This Mumbai lass comes from a family of achievers. While she followed her father’s footsteps into the arts as he is an artiste, most family members, including her two brothers practice law. Infact, she too was studying law but destiny had other plans for her. While a student of law, Vaibhavi Shandilya did her first Marathi film which marked the acting debut of Bollywood actor Mahesh Manjrekar’s son Sathya in Janiva, in a tale of social justice.
After a couple of distinctive films in Marathi, she made her debut in Tamil with Server Sundaram along with actor Santanam. He is now paired with Vaibhavi in the upcoming Tamil film Sakka Poda Poda Raja. She also talks about her debut Kannada film Raj Vishnu starring opposite Sharan which is being produced by the popular Kannada producer Ramu, and more.
“Almost everyone in my family including my two brothers practice law. It is only my father, who is an artiste, who graduated from the prestigious JJ School of Arts. Like my brothers, even I was studying law. However, when I was in my second year, I got this great opportunity to work in a Marathi film, and thereafter everything changed. I could not continue with law as I felt more satisfied as an actress and spent more time refining my acting abilities by attending workshops,” says Vaibhavi Shandilya.
The actress who makes her debut in the Kannada film Raj Vishnu, says it was the original Tamil film Rajini Murugan which inspired her to opt for the remake. “While shooting in Tamil films, I had come across this film, and I totally loved the character played by Keerthy Suresh. When I heard that Ramu Enterprises was taking up the remake in Kannada, I could not let it slip away. I was in love with the female protagonist. I could not have asked for more when I was selected.
The bonus is that the film is being produced by the prestigious Ramu Enterprises banner and Sharan Sir is playing the lead with popular actor Chikkanna, pairing up with Sharan Sir after a long time,” she reveals.
Though her parents were apprehensive about her choice of career, they have been very supportive and confident about her choice of films.
“People in the South have been very kind, especially the Kannadigas, who have big hearts. Sharan Sir and Chikkanna have been very supportive right from the beginning. Though, I could not understand the language, I tried my best to learn it on the sets. I would get the dialogues written in the Devanagari script, as it similar to my mother tongue Marathi, and also in English so I could get the pronunciation right,” Shandilya says, adding that Sharan has been a huge help, and she learnt a lot from him.
“He (Sharan) is such a humble person. After his vast experience in his journey to become a lead actor, he still remains simple and approachable. He is very patient and helpful. On the first day of shoot, he came asking for me, and ensured that I was comfortable. It was so nice of him to do that as a senior actor. I was moved when he wanted to know if I needed any help or assistance during my stay here,” says the Mumbaikar.
About her journey in South Indian films, the actress owes it to the famous senior Marathi actress Renuka Shahne, who guided her. “I consider her my godmother. It is she who helped me through it all, and even today, I consult her before taking any decision in my career,” she adds.
The Maharashtrian reveals that she is in love with the local cuisine, and since coconut is a common ingredient both in Maharashtrian food and in local fare, she always makes it a point to find her way to Udupi cafes and restaurants in Mumbai for yummy idlis and she even tried some Ragi Mudde locally....