After continuously circling back to the fascinating, yet ever-evolving, entertainment industry realm, Tahirah Sharif describes that the gravitational pull was just too strong, as her heart will always be with the artistry of acting. She graciously explains that if acting is something that burns within you, then you need to do it and you need to see it through. After reluctantly taking her own advice some years ago, Tahirah Sharif now stars in the hit Netflix series, The Haunting of Bly Manor, proving to herself that acting can be a viable, yet fulfilling, career path. In this exclusive interview, we had the opportunity to chat with the charming and equally witty starlet to discuss her newest role in The Haunting of Bly Manor, an overview of her past in the entertainment industry, and how her onscreen character, Rebecca Jessel, influenced her personal style.
Megan Morgante: Did anything/anyone, in particular, inspire you to enter the entertainment industry?
Tahirah Sharif: Two things. I did a school play and I was the only six-year-old involved. I took it so seriously, I was obsessed with learning my lines and I would never giggle while on stage. I just remember enjoying my time during that play and embodying the character. I was always an avid reader growing up and that brought forth a lot of my imagination. My mom wasn’t massive on television or computer games. She was an English teacher, so she always encouraged us to read. So, I just loved imagining things, and that’s what initially sparked my love for acting. There was also a film back from the ‘80s called, The NeverEnding Story, and I would pester my mom to watch that film again and again. Still, I know every single word from it and I would act out the scenes. I would tell my tiny self, “Tahirah, there’s not actually a dragon there.” I was a weird kid, I would act out all of the scenes and drive my family insane.
MM: Can you give an overview of your past in the entertainment industry and how it led you to where you are now?
TS: I went to the Brit School for Performing Arts & Technology here in London when I was sixteen-years-old. I left school and I didn't pursue any type of acting until many years later. I knew I didn't want to go to an accredited drama school for three years because I just thought, “...It’s just so much money and there's no guarantee of a job afterward.” No one in my family or my inner circle at that point was in the entertainment industry, so no one knew anything about agents or how to make this an actual career. So, it was initially encouraged that I ma