South Asian teen star Avantika Vandanapu who is a well-established name in Hollywood has been cast to essay the role of Karen Smith in Paramount Pictures’ upcoming film based on the Tony-nominated Broadway musical ‘Mean Girls.’ The film, written by Tina Fey, is a modern take on the classic hit from 2004.
The Los Angeles based actor-dancer-producer confirms, “I am thrilled to be a part of this project and bring a fresh perspective to the iconic role of Karen Smith. My hope is to use my platform to shed light on the causes that matter to me, and inspire others to do the same.”
On the sidelines of this announcement, Avantika will also star and executive produce live-action young-adult series for Disney Branded Television, titled ‘A Crown Of Wishes’ this year, making her the youngest ever South-Asian to accomplish this feat. The fantasy series adaptation is based on Roshani Chokshi’s New York Times bestseller which is rooted in Hindu mythology.
With respect to her upcoming projects in India, Avantika is currently shooting for Amazon Prime’s ‘Masoom’ directed by Nitya Mehra and national award-winner Sudanshu Saria. On the international front, she will soon be seen as a lead in Screen Gems ‘Horrorscope’.
Speaking about her future goals she further elaborates, “I aim to align creatively with narratives and briefs that highlight marginalized communities and bring such stories to mainstream attention. Besides my film commitments, I am also focusing my efforts on highlighting causes that are important to me – such as helping teens with cancer.”
Since her debut on the scene in 2018, Avantika has enjoyed an assorted range of experiences in the entertainment industry. Her South Indian film industry credits include ‘Brahmotsavam’, ‘Premam’, ‘Rarandoi Veduka Choodham’ and ‘Boomika’. Her Hollywood credits include ‘Diary Of A Future President’, ‘Kamala’, ‘Royal Detective’ and ‘Moxie’.
Avantika became the first Indian American lead of an Emmy Nominated Disney Channel Original Movie with ‘Spin’ and also starred in the Paramount-produced comedy ‘Senior Year’ which was the #1 movie globally on Netflix when it was released. She was also featured in the VARIETY's Power Of Young Hollywood ‘Up Next’ List in 2021.
Avantika grew up in California and is the only child to Anupama Reddy Chintala, a chartered accountant and real estate manager, and Srikanth Vandanapu, a software engineer. She is trained in Kuchipudi, Kathak, ballet and contemporary forms of dance, and spent her early childhood days in India which significantly influenced her personal evolution.
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