Monalisa (Full Name: Mozeza Ashraf Monalisa) is a Bangladeshi model, dancer and actress. She was born in Dhaka, in 5 October 1984. Though, her ancestral home is Barisal. She first stepped into the showbiz as a ramp model, and within a short span of time, she won wide acceptance through her talented and eye-catching presence in TVCs (television commercials). Becoming the top model of the country was an easy passage for her, while she also opened her account as a TV actress. Although her initial wish was to become a dancer — having travelled to Turkey at a very early age as part of a dance tour — Monalisa became more involved with modelling and acting, but never left her love for dance.
Since childhood, Monalisa wanted to be a doctor. But her love for media eventually led her to the showbiz. Though she took part in extra-curricular activities such as plays, dance and singing competitions in school and college, and she was good at her studies too. Monalisa started her career as a ramp model in 1997, when she was 15 years old. In that year her mother submitted her photos to an advertisement firm. Few days later, the agency called her for a screen test. She was selected for a TVC and started the shooting. It was Fair and Lovely’s TVC directed by Tarik Anam Khan, was shot at BFDC. And when it was aired the response was astounding. Some of her notable TVCs are Lilly Beauty Soap, Fizz-Up, Fair and Lovely, Meril Lemon Soap, Swan Coconut Oil, Johnny Print Sari, Toshiba Colour Television and more.
Monalisa started acting for TV Dramas in late 90’s. She is a popular actress and has won some prestigious awards such as the BIMA (British Interactive Media Association) Award from London, Bangladesh Reporters Association award, Dhallywood award from America, Channel I Performance award and the Meril Prothom Alo award ‘02. However, Monalisa has become very selective while choosing TV Dramas. She considers that any actor’s frequent appearance on small screens causes annoyance to audiences thus decreasing his or her importance. But, if an actor appears on TV in lapses, the viewer becomes more interested in watching plays performed by him or her. Some of her notable TV Dramas are Boyosh Jokhon Ekhush, Kagojer Phool, “Apur Ekdin” directed by Mahfuz Ahmed, Humayun Ahmed’s “Trishna”, “Baji”, “Ektu Bhalobasha”, Bhandoloom”, “Romeora”, “All Rounder” and “Bhalo Theko Phul Mishty Bokul”
Unlike other models and TV actress in Bangladesh, Monalisa is not interested act for the silver screen. She received many movie offers since the beginning of her career. But she says she is more comfortable working in TV plays and modelling.