Ayesha Kanga, known for her role in Netflix’s series Class, discusses the show and her personal journey in an interview with DNA.
Acting was never on Ayesha Kanga’s radar. Since the age of 13, she had set her sights on becoming an artist or a designer. However, fate had different intentions for her. Today, Ayesha has gained recognition for her portrayal of the villainous character Yashika in the highly acclaimed Netflix series Class. In an exclusive conversation with DNA, the actress opens up about her unique journey and shares her expectations for the upcoming second season.
I never wanted to be an actor
Ayesha reveals that becoming an actor was never part of her aspirations. Her entry into the entertainment industry happened unexpectedly and quite recently. “It wasn’t an overnight occurrence; it happened very suddenly. Throughout my life, I had always envisioned myself as a designer or an artist. I made this decision as early as the eighth grade, and acting was never in my plans,” she shares. After completing school, Ayesha pursued her education at the National Institute of Design and subsequently began working as a full-time designer. However, an event unfolded that completely changed the trajectory of her professional journey.
Was fired from my job
Ayesha vividly remembers the turning point in her career, stating, “At a rather unexpected phase in my life, I found myself being let go from my design job. It was during this time that I decided to take a break from design and explore something new, which led me to modeling.” Ayesha discovered success in modeling, and her agency began encouraging her to audition for acting opportunities as well. However, she initially had no interest in pursuing acting. She would only audition to appease her agency, not because she genuinely wanted to. Everything changed when Ayesha watched the series “Made In Heaven” a few years ago. It had a profound impact on her, and she realized that she desired to be a part of similar content.
Expected Class to not do well
Ayesha’s breakthrough project came in the form of Netflix’s series Class, which premiered earlier this year and was widely appreciated by the audience. However, Ayesha confesses that during the show’s filming, she had doubts about its prospects. “I had assumed that the show wouldn’t perform well, not because it was poorly made or anything of the sort. We were a cast of 11 newcomers, relatively unknown, and this was a remake of a highly acclaimed international series (Elite). I thought either people would mock us or simply overlook us, and we would fade into obscurity,” expresses the actress.
Was scared to talk about intimate scenes with my mom
Class is filled with intimate scenes, and Ayesha’s character is involved in her fair share of explicit and intimate moments. The actress reveals that she was comfortable portraying those scenes on screen. However, the real challenge for her was discussing these scenes with her mother and grandparents. Ayesha explains, “I was very at ease with the intimate scenes. The level of intimacy portrayed in Class is higher compared to other Indian shows, but we have watched foreign counterparts that have set the benchmark. I was always comfortable with it. The most nerve-wracking part was breaking the news to my mom and grandparents,” she says, chuckling. Eventually, Ayesha made her mother watch the original Spanish show, Elite, on which Class is based. This helped prepare her mother for what to expect, and now she has become a fan. Ayesha beams with delight at her mother’s newfound appreciation.
Now I have the pressure of knowing I’ll be watched
Class season 2 has been greenlit and work has begun on it. Talking about the journey of her character Yashika and expectations from the season, Ayesha says, “For me, the biggest challenge will always be having enough empathy for the character of Yashika. She is supposed to the vamp of the show but it was surprising for me, how much she was loved in season 1. So, now living up to that love will be a challenge. Now, I have the pressure of knowing I’ll be watched.”