Meet Indiana Mehta: From Ae Dil Hai Mushkil to Netflix's Work It

Indiana Mehta started off her journey at a very young age, being a dancer who aspired for more. With her hard work and dedication, and moving from one continent to another, she has bagged work with Dharma Productions and now, Netflix, as she plays an important part in “Work It”. Here’s our chat with the rising star:

India to Canada - what have you taken away from both places that has inspired your journey?

India: Culture, dancing on the streets in festivals, meaning of hard work, the sweet smell of struggle, seeing dancers around you hustle and wanting to make a difference, to achieve something outside of your home country that'll inspire the generations to come. I have struggled when it comes to getting a visa, making a name…I want to make it possible for artists in India to dream bigger and not having to go through the visa hustle I went through.

Canada: Inclusivity, openness of diversity & opportunities that I just want to grab because my fellow Indians aren't getting them and I want to do it for them!

Dancing, choreographing, acting. When you worked in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil, what was the biggest surprise to you? 

The biggest surprise was booking the role! And that was my first ever acting audition. When I got a call from Dharma Productions, just to share how much they'd loved my audition video. Then, when Karan Johar asked to see me on set and let me know that he'd loved my audition, that felt like a huge achievement and gave me apush in confidence.

You worked as an assistant choreographer in Mumbai. What made you move to Canada?

I missed being on stage! I missed performing! I loved choreographing and loved seeing the show coming to life. But with the training I had received at Laine Theatre Arts, I wanted to be on stage and drown in the applause of a live audience. When I wasn't able to get a visa to the UK, I thought of trying it out in Canada.

Tell us about how you bagged Work It for Netflix?

I went full out during my performance & hoped for the best. Towards the end of the audition, Aakomon Jones asked if anyone wanted to showcase any different style of dancing. I was sure to not be able to match the level of flips, locking, popping & didn't want to embarrass myself. But later I took my shoes off, jumped right in at the very last moment and impressed the judges with Garba, Bhangra & some Jazz funk. I got a standing ovation and I later was called in to read for a role.

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced in your journey?  

It's a scary path I chose. Full of uncertainty, rejections and sometimes surprises. When I thought of pursuing dance as a profession, I never researched job opportunities nor did I look into remuneration. Although if I had done the research, I probably wouldn't have pursued it.

Just moving to the UK to study dance was an eye opener to how much hard work this comes with, coming out of Laine Theatre Arts, I hit the world real hard. In this industry we hustle to get a job every single day. Every day I have to wake up and think, “will I get an audition today, will I book a teaching job today or will someone call me to perform for their gig?” But that has never made me hate what I do. In fact, that is one of the biggest driving & motivating factor.

Words of advice for aspiring entertainers today. 

For dancers I'd say - Continue to train in your art form. I have always believed that versatility is key. The more your skill set the better the opportunities. Rejections can be really draining but keeping that positive attitude and enjoying the process and learning that perhaps this wasn't meant to be... keep moving forward. Most importantly, as artists we need to know our worth and look at ourselves as a business.

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Armin S.

Bollywood Film Fame Canada has been a source of original content consisting of real conversations, reviews, and news of everything film, music, and entertainment for 15 years.

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