Could you give us a little background information about yourself?
My name is Mariette Valsan. I am a model and a trained actor.I am Indian and was born and raised in India. However, as I was a Navy Kid I had to live in various places across the country.I didn’t really move around as much as most children of the Indian defence services do, but we moved from Delhi to Cochin to Mumbai.
It was interesting because it reminds me of the impermanence of life, and how to adjust to new situations and people.
It taught me how different people and cultures are even within our own country, and how that influences thought processes. It definitely made me a more open minded person, and confident.
Where does your passion for modelling come from?
I have always been a melodramatic kid who loved performing, and I think modelling now is both an extension of my personality. Moreover, acting was an extension of the modelling career that I started. My first TV advertisement was for KFC. It was so much fun because I got to eat chicken all day (that day I realised that too much of a good thing can be horrid as well).
Also, it cemented my love for being in front of the camera and gave me a new found respect for how much goes into making a 30-second advertisement.
Do you have any model/fashion/beauty inspirations?
Growing up, I wasn’t too bothered about the way I looked. But I always admired my mother for her beauty and grace, and still, do. She is my inspiration.
How did you get into modelling?
I was discovered by Designer James Ferreira who gave me the opportunity to model for his collection that year, which was inspired by Indira Gandhi, as well as walk for his show.
What are the biggest struggles you have faced in your career so far?
But that is all part and parcel of the work that we do! The days I get to be part of an incredible vision; be it through a fashion shoot, an advertising campaign or an interesting role I have to play, more than makes up for the hard days of no work and uncertainty that come with the job.
What has been the highlight of your career?
It’s hard to pick one, but being on the cover of Femina is definitely one of them.
What do you like to do in your free time aside from modelling?
I have always been an athlete and love the outdoors, so I combine the two and try and scuba dive and surf as much as I can in a year. When I don’t have as much time to get away, catching up on the films, plays and books I’ve missed are definitely on the list. Oh, and of course, trying out new restaurants across the city! I love food.
What is the biggest / greatest piece of advice you have learnt since the start of your career?
Not to take rejection personally.
If there was one thing you could change about the modelling industry what would that be?
Perhaps to have a great range of faces and body types represented in advertising, which honestly is already happening.
What do you love most about your job?
The fact that every single person I work with loves their job. It is the one industry where I have never heard anyone complain about working on Sundays/holidays. I think it is a blessing to be surrounded by passionate people.
Do you have any future dreams/ aspirations you can share with us?
They keep changing at the micro-level, but one thing I would love to do is play a strong, well rounded female character in a film.
Do you have any useful advice to any girl bosses who want to get into modelling?
Always have a backup plan, and be true to who you are. Individuality is respected.I think the most important to stay focused, and more importantly enjoy all aspects of the job. Being in the final shot is the last step, but one has to be ready for all the grooming, auditions and endless waiting that comes along with it. It needs an immense amount of patience and a go-getter attitude.
Finally, If you were not a model / actress what would you do?
I graduated in English Literature and post graduated in Public relations. So I was actually working in a PR agency. Had that career continued, I would have been in marketing or corporate communications ( therefore on the other side of the spectrum) and probably planning ad and marketing campaigns.