She is undoubtedly Bollywood’s new kid on the block. Elder girl of movie actor Chunkey Pandey and Bhavna Pandey, she has been awarded Best Debut for 2020 both by Filmfare and Zee Cine awards for her role in the teen film Student of the Year 2. She is Ananya Pandey. An alumnus of Dhirubhai Ambani International School in 2017, Ananya made her acting debut in 2019 with the teen film Student of the Year 2, co-starring Tiger Shroff and Tara Sutaria, which was produced by Dharma Productions. She next starred in Pati Patni Aur Woh (2019), a remake of the 1978 film of the same name, alongside Kartik Aaryan and Bhumi Pednekar. She played a secretary who indulges in an affair with a married man, which was portrayed by Ranjeeta in the original. With a worldwide gross of ₹1.15 billion (US$16 million), it emerged as a commercial success. Her forthcoming project is the action film Khaali Peeli, co-starring Ishaan Khatter. Also in the pipeline is Shakun Batra's as yet untitled romantic drama, alongside Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi. She will also team with Vijay Deverakonda for Puri Jagannadh's as yet untitled multilingual film Last year, she launched an initiative named ‘So Positive’ to create awareness about social media bullying, prevent negativity and build a positive community. At the 2019 Economic Times Awards, the project was named the Best Initiative of the Year. Here are some snapshots from a recent telecon interview-
1. Can you give a glimpse of your background before everyone came to know you?
Ananya- I was a shy girl basically. My sister is a naughty brat. Because I hail from a film family, because of my Papa, while in school only, I developed an interest in acting. I used to follow Aishwarya Rai a lot (giggles)
2. How are you as a person off camera? Give us a glimpse of your personal life for our readers (favourite food, hobbies, etc)
Ananya- (Laughs) I love baking cakes. And whenever that happens, I and my sister fight over who’s going to have more. I am crazy about Bollywood music, I play it all the time. I love Disney movies too. Lion King is my favourite. I am a damn good bathroom singer too (laughs)
3. Tell us about your acting process, How do you prepare for a role in general? Are you a methodical actor or a spontaneous one?
Ananya- Yeh sawal ka jawab toh Papa de payenge ( chuckles). Well, I am yet to evolve as a spontaneous actor. I really have to work hard. My Papa helps me a lot. And in the two movies I have acted in so far, my co-actors supported me very much, especially Kartik Aaryan.
4. Your biggest inspiration?
Ananya- Dadi. She is 81 years old, still gets up early in the morning, goes out for work too, and remains active till 9 PM at night. She’s a doctor. I think that's amazing.
5. What are the five things you surely carry when you move out of your house?
Ananya- Hmm. My mobile phone for sure, my favourite deo, lipstick as per colour of the day, my credit cards (laughs) and of course something to munch.
6. What are your favourite films?
Ananya- Kabhi khushi kabhi gam, Kal Ho na Ho, kuch kuch hota hai.. and of course Student of the Year 2. Basically all Dharma production films (chuckles)
7. What’s your favourite colour?
Ananya- PINK for sure. I am the Pink girl (laughs).
8. What is your style statement?
Ananya- It's super chill, very casual and clothes and makes me comfortable. I hate flashy, dark coloured heavy clothing.
9. Your favourite song?
Ananya- Pretty Woman from the movie Kal Ho na Ho. I think it's written for me. (blushes!)
10. Who’s your latest celebrity crush?
Ananya- Varun (Varun Dhawan)..(chuckles) Everyone knows that.
11. What irritates you the most?
Ananya- Latecomers. I am very particular about time, and I get very hassled if people are late.
12. Your thoughts about Autograph collection as a hobby.
Ananya- I remember the first autograph I signed (chuckles). It was on the first day of the shoot for Student of the Year 2. Otherwise, fans and people whom I meet during parties, film premiers, social gatherings, events etc. mostly try to take selfie/groupie photos with me. Autographs bahut kam log mangte hain. Yes, I remember, when I was a kid, Papa used to sign lots of autographs for fans.
13. Any special message to your fans?
Ananya- just chill. Stay cool, stay simple. And during these coronavirus days, stay safe. And try to help the poor.
Written by PALLAB BOSE. He is a Career Coach, Motivational Speaker, Soft Skills Trainer, Show Director & Show Anchor. He regularly writes articles and blogs on Soft Skills, Motivation, Careers, Fashion & Glamour, Films, Cricket etc.
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