Preity Uupala is an Australian Actor, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist, based in LA. Multi-skilled and multi-talented, the Miss India international AP 2012, Miss India Portugal 2010 and Miss Photogenic International, with a mixed heritage of Indian and Portuguese, indeed has a breathtaking international appeal. She is a graduate of National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), Sydney, and currently is involved in a number of American and International projects. Preity is also active with charity and philanthropic activities all around the world and has her own charity initiatives.
Interviewed by Stephen M. Thompson, Ph.D.
Welcome to OpenBeast. Could you tell us about yourself?
Hello. Firstly let me start off by saying I’m honored to be featured in OpenBeast. Thank you.
My name is Preity Uupala and I’m an actor and an entrepreneur from down under – Sydney. LA is my new home, and I work here as an actor, model and writer. But I’m truly an international citizen having visited more than 35 countries and grown up in five. I’m an investment banker turned beauty queen turned Hollywood actor! Quite a colorful life story (smiles). I speak five languages and am building my brand here. My vision is to inspire and empower people through my work and my presence. I live a magical life as am aligned to my purpose and am enjoying this amazing adventure.
An investment banker turned beauty queen turned actor. How did that happen?
(Laughs) I think life is truly paradoxical. I often feel someone up there is having a good laugh too! I was lucky enough that my life came crumbling down and that I had some sort of “divine intervention” at a certain point in my life. Or else, like most people, I would not be able to walk away from a lucrative corporate career with great financial reward. But it had never fulfilled me artistically and creatively. I was working with a giant Telco client in New Zealand when I was asked to relocate to Auckland. Which I did not want to do at that point in my life, and hence my contract came to an end. From that point on, no matter what I did for the next six months or so, I could not secure myself another great position. It did not make sense to me. This was definitely the divine at play here.
I’m glad I had the wisdom at that young age to realize that something is not quite right with this picture. Amidst the chaos, I started on my spiritual journey. I decided to go within and find out my true purpose and voila, the rest is history. When I made the decision to follow a childhood pursuit in the arts, the universe absolutely conspired and doors opened before my very eyes. Before I knew it I found myself training at the foremost acting school inAustraliaas well as working in the industry. I also modeled and won beauty pageants and danced salsa professionally. I also quite unexpectedly found myself winning an acting scholarship to study in New York. Life has never been the same since. When you’re following your destiny, sources beyond you are there to guide you and things unfold quite magically. I feel like its magic every moment for me since have been on my aligned path.
What’s the best gig you have done thus far?
I have had the great opportunity to have worked all over the world. From commercials in Sydney to shooting a pilot for French TV show, a gig that found me while I was in Cannes film festival last year were all fun and interesting. But my most memorable experience by far is “becoming an over night sensation in China at a film festival”. I was invited as a juror and an Australian film delegate for this festival and out of the blue found my self being awarded by Mr. Jackie Chanon stage and winning three awards! Seeing my self on the front page of all the newspaper and attending an after part entirely “dedicated” to me was quite exhilarating. Becoming famous in a foreign country when you did not expect it is a trip in itself. I don’t think I will ever forget that, even if I go on to win a major award in the future, this will always be close to my heart. My heart is full of gratitude for that experience.
Would you like to mention about your mentors or role models?
I have been inspired by people from not just the present day but also the far past. They come from all walks of life. Poets like Rumi, spiritual masters like ShriShri, authors like Deepak Chopra and Paulo Coello. From the entrepreneurs, Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, great humanitarians like Gandhi and strong women like Oprah and Marianne Williamson. People who dared to dream the impossible and who have the courage to stand up for what they believe in is people that I see myself in and motivate me to be better.
Talk to us about your Uupala Foundation.
I was inspired to start my own foundation recently. I had been supporting several charities for years and had been the face of Beyond Water – a charity based in Africa and on the board of several organizations as well. I thought I should consolidate my efforts and hence the Uupala foundation was launched. It supports underprivileged children, mainly in Southeast Asia – countries like Thailand, Indonesia and Cambodia.
Any upcoming projects or initiatives you would like to discuss?
I’m constantly getting the right people together and intending for the right projects. There is possibly an upcoming TV show I will be a part of. I am being featured in a few photo books which I am excited about. I will be a delegate for film festivals in China and Russia later this year, and am totally excited about. I would like to be part of projects that excite my spirit.
What are your leisure time activities?
I spend a lot of time traveling all around the world and also around the states – I love traveling and meeting new people and exploring new sights. I also spend lot of my energy nurturing my spirit and mind and body. So activities like yoga, meditation, hiking in nature takes up my time. I am also a foodie – believe it or not (smiles), I have a huge appetite and can really eat. Love sampling a new restaurant every other day. I am also an avid reader and writer and spend time with my books and blogs.
If you could live anywhere where would you build your dream home?
That’s easy! I would love to have a mansion in the south of France, somewhere near Nice. There is nothing like it. Also a holiday home in Koh Samui, Thailand is something I have always wanted to do.
For more details about Preity Uupala and her projects visit www.PreityUupala.com