Packed with elegance and nerve in equal proportions, Swedish-Greek actor Elli AvrRam swayed into the Indian screen space with ease. This trained dancer, however, goes beyond the stage to show her skills. From clinching roles in Hindi, Tamil, Kannada and Swedish movies, to starring in web series like Typewriter and Inside Edge 2, little remains an uncharted territory for this diva. In an exclusive conversation, the radiant actor gives us a glimpse of her spontaneous side.

1.

As a Swedish-Greek actress now working in India, how has the mix of cultures been for you?

It’s certainly been a long journey of understanding the different mentalities, mindsets, and ways of expressing. I grew up in Sweden, and the way things are there are very different from what they are here in India. Having said that, since I am half Greek, I’ve not had major difficulties understanding the Indian culture as the two are very similar. Plus, the best part of being a mix of two cultures is the advantage of growing with different perspectives, which allows me to understand the various ways of looking at life.

2.

What is your biggest hurdle when preparing for roles across different industries?

I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself because I’m a perfectionist who is never satisfied. So, I always need to calm myself down, remind myself to enjoy the process and know that I’ll keep learning and growing with every performance. That’s why I always give my best and remember to have fun while also being serious.

3.

How did you cultivate a love for dancing? Which is your favourite style?

I’m a professional figure skater, so I’m naturally connected with classical dance forms. My favourite dance form is the classical Bollywood dance style—one which includes steps and strong expressions of Kathak and Bharatanatyam. That’s the Bollywood I fell in love with and dreamt of being a part of. Its depth has allured me. I feel you can literally tell the entire tale through your dance moves. In fact, I dream of being a part of one such storytelling song in a Sanjay Leela Bhansali movie. I can guarantee it’ll be one-of-its-kind!

4.

From television to movies, to now web series…what has the journey been like for you?

It’s been a long journey with so much more yet to be discovered and achieved. The entertainment industry is really tough! You need to be mentally and physically strong to survive it. I feel it’s also a very challenging spiritual journey where you are constantly being tested. I’m grateful for coming so far with god’s grace. It’s been really tough and I’ve had moments when I wished to give it all up. However, there’s too much fire and passion in me to do so. And I’m glad I pushed myself because it has made me only stronger. I’m happy as long as I’m getting to grow in my art and express myself in different ways.

5.

According to you, which place in the world should be labelled as the dance capital, and why?

New York because of Broadway!

6.

Amongst the various destinations you’ve performed or shot at, which is your favourite?

Greece. I shot two of my movies in Athens and I enjoyed a lot. It’s my second home, and I love the lifestyle there. Even after pack up, I would go to the beaches and enjoy freely.

7.

You recently visited the Maldives. Tell us more about your time there.

It’s been my dream to visit the Maldives, and I’m so glad it finally happened! I’m extremely grateful to Deanne Panday [wellness coach and author] for asking me if I would like to join her on a fun sporty trip. It was all very spontaneous. I had so much fun trying out different activities, eating healthy food and making new friends.

8.

When in the Maldives, water sports are often on a traveller’s bucket list. Did you get a chance to try any?

Oh, yes! I tried the jet ski and boy, it was wild! I realised I’m very fearless when it comes to tough, sporty activities. Although I’ve always had an inner strong side since childhood, I rediscovered that side when I jumped on to the jet ski. In fact, I went so fast that the instructor got angry since I was driving ahead of him!

9.

If given a chance to revisit the Maldives, what would you like to do again?

I will definitely like to walk on the beach alone at night again. It’s the most magical thing I’ve ever done. It was just me walking bare feet on the silky-soft sands, dancing to the sounds of the ocean while looking up at the stars shining upon me. I would also love to ride the bicycle and snorkel again.

10.

Your fondest pre-COVID-19 throwback trip?

One of them is when I travelled to New York and Los Angeles in January 2019. It was a solo trip for a few days, post which my friend from the United Kingdom joined me for a fun girl’s trip. Honestly, I enjoy travelling alone. You discover so much and get to interact with interesting people. People in New York City are really friendly and helpful. I’m also in love with all the small, cosy jazz clubs of the city, and the countless streets you can walk on while sipping tea.

11.

How did you keep your wanderlust satiated during the lockdown?

By dancing every day in my living room and watching the sunset while playing music from different countries. Imagination is a great gift! Since I have a lovely sea-view place, I tend to dream of being in another city altogether. It actually works and brings a smile to my face. I also had the most adorable company, my baby cat, Charles. He fills me up with love every day.

12.

Domestic travel and road trips are predicted to be the upcoming trends in the post-COVID-19 world. Where would you like to visit?

It’s my dream to travel in Europe by train. In fact, even India for that matter. When I first moved here, I really wanted to be a bit spontaneous, get into a train and see where it takes me. But, my friend stopped me saying it’s a bit too wild to do that. It’s still on my list, though!

13.

A hidden gem you discovered in India?

I recently discovered some magical and blissful spots in Goa. You need to have a lot of patience and time to reach the place, though. I’m absolutely in love with the trees of Goa; they remind me of the movie Avatar.

14.

Any tips on how to become a conscious traveller, especially in the post-COVID-19 world?

We’ve all gotten used to reaching everywhere fast. It’s time to learn to slow down and plan everything in advance. For example, if we learn to travel by train instead, we need to be aware and okay with the fact that it will take us more time to reach our destination.

 

 

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As told to
Bayar Jain
Photography by
Auchie
Makeup by
Elli AvrRam
Hair by
Elli AvrRam
Location
Maldives