Interview Préity Üupala Entrepreneur, Humanitarian and Artist

Picture_123Tell us about yourself and what you do
I am a multi-lingual actress, international model and TV host who has worked in Australia, France, India and USA. I am also known in USA for bring crowned Miss India international AP 2012. I am the face for several brands such as the Villa Thea resort in Mykonos Greek islands, Orion spa in Thailand, Marriot hotels, Chloe and Isabel Jewelry line among others. You wuld have seen me recently in national commercials for FACEBOOK, HP, EBAY AND STATE FARM INSURANCE and have appeared in several TV shows this year. I have been modeling for over 15 years and have presented film festivals and awards shows in countries such as Russia, China and France. My claim to fame came about, as I became an overnight sensation in China accepting 3 film awards, presented by Mr. Jackie Chan himself, at the Asia Pacific Film Festival. I am also known in Russia for being the official host of the Moscow International Film Festival where I gave a speech in Russian language to a Russian audience on spirituality that sparked media frenzy and was featured in a story by MTV Russia. I aspire to be a true role model, walking the path with sincerity, integrity and spirituality is my very foundation.

Can you tell us what inspired you to work with a lot of charitable causes?
I travel a lot all around the world, and when I do so I always take the beaten path and try to explore the city as a local. With this intention, when I traveled to southeast Asia- mainly Thailand and Cambodia in particular, I was shocked to see all the orphanages and destitute children. I will never forget all the beautiful Cambodian kids I connected with in siem reap. There was a big group of kids who wanted to take a picture with me at the famous Angkor wat temples. Upon enquiring, I was told they were all orphans, yet they had the sweetest smile I had ever seen on anyone’s face. I made it a point to visit some of the orphanages and was really loved by what I saw. I then planted a seed in my mind that if I could ever help anyone, it would children like these who cannot help themselves. So I decided to chart a foundation of my own; the Uupala foundation. I intend to do much more fundraising in the near future. Other than this, I have actively supported several charities in California and also around the world. Some of the ones I closely work with are 600.Org for stray dogs, Reading, writing, its excited- literary program CCF- Cambodian children’s fund and teaching English to monks in Thailand. It always gives me more fulfillment and purpose to serve others in need.

What is your greatest achievement so far? 

I have had many magical moments on my journey so far. It seems the grandest opportunities have come from the most unplanned decisions. So I trust in divine timing and have faith in divine order. Perhaps moving here to LA all by my self 3 years from Sydney Australia is the most courageous thing I have done. Not knowing a soul, I had to pave my own path all along. I did not even have accommodation sorted when I landed at LAX. I just truest that I would work out just fine and it worked out better than that. But to single out an experience, I would say becoming an overnight sensation in China as certainly a highlight in my career. I made a very last minute random decision to fly to China from my holiday in Bali to attend a film festival I knew nothing of. It was such a lovely experience. But what transpired was nothing short of a miracle. I was representing an Indian movie there, and the film ended up winning 3 film awards on the night, including the major award “best Picture”. Mr. Jackie Chan who was honored that night for lifetime achievement award presented me with the award. I became front-page news on every newspaper and magazine and was also invited to the party with all several Asian politicians that thrown in honor of the movie that won. I partied all night and the next day when everyone on the street recognized me including immigration officer when I was leaving the country- I just had to pinch myself. I will never forget that experience for the rest of my life, even if I win an Oscar or a Nobel peace prize as it was so divinely orchestrated and had the sweet scent of magic on it.


What future plans do you have?
I am very excited about the future and have some good expectations. I have worked so very hard for the past few years and know that the efforts will bloom fruits soon. Looking to make my break into Hollywood TV and film. I have been very busy shooting several commercials and TV shows and hope that not only continues but also exponentially increases. I look forward to shooting a short and a feature in the UK this fall. I am also going to be attending the Asia Pacific Film Festival in Thailand at the end of the year as a Judge and delegate. I would like to also launch myself in the Dubai and MEA market as I feel they could relate to me as a brand. Working with some top photographers and endorsing more brands and products is also on the radar. Ultimately I want to enjoy the journey and have fun along the way. It always is about the journey and not the destination.

Photographer: Leon Fotografia
Make up and styling: Gabriela Lara

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