Neelu Sodhi on Breaking into Bollywood and Working With The Legendary Sridevi
Model-turned-actress Neelu Sodhi plays Sridevi’s niece in “English Vinglish,” and inspirational comedy about a young woman who does not speak English, but is determined to overcome this insecurity.
Q: I know you had a very different career path until a few years ago? Did
you always want to pursue acting professionally and what made you switch?
A: I studied Economics & International Studies and went on to work for an investment management firm where I was in the Leverage Finance Group & specifically worked within Investor Relations. However I’ve always wanted to be an actress and finally had the courage to leave my corporate position behind and follow my dreams! I just couldn’t imagine never trying out acting. It excites me and is an intense passion for me. I’m fascinated by this form of art and feel proud to call myself an actor. I also have a few great mentors who guided me into this venture from finance into acting and I’m very thankful to have such a great support system.
Q: How did you find out about this role? Did you know it would garner so much attention from the beginning?
A: The hunt for the right person took place in many cities in India such as Mumbai & Chennai. I was called in to audition for the role and I’m very happy that out of all the people that tried out for this I was the one that was offered the role. I knew this would be an exciting role as the movie was the comeback of the legendary & well respected Actress Sri Devi. She is such a beloved actress that I knew the movie would get the attention it deserves. Not to mention the great directorial vision of Gauri Shinde, wife of R. Balki!
Q: What was it like working on a film with someone with so much experience like Sridevi? Does the film relate to your life? Did you or other family members ever find it difficult to communicate or struggle with language barriers switching between Connecticut and India?
A: I was nervous initially but once I got onto set Sri Devi made me feel quite comfortable and she was incredible to work with. The director, Gauri Shinde, dedicated this film to her mother and wrote this story specifically for her. I completely relate to this because my mother faced quite a few challenges when she moved to this country. I’m so proud of my mother today and how she overcame the hardships she faced and how independent she has become. It take a lot of strength and I feel a lot of people will be able to relate to this story whether they had to overcome a language barrier or other challenges in their life. The message is powerful in that it takes a strong mind set, passion, and perseverance to reach your goal.
Q: What are your future plans for your career. Are you interested in playing more big screen roles or would you prefer to move to television? Also, would you like to branch out to Hollywood productions or stick with Bollywood?
A: Future plans are to continue down this path of acting and living out my dreams daily! I would love to do interesting roles whether it’s in television or movies. In regards to Hollywood or Bollywood I’m open minded to both since I grew up between India & the states so I feel I can relate to both industries.
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