Medha Shankr, The Rising Star
Medha Shankr is being talked about for her compelling portrayal of Shraddha, the romantic interest of Manoj (portrayed by Vikrant Massey) in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s film 12th Fail, stepping into the shoes of the real-life IRS officer Shraddha Joshi to do so.
Her acting debut was the British television series Beecham House in 2019, where she gave a convincing performance as Roshanara. Her cinematic debut followed in 2021 with Shaadisthan, a Hindi teen musical film.
Medha Shankr explores her evolving Bollywood narrative, offering a deeper understanding of the person behind the character and the journey beyond the silver screen.
Did you anticipate this kind of success?
When I read the book, I knew this was an incredible story that needed to be told. As we filmed, the strong intuition that we were creating something special grew. But the success has surpassed my expectations.
Are you an ‘Insta girl’? How do you handle the sudden surge in followers?
I wasn’t into Instagram; my focus was on acting. The surge was unexpected after the OTT release. From 16,000 followers, I suddenly had 2.12 million. It comes with responsibility, and while I appreciate the love, I’m taking it easy.
How are you enjoying being one of the national crushes?
I’m loving it! I’m grateful for the love and enjoying every moment.
Who is Medha when not on set?
I love watching films and step out alone to watch them. I love playing TT, and singing (I’m trained in classical music). Music is integral to me. I also enjoy reading books, with Khaled Hosseini being my favourite author.
Who are your all-time favourite actors? Your B’wood favourites?
Undoubtedly, my all-time favourite actors are Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio. Their versatility and the way they bring characters to life have left a lasting impact on me. Shahrukh Khan is my favourite Bollywood star. In the current scenario, I admire Alia Bhatt and Deepika Padukone for their inspiring filmographies.
Did you dream of the glam world?
The seed of performing arts was always there. Growing up in Delhi, the dream seemed distant, but I was into singing and dancing. It felt like a dream until I realised ordinary people could make it in the industry.
Your debut film, Beecham House, What drew you to the role?
In 2018, I secured a role in Beecham House during auditions. Excited to be part of Gurinder Chadha’s project, portraying a Mughal Princess in a British series was a delightful proposition. Gurinder ma’am’s involvement influenced my decision to say ‘Yes’ to the project as a young and new actor in the industry.
Challenges you faced while preparing for the role of Shraddha?
Portraying Shraddha in 12th Fail was emotionally complex, given the real-life inspiration. The pressure to do justice to the role and meet the expectations of author Anurag Pathak, Shraddha Joshi, and IPS officer Manoj Sharma added a layer of challenge. Working under Vidhu sir’s direction, with the film’s emotional demands, made it a subtle yet demanding role. Working with Vikrant was amazing. He’s a phenomenal actor, and when you work with great actors and with directors like Vidhu sir, the scenes transcend the script.
Do you have a mentor?
I don’t have a mentor, but I seek guidance from experienced people when I need to.
Any particular genre you want to try?
Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s work in period drama has always inspired me.
Portraying Shraddha in 12th Fail was emotionally complex, given the real-life inspiration. The pressure to do justice to the role and meet the expectations of author Anurag Pathak, Shraddha Joshi, and IPS officer Manoj Sharma added a layer of challenge. Working under Vidhu sir’s direction, Made it a subtle yet demanding Role.”