Growing up with a dream and actually living your fantasy life are two different things. While many dreams may not see the light of the day, some are more resolute. This small-town girl from Manipur we all know by the name Lin Laishram, is living each day to prove that dreams do come alive – but only if you believe in them unwaveringly and work hard with equal intensity.
Having traveled the world venturing across sports, modeling, and now acting, Lin has many stories to tell. So today we chat with Lin Laishram from Manipur to know more about her journey.
We chat with Model and Actress Lin Laishram from Manipur as she takes us through her journey from Manipur to Nagaland to Jamshedpur to New York and now Mumbai. She also talks about her latest acting gig in the popular movie ‘Axone’ now playing on Netflix!
Hi Lin! So nice to finally have this chat with you! We are certain most people here have already heard and read about you, but please introduce yourself to our readers in your own words 🙂
Well. I was born in Manipur, but I lived in Nagaland for a few years, and then moved to Jamshedpur for sports, and to Bombay for high school and college. Later, I lived and worked in New York for some time. I started traveling very early on in life for sports and school. I can speak fluent Nagamese* (*local language – a creole, spoken widely in Nagaland). I also love cooking and feeding people 🙂
Very interesting! So tell us, what motivated or inspired you to join Bollywood, and acting in general?
To be honest, I never planned to become a model or an actress. I always had an innate interest and a knack for it. But coming from a small town, these professions aren’t taken seriously as career choices. I started modeling by chance during college days and got into it seriously after I was signed by an agency and started booking professional jobs. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I would become an actress one day. I used to believe that these are aspirations of people only from the mainland.
“While working in New York, I did an acting course and it kind of healed me. It gave me an opportunity to be free – to be anybody I wished to be.. I could express things that I could never speak up as a young girl otherwise. I felt empowered and that was my biggest inspiration.”
Lin Laishram wearing a traditional Manipuri Mekhela at the screening of the film Axone at the Mumbai film festival. [Shop Mekhela’s HERE]
You have also recently acted in the very popular movie ‘Axone’ which is up on Netflix (Congrats again!) Tell us how you ended up doing this movie, and what made you go for it?
Nicholas Kharkongor brought the script to me three years ago, and I immediately connected with it and felt that it should be made no matter what. Of all the years that I have spent in this industry, never had I come across a film filled with so many Northeastern characters and written by a person from the Northeast. And I liked the story genuinely.
How has your roots/upbringing influenced you and your work or working style?
I was born in Imphal Manipur and left home at a very early stage and lived in hostels and boarding schools. Both my parents were very hardworking because they wanted to give us a good life. My mother is an extremely career-oriented person and made it very clear to both me and my sister that we need to have a career and not depend on anyone. That always played in my head. But when I chose to become an artist, I didn’t foresee the financial struggle that artists usually going through. But the high you get when you give your best shot is the best reward.
Lin Laishram with her parents
What’s your creative/Work philosophy – where do you take inspiration from?
Keep on practicing your art. As an actor, we have to draw from the many emotions and life experiences we have in our kitty. What this had taught me is to take life as it is; don’t question too much and just have faith in the journey, even though it gets hard. Apart from that I usually watch a lot of films, try to read a lot, and follow the journey of musicians and sportsmen. They really inspire me to work harder and not to give up.
Biggest challenges you’ve faced + Learnings so far.
Surviving in Bollywood has been the biggest challenge so far. It has made me a patient and compassionate person. I don’t think I would have achieved this from any other profession.
What, personally, do you consider to be your biggest achievement so far?
I still have a long way to go. I don’t want to sound ungrateful but I feel I have just started. A late bloomer.
Dreaming Big | Actor and Model Lin Laishram from Manipur
Tell us about your latest/upcoming work/project.
I don’t have anything to announce yet. but we have a new collection for my business and I am super excited about it!