You might hate Gen-Z for their lingo and their obsession with TikTok dances, but one thing we have to give them is the fact that they know how to stay on top of the digital game, be it with their funky fashion choices or their creativity. In the changing dimensions of the industry and gen-Z taking over the entertainment world, the beauty and popularity standards have been turned upside down. The Gen-Z attitude of not wanting to settle for one thing and in turn wanting it all is clearly what separates them from the rest. 

With an amazing sense of fashion, roaring social media clout and dedicated fan bases, the Gen-Zers Malika Mahat and Upasana Singh Thakuri are sure to make a place for themselves in your heart.

Concept, Coordination & Interview:@ esparshsarawagi
Photography: @photographer_coyo & @nurum_studio
Photo Edit: @gulember 
@suraj_lorent, @vlogs_with_rahul & @krish_sthapit
Wardrobe: @anugraha.adh, @nsbyjenny_ktm, @kasa.kasastyle,
 Jewelry: @heranikcrafts 

 Makeup: @yangjen_tama
 Hair: @hairartist.durga
 Styling: @basnatbuda & @binitamang2020
Accessories: @anx_studio
Venue: @hyattplacektm


Wardrode: @nsbyjenny_ktm


She’s young, driven, 
and in no hurry to ‘make it.’ 

Born and brought up in Kathmandu, Malika Mahat has been leading the way with her bright talent, humor, authenticity, and Gen Z social media savvy. Apart from her unbottled charm and acting chops, Malika is currently pursuing her undergrad degree. There is no question or any doubt, the 23-year-old, who forayed into the entertainment industry around five years back has now firmly established herself as an actor. Till date, Mahat has been a part of two movies namely, “Yatra” and “Paani Photo” followed by more than 30 music videos and 20 commercial advertisements. Malika received an award for her music video Phul Butte Sari which broke the record for the fastest video to cross 1 million and 10 million views on YouTube followed by her next music video Tadha Bhaye Pani which then broke the record as the fastest one with 10 million views.

"After success and fame, I actually became wiser and more grounded. I can’t explain exactly how, but maybe I saw the change in people and how one gets treated based on their status. This made me realize we humans are funny beings."

Soaring high on her laurels, Malika shows no signs of slowing down while her candor emphasizes gratitude and appreciation for her life so far, beyond the success she has achieved, “I find myself very fortunate as I am doing what my heart desires. Looking back, it feels like yesterday when I got an email from the team of Yatra auditions where I auditioned for three days before landing my first movie. Through all these years, I have learned and met some wonderful people who’ve helped me get closer to my art and myself.”



This pretty, doll-like diva started her career in 2019 and shows no signs of slowing down. The 24-year-old aspiring star who grabbed our attention with her presence in her first project with Anmol KC in ‘Captain’ and then the highest grossing Nepali franchise movie of all time 'Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi' is on the rise. Three-film-old Upasana has impressed the fashion police in a short span of time. With her sheer brilliance and exemplary performances, she has proved herself to be a talent house. Along with this, Upasana is an internet sensation who never fails to impress her fans with her fun pictures. However, it’s only when you actually meet Upasana you get a startling taste of her earnestness. She may appear childlike, but she isn’t naive and her self-depreciating humor and unadulterated honesty make her an anomaly in her own right.

She appears reticent at first, but is garrulous when she unravels from her shell. She talks about how her affinity for cinema sparked off at childhood, “I have been a huge fan of his work since my school days. I remember skipping my exams just to watch his movies. This one time, we had a project assigned at our college where we had to choose one particular industry and make a presentation about it. I remember writing about the Nepali film industry but all I talked about was Saugat dai.”

"I do believe gen Z-ers are proving to be an asset to the industry. There weren’t many of us but now there are so many and they are all so creative and they bring new ideas and concepts which I believe is changing the society in a good way. I love how this generation is normalizing things that are supposed to be normal but are not."



How hard was it to get into the industry?
I believe we are all destined to be taking the task that we are given in this life and maybe for me it was acting and so I never had to put an effort to get into the film industry, instead work always came my way when I just had to make the decision whether to do it or not. I am very grateful for this.

How does your family perceive your work?
My family has been my biggest support without any doubt. They not only support me in my career but also guide and give me suggestions to help me take the right path in every step of my journey. In fact, I discuss in detail every project of mine and with mutual agreement I sign for the work.

How do you deal with your vulnerabilities? Do you often put up a strong-front?
Since a very young age I have been self reliant and now it’s a part of my personality. I don’t show my weak side to anyone. This does affect me emotionally but I have learnt to deal with it on my own.

What are some of the personal beliefs that you firmly stand by professionally?
Having everyone on the same page while doing a project is something I always seek. It not only makes things clear but each member can feel close to each other as they share a common emotion. I feel this is what makes for great team work. Also, in the set, I make sure everyone is treated equally and I firmly stand against any sort of bullying, hate or catcalling to anyone in the team.

