Name to know: Shamata Anchan
The actor isn’t working her way to the top — it’s where she started
With some guilt, Shamata Anchan admits that her life so far has been ridiculously easy — the Femina Miss India South victory in 2012 was a breeze, modelling was never a struggle and bagging the lead role in Ashutosh Gowariker’s new action-drama Everest, without any acting experience, involved no romantic backstory of resilience. “I had to enact an emotional scene for the audition, and Nalini [Rathnam, casting director] started crying. I knew my chances were good,” says the 25-year-old.
On the show, which premieres on Star Plus this evening, Anchan plays Anjali Singh Rawat, a daughter determined to win her father’s affection by fulfilling his dream of scaling Everest. Moving into Anjali’s universe involved training at the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, trekking through the heady altitudes of Dokrani (Uttarakhand) and learning to cross the chasm between real life and make-believe. “Even though my father’s no more, he was always there for me and my sister,” says Anchan. “Not having a father’s love is something I didn’t understand.” That’s when conversations with her “perfectionist” producer came handy; “I was like Bambi on my first day, but Ashutosh really helped me out.”
Now that it’s time to hang up the trekking gear (the show is a one-time series), does Anchan have another Everest to summit? Yes, one that lets her swap the snowsuit for boogie shoes. “I want to do a movie that lets me dance; it’s a childhood love.”
Everest premieres on Star Plus on November 3 at 10.00pm