Let’s sail through the joyous spirit of the holiday season in style. Actress Reba Monica John graces the holiday scene with her impeccable style, ushering in the New Year with glamour and elegance. Known for her on-screen charisma and off-screen grace, Reba has curated a New Year’s fashion statement that perfectly captures the essence of the season. Step into the mesmerising universe of Reba Monica John’s New Year’s attire, where sophistication gracefully intertwines with the joyous vibes of celebration.

Tell us about your journey into the world of acting and how you discovered your passion for the entertainment industry?
My entry into acting was rather serendipitous, diverging from the conventional paths of many in the industry. While I excelled academically and in various extracurricular activities during my school and college years, my foray into the entertainment realm began with a reality show in Malayalam called ‘Midukki,’ where I secured the position of 2nd runner-up. The exposure from the show garnered attention, particularly among younger audiences, and opened doors to opportunities in television commercial.

Given that these commercial shoots were brief and wouldn’t disrupt my academic pursuits, I embraced them as a new avenue to explore. During one such commercial shoot, I discovered that the director Vineeth Srinivasan was also a casting director for a significant Malayalam film, ‘ Jacobinte Swargarajyam,’ slated for release around 2016. When approached for a potential film debut, I deliberated but ultimately saw it as another intriguing opportunity, especially since it coincided with my academic breaks.

My debut in ‘Jacobinte Swargarajyam,’ alongside notable figures like Nivin Pauly, Renji Panicker and was met with considerable success, enjoying a run of 111 days in theaters and receiving positive reviews. The entire experience, from filming to the post-release euphoria, was profoundly rewarding. It was then that I realised my passion for acting and decided to pursue it further, marking the inception of my journey in the film industry.

Growing up in South India, were there any cultural influences or experiences that shaped your sense of style and fashion?
I was raised in an upper-middle-class family that prioritized quality, especially when it came to clothing. My mother, with her impeccable sense of style, always had an eye for selecting attire that not only looked good but also felt right. Her fashion sensibilities undoubtedly influenced my own choices during my formative years.

While I was born in Kerala, my upbringing predominantly took place in Bangalore. This urban setting significantly shaped my fashion perspective. Compared to the more traditional sartorial norms observed in Kerala during that period, Bangalore’s cosmopolitan environment encouraged a more avant-garde approach to fashion. Here, the acceptance of contemporary clothing like jeans was more widespread, allowing for greater experimentation and comfort in personal style.

In essence, the city in which one grows up undeniably influences one’s fashion choices. My upbringing in Bangalore afforded me the opportunity to explore diverse styles and embrace a more modern aesthetic, giving me a distinct advantage in navigating the world of fashion.

In your role as an actress, what do you enjoy most about connecting with your audience, and how do you bring your personal touch to your movies?
One of the most rewarding aspects of working in the film industry is the opportunity to portray a diverse array of characters, each offering a unique glimpse into various walks of life. This allows me to resonate with a wide spectrum of audiences, transcending gender and age barriers. For instance, my portrayal of Anita, an acid attack survivor in the film ‘Bigil,’ deeply touched viewers across demographics, eliciting a profound emotional response. It’s heartening when individuals approach me to express how they empathized with the character’s journey and pain.

As an actor, I believe there’s a profound responsibility to use this platform to enlighten and educate society. By delving into stories across different languages, encompassing all four major South Indian film industries, I’ve been privileged to connect with audiences from diverse cultural backgrounds within Southern India. The unwavering support and appreciation I’ve received from each linguistic community reaffirms the power of storytelling in fostering unity and understanding. I remain deeply grateful for these enriching experiences and the connections they’ve fostered.

Working in entertainment sector, how do you think your background as an actress contributes to your approach to fashion and lifestyle?
Working in the entertainment industry inherently places you at the forefront of fashion, setting trends that many look up to and emulate. As an actress, the spotlight intensifies during events like red carpets, where every sartorial choice be it silhouette, color, or accessories is scrutinized. This necessitates a keen awareness of what suits one best, ensuring optimal presentation to a vast audience.

Given my personal affinity for fashion, I relish the opportunity to experiment and innovate with clothing, jewelry, and makeup. This journey of sartorial exploration is not only personally fulfilling but also resonates with fans who often seek inspiration from my looks. It’s gratifying to know that one’s style choices can influence and inspire others.

