Reshma Shetty, a star of USA Network’s Royal Pains, answers a few questions about the enchanted life she doesn’t take for granted.
As Divya Katdare in Royal Pains, the medical series set in the Hamptons, Reshma Shetty has her hands full. In real life she’s equally busy, with a background to match. A classically trained opera singer who made her big debut as the lead in Broadway’s Bombay Dreams, she was born in India and raised in England and Virginia. Here she talks to us about her time on the East End, what makes a perfect summer and remembering to give back.
HAMPTONS: What have you learned about the Hamptons after filming there for a couple of seasons? Did anything surprise you?
RESHMA SHETTY: I have learnt that the traffic can be brutal! And that there is always something happening somewhere behind the relaxed façade of the coastline.
What do you like to do on your days off?
I love to read. I have recently been plowing through Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy. I have started to love taking pictures with my new Pansonic Lumix, but haven’t used it to its full potential as of yet. Maybe reading the manual would help?
What makes a summer perfect for you?
I work during the summer, so the weekends are my time off to be with friends and family. A perfect summer is one with low humidity, good company, patios and good wine! This summer is also my time to get the preparations for my wedding in full swing. So most of my summer spare time is with my planner on patios with wine.
How do you feel about where you are now in your career?
When I grew up in England, there were only two other girls [in my circle of acquaintances] who were ethnic. Everyone else was white British. I remember as a little girl seeing all the American shows. I wasn’t allowed to, but I would sneak-watch Dynasty and Dallas. I would watch Cheers and The Cosby Show and The Wonder Years—those were the things that were shown to us there. I had a definite idea of America, and I had a definite idea of New York. I never imagined that I would be an actor, living in New York City and having the lifestyle that I saw on television.
And you like to give back.
I’m very interested in little girls in India. My family moved from India—I’m first-generation—but they didn’t need to. I was very lucky and was born into a middle-class family, but there are little girls there who could also be actresses in New York. Who could also be doctors. Who could cure cancer. But they’re not given the chance because of their circumstances and the family they’re born into. I have my name with Lend-A-Hand India, which is a really interesting charity. They actually focus on a generation that most people don’t—they focus on high school kids who are from rural villages and don’t have enough money to go to college. They put them into schools of labor, meaning they learn a skill. They will learn how to be a plumber or a carpenter and then they in turn can go back to their villages and be part of the working structure of the village, which I think is wonderful.