He’s Superman! I had butterflies in my stomach: Anya on working with Henry Cavill
Growing up, Anya Chalotra was into both acting and singing. Her father encouraged her to sing but acting gave her “a voice” to express better. But when the Indian-origin actor landed a chance to work with ‘Superman’ Henry Cavill, it gave her a different high.
“I enjoyed making people laugh and would enjoy singing too. But acting sort of opened up lot more things... I really enjoyed playing different characters,” says the 24-year-old, who will be seen next in the fantasy drama web series The Witcher, where she will play one of the leads.
Anya is teaming up with Cavill for The Witcher and is excited about both — the show and the collaboration. “I never knew about the book or the craze around the game... I’m so thankful for that… Not knowing about it and by trusting my instinct, I got the job… The story is about a world where nymphs, elves, dwarfs and sorcerers exist and it’s about the journey of three characters that are interlinked,” she says.+ +
And how was Cavill to work with? “I mean he is Superman, come on (laughs)! So, yes, initially, I had butterflies in my stomach, but then when I met him, I realised he is a normal guy… What sets him apart is how enthusiastic and engrossed he is as an artist,” she adds.
Anya was into stage production in the historical Globe Theatre in London when she was offered her first TV show Wanderlust. Being a fan of Nick Payne’s (The Sense of an Ending, 2017) writing, Anya took it up. Then, The ABC Murders and the animated web series Sherwood followed.
“Theatre is something I know, but TV is totally different. I’ve never worked at such a pace. In theatre, you have a week to develop/ interrogate characters and text. In TV, we don’t have so much time. That’s one thing I worked on,” adds Anya, who was born and raised in UK.
As someone who grew up on Bollywood films, when Anya came to India for the first time, she was all the more excited about meeting her relatives and watching more Hindi films. “I’ve been telling my father (who shifted to UK from India when he was 8) to take me to India but we never got time earlier… I watched movies of Shah Rukh Khan, Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Kajol, Saif Ali Khan, Hrithik Roshan… Kal Ho Naa Ho (2003), Veer-Zaara, Main Hoon Na (2004), Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna (2006)… But when I went to high school, I couldn’t watch much,” says Anya, who adds she enjoyed Sacred Games and is now looking forward to the screen adaptation of Vikram Seth’s novel A Suitable Boy.
Can she relate to the song-and-dance tradition in Bollywood? Anya says, “That’s what makes it different. I loved watching it. So, I’ve no problem doing that if there’s a well-written narrative attached.”
Author tweets @Shreya_MJ
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