Being in this industry amplifies one’s role as a trendsetter, offering a platform to showcase diverse fashion sensibilities. This aspect of my profession is something I deeply cherish, as it allows me to blend creativity with influence, shaping fashion narratives in meaningful ways.

As a style icon, how do you approach selecting outfits for New Year’s celebrations, balancing both comfort and glamour?
In the past, fashion leaned towards simpler Western wear like basic dresses or suits. Now, there’s a plethora of options playsuits, jumpsuits, skirts with crop tops, and coordinating sets. This diversity allows for creative mixing and matching. Personally, I enjoy pairing a shimmering top with different bottoms for varied looks. While I prioritize comfort, I appreciate that today’s fashion offers both style and comfort in tandem, striking a perfect balance.

What is your go-to colour palette for New Year’s, and how do you incorporate these vibrant hues into your celebratory looks?
For New Year’s, I gravitate towards glitter and shimmer in various shades—blues, silvers, subtle gold’s, and striking reds, with black being a standout choice. A shimmering black dress I wore last Christmas remains a memorable favourite. Black, especially with shimmer, exudes elegance and is a timeless choice for festive occasions.

In the spirit of giving, do you have any favourite fashion or beauty items that you love to gift during the New Year’s season?
I believe many share my affinity for glitz and shimmer, especially during festive seasons. When selecting gifts for girlfriends or women in general, a classic shimmer dress often tops my list. Alternatively, a luxurious perfume or a high-quality eye shadow palette can also make excellent choices. Investing in a signature fragrance or a versatile makeup palette can elevate one’s festive and glamorous look.

What are your top three fashion essentials for the holiday season that every fashion-forward individual should have in their wardrobe?
This holiday season, velvet is undeniably trending. Its luxurious texture instantly adds a touch of sophistication and screams festive elegance. A classic velvet dress, whether in deep red, emerald green or timeless black, is a must-have. In terms of jewellery, I swear by versatile statement pieces. I own a pair of gold earrings gifted by my mother that complements any Western outfit, be it a dress, skirt, or pant-top ensemble. Such signature jewelry effortlessly elevates any look, negating the need for heavy accessorising.

Lastly, a signature perfume is indispensable. A quality fragrance not only enhances your presence but also boosts confidence. It’s a holiday essential that uplifts your spirits instantly. In essence, these three elements—velvet attire, versatile jewelry, and a captivating perfume define my festive style.

How do you celebrate New Year’s Eve with your family and friends, and how does your fashion sense evolve during these festive gatherings?
While I’m not particularly inclined towards grand parties, I cherish celebrating New Year’s Eve in the company of close family and friends. I prefer the simplicity of intimate gatherings, yet I don’t forgo the opportunity to dress up. Even at home, I’ll don a sequined dress to infuse a touch of glamour.

As an actress, maintaining a fashionable persona is somewhat of a responsibility, albeit an enjoyable one. Fortunately, I have the privilege of working with talented stylists who are well-versed in current trends. Social media also serves as a valuable resource, offering a plethora of style inspirations from trendsetters worldwide. I frequently consult fashion magazines and collaborate with my stylist to curate looks that resonate with my personal style and the festive spirit.

Ultimately, my fashion choices not only reflect my individuality but also inspire my friends and family to embrace their unique styles in their own way.

Can you offer a sneak peek into any exciting upcoming projects you have in the pipeline for the coming year?
Looking ahead to 2024, I’m thrilled about my upcoming projects. I’m in discussions for a Tamil film, marking my return to the genre after a significant gap. Additionally, there are prospects for a Malayalam and a Telugu film. If all goes well, a Kannada project might also be on the horizon. While details are still under wraps, I’m optimistic about kicking off these ventures around March.

Are there any specific roles or genres you are eager to explore in your future endeavours?
I’ve recently ventured into the comedy genre with a Telugu film, which was a delightful experience. While I have a penchant for horror, as seen in my Tamil film ‘Boo,’ I’m eager to explore other genres. I’m particularly interested in starring in a fantasy adventure, sci-fi, or even a superhero movie as a lead character. Additionally, I’m open to diving into full-fledged action-packed films. These are genres I’m enthusiastic about exploring in the near future.