What do you have to say about the Nepali film industry? 
The Nepali film industry is just like any other entertainment industry. Everyone here has a passion for film making and every individual is trying to achieve his/her dreams in their own way. I personally am a very straight-forward person and am mostly only interested in my work and in getting better in my performance, so I connect in a very superficial level with the industry.

What is your earliest memory of acting? Can you share an incident of you acting when you were a young kid?
Grade four was when I was first introduced to acting. I, along with my friends, took part in a drama entitled Madhu Malati which was organized by my school back then.

What motto do you live by?
Where there is a will there is a way

Any particular film or role that helped you discover the actor in-depth in you?
My entire experience in the set of Paani Photo helped me discover all aspects of me as an actor. It happened so naturally and subconsciously that I didn’t consider this a learning but rather a personality that I now live by. 

What about you has remained the same even after achieving such success?
After success and fame, I actually became wiser and more grounded. I can’t explain exactly how, but maybe I saw the change in people and how one gets treated based on their status. This made me realize we humans are funny beings.

Are you the kind to thrive on healthy competition, or do you simply ignore it and focus on yourself?
My competition has always been me; I don’t seek to be better than anyone but I try to take out the best in me. 

How does it feel like being a Gen Z star?
Being a Gen Z in the industry most of the times feels a little disconnected because the team usually has a slightly different way of looking at things compared to my vision. In the coming years, it’s going to be people from today’s generation who will slowly take over with a new and fresh vision. With the right dedication, discipline and learning from our seniors with creative minds, no doubt Gen-ers are the ones to look out for. Sometimes, it’s a little tough to put forward my ideas and vision because I don’t want to come off disrespectful to seniors but luckily, I have been working with a team who are open to suggestions and listen to what I have to say which also makes me feel more at home.

The biggest highlight of your career so far
Phul Butte Sari.

How do you prepare so that you can bring the right amount of realism and emotion to a scene?
I empathize with the character. I am a newbie, and I am constantly learning the ropes. I spend a lot of time with the directors because I feel they have a clear idea of what exactly they want from a character. I believe in spending time with them and getting to know the character inside out, from what’s going on in their minds to their mannerisms. I also like to be completely prepared with my lines. I used to mug up stuff in school, so learning my lines, naturally, became the easiest part.

How did you learn to manage things?
One never learns to manage things perfectly because life doesn’t always serve you with the same situations. Likewise, I am also just trying to do what I can at the moment to manage things.I try and balance it all. For example, even after this interview, I have a long schedule of shoots, but I am still going to go and spend some time with my friends. I try my best to constantly keep in touch with my friends and have my meals with my family. At the end of the day, spending time with my loved ones is important as it helps me to retain my sanity.


Wardrabe: @kasa.kasastyle

How does your family perceive your work?
Luckily, I have been blessed with very supportive parents and family who always make sure to show me that they are proud of my work. This motivates me to strive to do better. My parents keep talking about the way I portray myself out there. My mom especially keeps commenting about my work and gives feedback like a friend. She always has something new to say about my work. My mom loves Pakistani dramas and the actors in it so much that she keeps sending me their references. My dad doesn’t show much but I know deep inside he is very proud of me. I also discuss my movie scripts with them. I do follow whatever they ask me to do because I know most of the time, they are right. I actually feel it’s very important for us Gen-Zers to get our parents involved in the decisions because the industry is very manipulative and you got to be smart to sustain here. 

How do you deal with your vulnerabilities? Do you often put up a strong-front?
It used to be very hard for me to be vulnerable but with time I just feel that vulnerability is a common ground for every one of us. As humans we all have our own vulnerabilities, we’ve all been broken, we have our insecurities, weakness and I think it makes us human. I don’t like pretending or hiding my feelings, so I’ll be very vulnerable around people that I trust and love. I think it’s pretty normal and it also helps the bond to grow stronger and respectful. However, sometimes I do put in a strong front around people I don’t feel comfortable with because I like dealing with my vulnerabilities just around people that I trust and love.

Any particular film or role that helped you discover the actor in-depth in you?
I have learned from all of my previous three movies and I’m still learning while shooting for my fourth one. My third project‘Dui Nambari’ was shot in a beautiful place ‘Lwang Gau’ where we were supposed to play the characters of the locals. So, staying there and living with the local people and listening to their stories and observing their everyday lives helped a lot in forming my character. I got a chance to observe their eyes, gestures, the things that make them happy, things they do in their leisure time, their dreams, their hopes, their clothes. 
However, in my first year, I remember getting trolled about my weight and facial features like my chin which made me feel so small and that I wasn’t good enough. But when I worked with Dayahang Rai dai in Kabaddi 3, that’s when I realized that these things don’t mean anything. 
Being comfortable in your own skin and not letting the worthless comments affect you helped me a lot to discover myself as an actor, cause that’s when you can give 100% concentration to your character and fully embody the character.

