Starlet in the making
SWARNA Naidu is truly a jane of all trades. The Astro SuperSport host, who is also the third runner-up in last year’s Miss Universe Malaysia pageant, holds a diploma in hotel management and has been modelling since she was 12 years old.
“I have always been into sports, and being on Astro SuperSport has upped my game because I have to know my stuff, which is great. Everyone here is so passionate about what they do that it is not just another job; it is very motivating. There is a lot of room to put your personality into, which I love,” quipped the 18-year-old.
The multitalented lass describes herself as an arty person, and it shows with her background in (classical Indian dance) Bharatanatyam and ballet. She even had a segment to showcase her vocal prowess on hurr. tv, a Malaysian online lifestyle channel and video-streaming platform.
“I personally don’t think you can be good at anything you don’t want to do. I never asked for any of this. “And I am spiritual so I do think the universe works itself out for you. You just need to have conviction in what you want, and it will work out as it has for me,” said the Penangite.
What is it like to be a female sports host?
I have big shoes to fill because they expect you to be something. It is tough, but it pushes me to do well. At the same time, you get a lot of respect being a female in the industry.
Name a challenge of the job, and your approach to overcome it.
There are a lot of impromptu interviews with important people. They keep me on my toes, but I like that I’m always learning. It’s like sitting for an exam – it doesn’t work if you study only the night before. You have to keep revising. Knowing a little about the person makes me feel more comfortable so I know where to go and what to ask.
Who is your sports icon?
Sachin Tendulkar, an Indian cricketer. He used to live really far from the training grounds, but every morning he made it there because he’s so passionate about the sport. I think he is the best cricket player in Indian history. Cricket is one of my first loves, and he really shaped my character.
Tell us about your beauty pageant days.
I liked it, but I wouldn’t do it again. It was very stressful, and there was a lot of criticism the whole time over things that I cannot change. Getting fourth place was good, and honestly, I’m glad I didn’t win first place. But I am glad I did it and I am lucky to get a lot of opportunities from it. It really was a launching pad, and I am happy doing what I am doing now.
What are the key lessons that you picked up from your experiences?
It is important to stay grounded, especially when you are young and getting into the industry. A lot of people tend to lose track of where they are going. Know your values, and never sell yourself short.
When you are young, you want to try everything to get yourself out there but it is not all that simple. You have to be careful in this industry. If you know you have what it takes then you shouldn’t stop trying.
Lastly, care to share your ultimate dream?
I plan to make it huge in Hollywood; to be the next Priyanka Chopra. I want to act and sing. I just need to make the right decisions and take the right steps to get there. Hopefully, I can do it with a little polishing.
It is my dream to be an accomplished actress. Believe it or not, I have not tried acting, but I want to be an actress ever since I can remember. I like to throw myself into my art and acting is perfect as you get to be different persons.
Meaning of Swarna: Gold in Sanskrit.
Favourite make-up products: Laura Mercier’s Translucent Loose Setting Powder and Kat Von D’s Tattoo Liner.
Favourite phrase: Tat Tvam Asi (Sanskrit) meaning thou art that or you are that.