Twenty-two-year-old Ananya Panday’s Instagram profile is a riot of colours, from fitness clips, yoga poses, throwbacks from her childhood and vacations; it’s colours every way. And it was this love for colours that resonated with her when she turned showstopper for designer Ruchika Sachdeva as she closed FDCI X Lakme Fashion Week in the Lakme Absolute grand finale held recently.
Held in a phygital format, Ananya says she was always keen to be a part of new experiences and found it exciting to walk the ramp in such a format. “Ruchika’s design is very unique and she has a story to tell with every piece that she creates. What resonates with me is her love for colour and very bold design structure,” says Ananya. The collection is inspired by Lakme’s beauty theme #MiniPlayMegaSlay. The grand finale saw her sashay down the ramp in a multi-hued pleated skirt with a yellow balloon-sleeved crop top.
While the young actor has walked the ramp previously, stage fright is something she faces every time. “I have stage fright; I prefer not to deal with it, I just wing it,” she quips.
Like everyone, she is learning to work with new normal and reveals what she learnt during the lockdown. “It taught me that I have to watch atleast two movies everyday (laughs) and I need to spend more time with my family.”
But, now the lass is busy with Liger and Shakun Batra’s next film where she will be working alongside Deepika Padukone and Siddhant Chaturvedi. Liger sees her opposite actor Vijay Deverakonda. “My character in Liger is very similar to my personality, but a tad more dramatic. Vijay is very nice, and really sweet. I’m a fan of him as an actor,” shares Ananya. She is keen to work in southern cinema and rattles out names of directors she would love to work with.
“Yes, definitely I want to work in the south film industry. There is so much exciting work being done here. I would love to work with Shankar, Rajamouli sir, I’m getting to work with Puri Jagannadh sir, Prabhu Deva — the list is too long,” adds Ananya.
Quiz her about what she has learnt from each film she has worked in, and she says, “Honestly, since I started working so young, everything I have learnt has been on sets. Especially with Student of the Year 2, everyone contributed so much to that. Puneet, Tara, Tiger, they all taught me different things. I learnt about camera work, positions, lighting… I feel that I learn something new every single day in a field I love a lot.”
She is pragmatic about her career so far. “I want my journey to be constant and don’t want to get complacent. I don’t want to feel like I have reached some destination and keep challenging myself with different roles and keep receiving love from the audience. That’s important to me,” she says.
And does her father Chunky Pandey pitch in with advice on projects? I do discuss projects with my parents. With my dad, I get to hear the perspective of an actor who has worked in the industry for so many years. It’s very helpful to listen to his opinions and advice and learn from the things he has done in the past. But both my parents also give me space to make up my mind and take the final decision,” she states.
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