What projects are you working on next?
I have signed a few movie projects - Satyam and Yolo. I have been super excited for YOLO because the script is a fresh concept and new for the Nepali industry, targeting the younger audience. However, the team hasn’t confirmed the shooting / workshop dates yet. 
Besides movies, I’m working with an educational consultancy as their Brand Ambassador and I will be working on a few TVCs soon. 

What do you have to say about the Nepali film industry? 
Honestly, I have a lot of respect for the Nepali film industry. With the amount of capital, technologies, infrastructures that we have which is very little compared to other countries, people here are very passionate about what they do and they continue to do with such grace and determination. I honestly feel very privileged to be a part of the movie industry. I also felt how welcoming and supportive the industry is and I haven’t experienced any bias although I don’t come from a film background or had any experience beforehand. I have been nervous for some time but they have been super nice and encouraging. People are very accepting and easy to work with. However, I do believe we need to work on a few aspects like being really professional on the sets and making payments on time. We also need more women in this industry because we have a very small number of female writers, cinematographers, directories or technicians etc.

What is your earliest memory of acting? Can you share an incident of you acting when you were a kid?
I wouldn’t say acting but my first memory of being on stage and facing the crowd was in 2010. I participated in this beauty pageant called ‘Miss Little Idol 2010’ when I was 11 years old.
Although I didn’t win the pageant, it definitely boosted my confidence. That was the first time I ever faced a camera and hundreds of people were watching me. I felt a rush but it also gave me so much peace and comfort within.

What would be that one incident that changed your life?
I wouldn’t want to be very specific about it, but losing my closest family member has been the most life changing incident in my life. It made me realize how fast things can change and the fact that you still have to go on with your life without them. It made me appreciate the little things in life and even the smallest memories I have with my close ones. Before that incident I wasn’t used to expressing these things but now I think it is important, so that you don’t have any regrets later.

What are some of the challenges that come along? 
I think the main challenge that I’ve faced as a Gen Z actor is that sometimes people don’t take you seriously because of your age and everything. They don’t listen to you and treat you like a kid and try to manipulate you when they should be respecting you. Everyone’s supposed to be professional, but sometimes it’s not like that and that’s really difficult to react to.

One thing that bothers you at the set and something that keeps you going? 
Sometimes when people don’t act professionally around the set and things are unmanaged it bothers me a lot. 

Do you think sometimes it gets hectic because you’re the younger one at the set among your co-actors? 
It hasn’t been hectic at all for me. In fact, I have been very fortunate to have gotten the opportunity to work with senior legendary actors like Dayahang Rai dai , Saugat dai and Aryan dai , who have treated me and pampered me like their own. So has Anmol. They’ve all been the protective guardians and they always look after me and care for me. 

The biggest highlight of your career so far
Definitely working with Saugat Malla dai on the same screen. Working with him was a dream come true and working with the actor you’re obsessed with and have so much respect for feels surreal. Getting time to spend with him during the shoot has been super enlightening and special to me. 

What is the one thing you would never do onscreen even if you were offered an insane amount of money or equivalent in kind?
I think the movies that propagate the wrong message or stories that might be misleading or affects a certain group of people, gender, sex, society, culture, values, etc., I would never do that onscreen because I believe a lot of people take things from the movies seriously and I don’t want to disrespect anyone or be part of a movie that puts out a misleading message.

Wardrobe: @kasa.kasastyle

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be? 

Your fav go-to look? 
Oversized coat, martin boots accompanied with either jeans, skirt or joggers.

How do you decide what kind of look works for you? Or do you religiously swear by your stylist’s choice?
It’s always about the color. I have noticed shades of pink, black and white look good on me so I try to surround my outfits around those colors.

What is your favorite fashion trend?
Mild Goth fashion.

What are your wardrobe staples?
Tank tops.

An actor you wish to work with in future?
Saugat Malla.

Tell us about your style.
Casual and comfortable!

Current fashion trend you’re obsessing with?
80’s fashion making a comeback.

Which colors dominate your wardrobe?
Black & Pink.

                                                                              -Malika Mahat


Fashion to you is? 
Comfort and that makes you feel YOU and at ease.

Your fav go-to look? 
A crop top or an oversized t-shirt with baggy pants, sneakers and cool shades. 

What is your favorite fashion trend?
Genderfluid fashion for sure. 

What are your wardrobe staples
My mom’s antique shades and her purses. 

Who is your fav Gen z / millennial actor? 
Aron piper, Zendaya and Divya dev.

One celebrity you look up to?
Besides Saugat Malla, I love Joaquin Phoenix and Bryan Cranston.

Current fashion trend you’re obsessing about?
Shirt under a sweater, momjeans and vintage skirts. 

Which colors dominate your wardrobe?
Black for sure.

                                                                 -Upasana Singh Thakuri