Bollywood bound

Bollywood bound

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Willetton girl Chandrika Ravi is set to take on the South Indian film industry and has her eyes set on Hollywood as well. Photograph – Aaron Van Rongen.

A former Willetton High School student has taken the Indian film industry by storm and now has her sights set on Hollywood.

Australia born Indian Chandrika Ravi started studying dance at the age of three when she discovered her love of the arts.

She says she never felt pressured to study traditional courses such as medicine, law or engineering but was encouraged by her parents from a young age to be creative and explore drama and dance.

The 28-year-old has now developed an impressive resume including being the first Australian to break into Kollywood, the South Indian film industry with her new movie expected to be released next year.

Ms Ravi also spends time in Los Angeles, having lived there for the past five years, and has recently finished filming a pilot episode for a new show, which she hopes, will be picked up by Netflix.

She said not only does she love acting but she also wants to change the image of Indian women in the west.

“Why are we always cast in stereotypical roles,” she said.

“We can be anything we want to be.”

Ms Ravi said the reason she is slowly working her way through the film industry is because she is picky about roles.

She said she refuses to take roles which are stereotypical.

“I’ve gone through a number of mangers and agents,” she said.

“It’s all about the money for them but for me I would like to not only be passionate about a character but I would like to change the perception of Indian women.

“Why can’t I wear a bikini in one scene and a sari in the next?”

Ms Ravi said although she has faced some challenges in the industry because of her dark skin and black hair, which doesn’t always fit the ideal look in America, she said attitudes are changing.

She also said her Indian, Singaporean and Australian background has shaped who she is and has embraced both the east and the west in the hope of making it in India and beyond.

“Never forget where you are from,” she said.

“And you can be anything you want to be.”