Shreya Chaudhary spills the beans on tasting success

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Shreya Chaudhry, who is in the news because of the success of her OTT series Bandish Bandits, made her Bollywood debut with Dear Maya (2017), where her co-stars were Madiha Imam and Manisha Koirala. The film had her playing a young girl who writes letters to a lonely old lady.

Shreya has fond memories of the film and says she learnt much from Manisha Koirala. She is a diehard boxing enthusiast and is also into MMA training. That explains her well-toned body. And she loves driving big bikes. Like her character Tamanna Sharma from Bandish Bandits, she owns a Bullet and goes on long rides during her free time. She could certainly relate to that part of her character in the series.

Shreya became an actor because of her elder brother Karan, who is now settled in the US and whom she loves to death. Younger siblings often idolise the elder and such was the case with Shreya too. Her brother had an outgoing personality and was always winning elocution and debate competitions in school. The actress, who was something of an introvert back then, was inspired by him to take part in such competitions herself. After being scared initially, she found she rather liked facing a sea of people and putting her points across to them. She opened up on stage and then there was no turning back. She was good academically and taking part in extra-curricular activities resulted in her being named the head girl of her school. “The seed for performing was sown early on in my life,” she muses. She recalls having an unusual answer as a child when someone asked her what she would become when she grew up. She chuckles, “When someone asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, they expected ‘doctor’ or ‘lawyer’ to be my answer but I used to tell them I wanted to be a mirror because I wanted everyone to look at me.”

Born to a Maharashtrian mother and Rajput father, Shreya reveals that her family is her biggest support system and it is they who watch her work even before she does. “They are also the ones who give me wings to fly while keeping me grounded. I always ask my family to watch my work before I do. As I’m aware that they’ll not hesitate to discuss the minus points as well.” While she was growing up, her father would organise movie nights on Friday and Saturday where apart from the Bollywood staple, the family was treated to Iranian,Korean, European, Hollywood and South cinema as well. That introduced her to different kinds of cinemas at a young age. She got an opportunity to work in an advertisement while still in college. Today she’s an established name in the ad circuit. She has even done an ad with Ranbir Kapoor and other Bollywood biggies. Her parents were taken aback at first when she announced her decision to pursue modelling and acting. “When they realised how much I truly wanted to pursue it, they supported me completely. I think it was life changing when my parents told me not to do engineering just because I was good at math, but to pursue something I could see myself doing for the rest of my life, or I would be at a desk job unhappy with my choice.”

After making her mark as a model, she was itching to be an actor and the opportunity came her way when Imtiaz Ali signed her for a short film, The Other Way. Imtiaz was impressed by her acting skills and told her to give it a serious shot. As luck would have it, she bumped into Anand Tiwari, the director of Bandish Bandits, during an ad call and he called her for an audition for a music-based show that he was making for Amazon. She passed the audition with flying colours and the rest, as they say, is history.

Shreya Chaudhary

Shreya played the role of a singer in Bandish Bandits and had to undergo a lot of preparation to get the character right. “Luckily Anand Tiwari and producer Amritpal Bindra organised workshops before the shoot. So be it training in music and performing with singer and coach Akshit Parikh and choreographer Vijay Ganguly, interacting with composers Shankar Ehsaan Loy, visiting a music studio, listening to a scratch for the first time, understanding the mere basics of what goes into composing a song, everything  came in handy.”

She got an opportunity to work with Naseeruddin Shah in the show and learnt a lot from the veteran. “The best memory I have with Naseer sir was when Ritwik (Bhowmik) and I got to spend some time with him post the shoot and do an acting workshop with him. That was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and one of my fondest memories.” Here’s wishing this bindaas babe the very best for the future. 

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