Entertainment Tollywood 09 Jan 2023 ‘I wanted to b ...

‘I wanted to be a blend of western and Indian culture’: Chandrika Ravi

Published Jan 9, 2023, 8:38 am IST
Updated Jan 9, 2023, 8:38 am IST
Pageant winner, model and Indo-Australian actress Chandrika Ravi talks about her journey and special song in Balakrishna-starrer Veerasimha Reddy. (Photo by arrangement)
 Pageant winner, model and Indo-Australian actress Chandrika Ravi talks about her journey and special song in Balakrishna-starrer Veerasimha Reddy. (Photo by arrangement)

Who would have thought that a small town girl from Australia will make it in showbiz, on her own? Born to South Indian parents, Chandra Ravi always dreamt of being part of Indian films. Her parents put her in performing arts where she started learning acting and dance at the age of three. Soon Chandrika’s interest grew and she decided to make a career in showbiz. She learnt acting and modelling and was the first Indian descent woman to become a Miss World Australia and Miss India Australia in 2012 finalist.

“There came a time where I had to either come to India or relocate to Los Angeles (LA) to pick up a career in acting. And I moved to LA because it’s a happening place and larger-than-life symbol of the entertainment business,” Chandrika reveals, adding that she wanted to perform in theatre, film and TV.
“I got a Diploma in acting from the prestigious New York Film Academy. During the course I understood several nuances of the craft and how things progress. I just don’t want to be a western girl who can act. I wanted to be a woman who is culturally rooted and modern in approach. I don’t want to be a typical Western woman; I wanted to be a blend of western and Indian,” the actress says.

Apart from theatre, Chandrika was also part of television and web shows in the US. She says working with them has been a different experience.
For the past 10 years she had been shuttling between LA and India. Her first Indian film, Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuththu (2018) was in Tamil. She followed it up with a couple of other films before making her Tollywood debut.

She was recently part of a special song Maa Bava Manobhavalu from Balakrishna-starrer Veerasimha Reddy.  The fact that the song is a big blockbuster is yet to sink in for the actress. “It’s incredible, and I had never ever received such love and reception from the audience. I am truly overwhelmed,” she says, adding that working with Balakrishna has been a great experience.
“When the film’s director Gopichand approached me for the song, I liked it and I flew down from LA to Hyderabad. I straightway went to the sets and wrapped up the song in five days.”

Adding that she grew up watching South and Hindi films, Chandrika says that she knew doing films in India is a different experience, and she thoroughly enjoyed it. “I see a lot of Indian films and am actually learning the language. In fact, I am understanding a lot more about our culture than I actually thought I would,” she says, reminding us she is also very spiritual.

“My parents have taught me everything and I can recite any mantra. I am an Australian-Indian girl; I can wear a bikini at a beach; the next day I can wear a pattu saree and I can be the same person and it doesn’t make me any less. So my parents wanted me to set an example for several other women who have witnessed and experienced various cultures to keep up the traditions,” she says.
Her 30 years of acting and dancing was good enough experience for her not to audition. “I am also one of the first Indian girls to do several talk shows in the West. I am writing and directing a few shows including a cooking show. So growing up I was always brought up in a way where I always felt proud of what I was doing,” says Chandrika, describing herself as a strong woman.

It’s been a few years into the industry, and the actress says life hasn’t been very different. “I am still the same girl and I am glad so far on how things have been shaping up for me in cinema. And I am looking forward to a longer stint here,” Chandrika says, signing off .



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