all the same rituals my parents did on their wedding day; that’s very important to me. No shortcuts, no updates, no skipping ceremonies. I want to do everything right.
Editor-in-Chief: Sonia Ullah
Creative Director: Manni Sahota
Fashion Editor: Vikas Rattu
Photography: Abhay Singh
Hair and Makeup: Roshni Hair & Makeup
Outfits: Rimple and Harpreet Narula
As seen in Khush Wedding Autumn Winter 2018 KW20. Buy this issue here