After a spate of ineffective movies, Vidya Malavade of Chak De! India (2007) fame had written off her Bollywood career. “I wanted to stay away as nothing excited me. Now, the scenario has changed. There are more meaningful opportunities for actors,” says the actor who branched into digital entertainment with Vivek Oberoi’s The Family.
The boom in the OTT space has given Malavade a new lease of life as an actor. As she puts it, “I may have been absent from the scene, but I did not abandon my dream—acting. I honed my craft; attended workshops, while yoga instilled patience. It made me see the light at the end of every rejection and disappointment.”
Rannvijay Singha and Vidya Malavade in Mismatched
Malavade was recently seen in ALTBalaji’s, Who’s Your Daddy 2 wherein she played a loud, Punjabi spa owner. “She is a funky, fun, and loudmouth character, something I had not done before,” added the actor, who was a last-minute choice for the series. Incidentally, Malavade was also roped in at the eleventh hour for the Netflix series Mismatched. “I was in the US when I was approached for the show. I flew in directly to the set in Jodhpur, jet-lagged, I read the script through the night and began shooting the next day.” Akarsh Khurana’s youth-centric show sees her playing an older student, Zeenat Karim, struggling to find her feet and adapt to the new world with millennials. “I found the character close to me in real life.” Her hunger to explore unchartered territories and follow a long-lost dream was something Malavade identified with.
Earlier in 2020, she was seen as a police officer in ZEE5’s Kaali 2 and as an NRI whose daughter gets kidnapped in Eros Now’s Flesh. With four releases in a year, Malavade could not have asked for more. “It is a new beginning for me. I get to play distinct characters in every show.”
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