Despite what the terminology may suggest, my identity of Asian American isn’t half-and-half or two complete cultural identities inside one individual.

Interview with Gowri Nadella

Introduce yourself! 

Hi! I’m Gowri Nadella, and I’m a 17-year-old model and actress, among many other things, from Chicago! 

Along with your print modeling work, you also were featured in The Head and The Heart’s music video “See You Through My Eyes” (released 2019). How was that experience? How has it influenced your career going forward?

I learned so much from that set, and it was an incredible way to be introduced to the world of film because a film set is so different from a modeling set. Being a young teen and working with such talented actors, producers, Warner Brother executives, directors, and many more incredible people was an experience that has really shaped who I am today. It’s not commonplace for a 15-year-old to be navigating those types of situations, which is one of the things I love about being on set, particularly our set for “See You Through My Eyes.” I am forever grateful for getting that experience at such a young age. It really solidified my love for the arts.

To answer the second part of the question, from every set I work on, I learn more and more. I’ve been doing this for just about two years, and I feel like I have so much to learn! It is the most exciting and liberating feeling to become more confident and challenge myself more with every project I work on.

What are you up to now? How has this time of COVID-19 affected you and your work?  

COVID-19 definitely put a pause on the fashion industry for a few months, but it’s impossible to stop an industry as diverse and creative as the entertainment/fashion industry from pivoting and finding new ways to continue making art. I feel like that also describes my personal journey these past few months. During quarantine, I had a lot of free time and often used that free time to recenter and reground myself, as I feel that staying centered within yourself makes your work more authentic. I was also very fortunate that me and my family were/are healthy, and I used my time during quarantine to relax at home!

Who are your role models? 

I would say one of my role models is Adesuwa Aighewi—every time I listen to her speak, I learn something new! I love her perspective and the way she’s able to express herself. Not to mention she has incredible style! Career-wise, I respect how hard she works and would love to do the things she’s doing in the industry when I’m older. 

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

To listen to my intuition. My mom told me this when I was really young, and it definitely stuck with me. My parents raised me in a way that would exemplify my natural spirit, and I feel like that quote is an extension of myself. 

What does self-care mean to you? How do you take care of yourself? 

I feel like self-care is more important now than ever. I know that is definitely something I learned throughout the course of last year. I’m very much the type of person who will work for hours on end and go to bed exhausted. So, for me, self-care means recentering myself and doing things that genuinely make you feel good! In my case, that’s going on drives, meditating, listening to my favorite music, eating healthy, among others.

What is something people would be surprised to learn? 

That I have an adventurous and easygoing side to myself, I’m pretty much down to do anything at any time. But my favorite thing to do is ride Motorcycles—my uncle taught me how when I was 9 years old on our farm in India, and pretty much anything outdoors. I especially love hiking and tubing! Unfortunately, there’s not really anywhere to go tubing in Illinois 🙂

What has been the most rewarding part of your day so far?

I love this question, thank you for asking! I would say definitely painting with my family. My family decided to repaint some of our rooms and today we painted our bathroom. My mom and I painted and danced to music- it was a blast. We probably listened to Levitating by Dua Lipa for 45 minutes straight. And now there’s paint everywhere!

Here are some rapid-fire questions: 

Your go-to Starbucks order? 

I’ve always preferred tea over coffee, so I would definitely order a Black Tea with Coconut Milk and Sugar. And maybe a cinnamon-raisin bagel…I love their bagels.

Favorite Music Artist?

Bazzi 

Favorite color? 

Yellow 

Favorite season?

Summer 

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Fun, Passionate, Driven 

Ultimate comfort food?

Pizza Hut Breadsticks!

What is next for you? 

Acting-wise, there is something so exciting in the works that I am hoping to share later this week. I have a few meetings planned for this week with some incredible people, and I am so excited. It’s something I have been dreaming of my whole life. As for modeling, there is also something really exciting in the works that I can’t wait to share!


Gowri Nadella (born February 13, 2004) is a multifaceted American model and actress. Starting at the age of 13, Gowri has worked on a variety of projects, ranging from modeling work to voice-over roles. She has graced the pages of several magazine publications (photo Vogue Italia, SEEMA Magazine, Alpha Teen) and has done various TV/Film projects (‘See You Through My Eyes, Globalme). Gowri’s fun and easygoing personality combined with her drive and passion for the arts is evident in her work and personal life, where she strives to work hard and positively impact those around her. 

Social profiles: 

Instagram: @gowrinadella


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Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

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