Actors Tara Sutaria (23) and Ananya Panday (20), the two new faces from Dharma Productions, have made their debut with Student of the Year 2 (SOTY 2). Tara was always a performer while Ananya grew up dreaming to be an actor. They talk about their respective experiences, forthcoming plans and working with Tiger Shroff. Excerpts:
Before SOTY 2, each of you had other plans. Tell us about landing this film.
Tara: I have always been a performer and my family made sure my twin sister Pia and I were rooted in arts and academics. As a child, I participated in drama, dance, and ballet, but acting always stood out. I met Karan (Johar) when I graduated from college, and auditioned for the role of Mridula in SOTY 2. When I was offered the role, I was overwhelmed. Bollywood is a new world for me. That being said, I will surely continue to dance, do ballet and theatre in some capacity.
Ananya: Being an actor was my life-long dream. However, I never thought I’d be able to fulfill it so soon. I had approached Karan (Johar) two years ago for career advice. I had plans to go to the University of Southern California for media studies. However, when I told Karan I had always dreamt of becoming an actor, he asked me to audition for SOTY 2. I deferred my studies twice but now I don’t plan to return as I am living the dream and learning so much.
Tell us about your experience of working with Tiger Shroff
Tara: Tiger and I are both shy and reserved individuals and Ananya is the exact opposite. The fact that we both love dancing helped us have good chemistry on screen. He lifted the level of performance when it came to action and dance sequences. It was amazing to see how focused he was.
Ananya: This was the first time I was seeing an established actor on the sets as my father (Chunky Panday) never took me to his shoots. I have made two amazing friends in him and Tara. They killed it with the dance sequences.
Could you talk a bit about your growing up years. Anyone in particular you have looked upto?
Tara: I come from a Parsi family. We didn’t watch too much Bollywood. When I started watching films, I looked up to Kangana Ranaut. She is a role model for a lot of outsiders like me as she made her way up purely on hard work and talent.
Ananya: I am in awe of Alia Bhatt. I have followed her career from her debut in the first SOTY film. When she was on the sets for the Hook up song with Tiger, I watched her like a fangirl. Besides her, Kareena Kapoor is another name. Her work in Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham (2001) and Jab We Met (2007) as Poo and Geet are some of my favourites.
What was it like being in a Dharma Productions movie?
Tara: I think it is a dream come true for any millennial to be cast in a Dharma film. I felt at home straight away.
Ananya: I wanted to be an actor all my life and having a Dharma film as my first one is the icing on the cake.
What has been your take-away from the film? What are your upcoming projects?
Tara: I have had teething troubles but I am hungry for more. I have finished my second film, Marjaavaan, with Siddharth Malhotra which is set to release on October 2, and I am working on a third film. I would love to share screen space with Varun Dhawan, Ranbir Kapoor, and Ranveer Singh.
Ananya: When I came in, I was very uptight and so Punit Malhotra (the director) made me do various workshops. One time he made me stand in a room and hurl abuses at him at full pitch. It helped me let go of my inhibitions and I feel I am now ready to take on more work. I would love to work with Ranveer Singh, Varun Dhawan and also my dad, Chunky Panday, at some point.