Neha Sharma is breaking the internet in her Maxim debut.
Welcome to Maxim! How do you feel? Where are you planning to go next?
It feels absolutely fabulous. I think we’ve been trying to do this for a while, and I’m glad it’s finally happening! I guess some things are just meant to be.
What are you up to these days?
I am working on a couple of projects these days (can’t tell you just yet)! But, when I’m not working, I love training. Working out keeps me super-motivated. I love spending time with my dog, too. Oh, and I love watching movies. And, here’s something no one knows—I really enjoy reading books the authors of which have made a difference to this world, or tried to.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Simple Abundance–A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach; it’s an amazing book and it makes me feel really good.
We knew you couldn't wait any longer and neither could we! @nehasharmaofficial makes her Maxim debut on the cover of our August issue, with the OnePlus 6. Photographed by @nicksaglimbeni Styling by @khyatibusa Make-up by @rosbelmonte Hair by @marcepedrozo Shot on location at @renaissancemum With @oneplus_india #NehaSharma #NehaSharmaForMaxim #OnePlus6 #HotRightNow #SexyBack #MaximIndia
Tell us about your favourite movie.
La Vie en Rose—I can watch it over and over again; it has the most beautiful performances. It’s also got the most amazing soundtrack...this film has all my favourite things in it.
What are you like on vacation?
Super fun! I love exploring a city like a local, and I’m not someone who likes planning in advance and being all organised. I like to go with the flow and be impromptu. Now, being in the visual medium, we actors have to eat right because our profession demands us to look a certain way. But, when I’m holidaying, I like to indulge in the local cuisine—it just makes the whole experience more holistic. Also, like I’ve told you before, I really enjoy music so I make sure I visit places where I can hear some local jams. And, I can’t stress this enough, I love road trips. The drive to a destination is better than the destination itself, they say.
Where are you planning to go next?
This year, I want to visit Italy.
Excellent choice. What does a usual day look like?
My day always starts with a warm cup of water. Then, I take my dog for a walk and catch up with my family. This is often followed by my workout session, which is an integral part of my life. Work happens thereafter; but when I’m not working, I like cooking, reading and, basically, unwinding. Oh, and if I have the time, I go out for a nice meal.
What’s the secret to a sexy selfie—your Insta feed is full of them!
A happy heart and great light. Find a place with the perfect lighting and just take that selfie!
We’ll tell our girlfriends. Your favourite drink?
When I go out, I like to have a good time so I’m open to trying different concoctions. It depends on the place, company and my mood. But, I do have a fondness for a red wine sangria and a martini (I always ask for some extra olives).
Nothing like a good martini. What does a guy have to do to get your attention?
I’m attracted to quiet and shy guys. What’s amazing about them is that they smile from the heart and have honest eyes. It melts my heart. I don’t like loud and full-of-themselves kinda people.
When do you feel sexiest?
Leather pants do it for me.
What were you like growing up?
Goofy, talkative and entertaining—it all comes from the love I always had for drama and stage. I was very naughty. I loved playing outdoors and I have broken many bones in my body. If you see my childhood pictures, you’ll always find a plaster on me. That’s why I hate my childhood albums.
How is the entertainment business evolving for women in India right now?
It’s a better place for women now. Things are changing and lines are blurring. There was a time when married women didn’t get too much work, but all that is changing now—just look at how high Kareena, Anushka, and Aishwarya are soaring! Cinema has become more liberal, too...people are ready to experiment with scripts and the audience is ready for a transformation. Today, people are talking about equal wages for women and equal treatment at the workplace. I feel these will eventually happen, but at least we have started making the right noises.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Happy, doing things I love, making good movies and, basically, I can’t stress this enough, chilling in life.
If we had to plan the perfect date night, what would it take?
Being in the arms of someone charming, watching a movie and soaking in a beautiful sunset—these are the ingredients that you will need. Think ocean views, jazz music in the backdrop, some red wine and delicious spaghetti on the plate.
A part of the reason why your fan base is so loyal is because you seem to present your genuine self on social media. Was that a conscious decision?
Not really. I can’t be any other way. This is who I am. I can’t pretend to be someone else. I think, if you’re real, people connect with you. My fans love me for who I am.
What is the good, bad and ugly of using social media in today’s digital age?
Social media is a great platform to express one’s views. For me, it’s a direct doorway to interact with my fans. On hindsight, though, there is so much hate and negativity and trolling to pull people down. People judge easily, and I don’t understand why. It’s not cool. One bad picture and there comes a long trail of judgments. I know being a celebrity means such things can’t be avoided, but sometimes it can get a little overwhelming.
If there’s something you could change about yourself, what would it be?
Absolutely nothing. I love myself now. I am very grateful for who I have grown up to be.
We have to ask: how did you like the OnePlus 6 phone?
It’s a damn cool phone. Perfect for taking selfies.
Photographed by NICK SAGLIMBENI
Styling by KHYATI BUSA
Make-up by ROSARIO BELMONTE
Hair by MARCELO PEDROZO
Shot on location at RENAISSANCE MUMBAI CONVENTION CENTRE HOTEL