Neela was born and raised by her mother, worked as a hostess in Kabukicho. Neela was considered a "Gaijin" by the locals and was teased mercilessly because she was a foreigner. At some point, Neela met and befriended Takashi. When Neela was ten, her mother died.
An orphan with nowhere to turn, she was taken in by Takashi's grandmother. At a young age, Neela and Takashi developed an interest for drifting. Their interest was such that Neela and her friends would cut class to travel up to the mountain to watch the older kids they knew drift in their cars. Eventually, Neela and Takashi's relationship became romantic and they began to date. However, Takashi became possessive of Neela and he slowly became someone she felt unsafe around.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Neela is among the first students in a class that Sean Boswell arrived late to at Madakura High School to notice him. At the parking garage where illegal street races are held and observed, Neela arrives in her 2004 Mazda RX-8 and complains about the responsiveness of her car to Earl and Reiko. Sean approaches her, using her car as a way speak with her.
While Neela is amused by Sean's self-professed love for cars, she evades his questions about where she was from. Their conversation is interrupted when Takashi steps and insults Sean, calling him a "Gaijin". Sean defends Neela's right to speak with him, inadvertently challenging Takashi to a race, which Neela was against.
After Sean loses the race, Neela meets him some time after he has fallen under the debt of Han Seoul-Oh. She makes light of the fact that they've run into each other again and asked what he was doing in the area. Sean makes light of the fact that he met with Takashi when he was with Han. Neela warns him that he wants no part of the world she and Takashi live in, but Sean assumes that her association with it makes it good enough be in.
Neela, however, is quick to remind him that he doesn't know anything about her as a person. Sean makes the mistake of assuming that her reasoning stemmed from the fact that he was considered a "Gaijin". He mistakenly assumes that she is an angry army brat whose parents neglected her and that she found a "family" with Takashi and his group. Upset, Neela is quick to tell Sean he is wrong and distances herself from him.
Some time after Sean begins to learn how to drift, Neela encounters him again. She watches him break up a fight between Twinkie and Morimoto, who wanted a refund for the iPod he bought from Twinkie. Sean gives Morimoto his iPod, embarrassing Twinkie, who realizes everyone will want refunds for the products they bought from him. Amused, Neela remarks to Sean that it wasn't easy being the "hero" of that situation. Sean apologizes for what he said to her the other night. Neela accepts his apology and when the two meet again, Sean has mastered drifting and beats Morimoto in a race.
The two have dinner the following night and Neela confides in Sean about her childhood and her dead mother. The consequences of Sean and Neela getting to know each other, however, provokes Takashi, who assaults Sean and warns him to stay away from Neela. When Neela sees a bruised Sean arrive at school, she visits Takashi's place and declares that their relationship is over.
Takashi purported that the two of them weren't so different and insults her mother, recounting that her mother was considered "the best trick" in Kabukicho when Neela was a child. Takashi believes Neela would've ended up like her mother if his family hadn't taken her in when they did. Neela warns him to leave her mother out of their argument and poses the question of whether or not anyone would pay him any mind if it weren't for the reputation his uncle earned as a member of the Yakuza.
Following her confrontation with Takashi, she moves in with Han's crew. When Takashi confronts Han for stealing money from his uncle, Neela is forced to escape the garage with Sean when Takashi and Morimoto attack Han and the others. Neela accompanies Sean in his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VIII during their escape from Takashi and Morimoto. When the car is clipped and crashes, the two escape the wreck and witness Han's death.
Afterwards at Sean's dad's house, Takashi shows up and threatens to kill Sean, but Neela volunteers to leave with Takashi to avoid any bloodshed. When Sean shows up to make a deal with Takashi's uncle, Neela tells him that he shouldn't be there. After the race down the mountain in which Sean defeats Takashi, Neela is free of Takashi and Kamata and happily dates Sean. Following Sean's meeting with Dominic Toretto, Neela acts as the starter for their race.
|The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift||Mazda RX-8|
- Neela's appearance in Furious 7 is archive footage from The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift. Nathalie Kelley is not credited.
- In a deleted scene for Tokyo Drift, Neela meets Sean on the subway, prior to his late arrival to the Madakura High School. She prevents Sean from fighting with Morimoto when she offers to hold his bag and throws it onto the train.
- Archive footage from Tokyo Drift