It was after she won the first runners-up title at the Miss Grand International 2018 beauty pageant held in Yangon, Myanmar, that Haryana-born Meenakshi Chaudhary, who was crowned Miss Grand at the Femina Miss India 2018 pageant, discovered her passion to act and decided to test the waters in the glamour field.
“I was studying in my third year of dentistry when I auditioned for Miss India. But stepping into the field was a childhood dream and my extracurricular activities in school had added to my interest in foraying into modelling. After the pageant show, I started getting several offers,” says the final-year dentistry student speaking of how life changed for her after the pageants.
“I come from a family of government servants, so I had no idea about showbiz. But I slowly and steadily fell in love with the camera and started balancing my modelling assignments with my studies.”
The pageant title opened up an array of opportunities for her. Soon, she was offered the soap opera Out of Love. Presently, though, she is working on her Tollywood debut opposite Susanth Anumolu in a Darshan-directorial, Ichata Vahanalu Niluparadu.
However, despite her travels to Hyderabad for her modelling assignments, Meenakshi didn’t know Telugu. So she enrolled in workshops to familiarise with the language as well as her character in the film.
Interestingly, the film, which began shooting in January this year, has already completed about 75 per cent of its shoot. In the film, Meenakshi plays a rather smart and modern girl who hails from a middle class family.
“She is strong and ambitious and falls in love with a guy. The different shades that come out as my character unfolds make for an exciting watch,” she puts in.
Meenakshi also tells us about how, before bagging her role in the Darshan-directorial, she had met Sushanth at an acting workshop in Mumbai.
“Funnily, neither of us knew who the other was — I did not know he was an actor and he did not know I was a pageant winner,” she tells us.
“Then on the last day of the workshop, when everyone was introducing themselves, we understood who the other was. Thereafter with a little more research on him, I also understood that he is actor Nagarjuna’s nephew,” explains the actress.
Apparently, a month after the workshop, Sushanth called Meenakshi to share a film script. She liked it and the rest, as they say, is history. “In other words, it was my workshop that became my audition trials,” she chuckles.