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The down-to-earth debutante

The down-to-earth debutante – From having a one-of-a-kind upbringing to making her feature film debut as lead, this danseuse and theatre artiste has had an intriguing journey.

Chaithra Achar is new to the world of acting and yet she answers questions fluidly, with consummate ease. “Over 90 per cent of our team is newcomers and yet, our film’s been received well. We were sceptical about the reception, but word of mouth played a major role. We’ve had an organic reach and feel very happy about it. It’s a confidence booster,” the Bengaluru lass exults about her first film, Mahira.

Starring in the film along with Chaithra are Raj B Shetty and Malayalam actress Virginia Rodriguez. How was it working with the duo? “Both of them are so experienced. Raj is a wonderful director and a bundle of knowledge. Virginia’s experience with acting is more than my age! They’re people who are recognised in their respective fields, but that wasn’t seen on set – they were learning equally and open to changes. I got to learn a lot of things watching them. My interaction and bonding with Virginia off-screen helped in the onscreen scenes,” reveals Chaithra.

The actress is someone who’s had a rather distinctive upbringing. She went to Parikrama Humanity Foundation, a school where her dad worked as a teacher. Technically, a school for the underprivileged, Chaithra and her brother were the only exceptions to the rule. “The kids there were from economically challenging backgrounds, so it was a new environment for us. My mum asked my dad why he put us there and he said – ‘I want them to study amongst such people so that they know the value of anything and everything.’ I didn’t understand back then, but now, I know that my father made the best decision. Now, I can adapt to any environment,” smiles Chaithra reminiscing about her unique childhood.

Growing up, the artiste was always culturally inclined – from drama to dancing, she indulged in various fulfilling activities. “I joined engineering and was even a research intern at the Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Scientific Research. Never did I think that I’d be in cinema. But one fine day, I got an audition call from this director called Guruprasad and my friends encouraged me to go for it,” says Chaithra, who’d done a web series called Bengaluru Queens when she was in college. Soon, the director of Mahira reached out to Chaithra and her story took a new turn.

As for her future projects, she’s awaiting the release of a film with Ravichandran and also has Ramana Avatara in her kitty. When she’s not busy with cinema, Chaithra loves to lean music. “I keep singing – I’m trained in Carnatic music. I also love to work out and otherwise, I just like chilling with family. I also like to go to Parikrama and teach students who find it difficult to focus in class,” says Chaithra, who loves giving it back to the school that shaped her.

The down-to-earth debutante

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