Check out our interview with Indian Trailblazing world actress, influencer & Taekwondo Champ and one of the faces of NBA basketball in India Nitu Chandra.
Nitu has made a name for herself by becoming an inspiration throughout her home country in a truly one-of-a-kind fairytale journey. Her female focused film franchise NEVER BACK DOWN: REVOLOT is an upcoming American martial arts action film, directed by Kellie Madison and written by Audrey Arkins. The new installment in the series franchise shifts gears to the badass female warriors.
Along with her work in the entertainment and sports industry, Nitu has become a point of inspiration for many young girls in her home country. Priding herself on her drive and sheer will to succeed Nitu’s underdog story of successfully crossing over into the US entertainment industry is a one-of-a-kind journey that began with a young girl with big dreams in her home country.
Follow Nitu @nituchandrasrivastava
Hi Nitu, please tell us a little about you?
Hi, guys! I come from a very small place where girls don’t dream of becoming actors or sports girls. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. I have presented three times. I’m a trained classical dancer, in Indian classical form of dance. I am also one of the faces for Basketball of India. I’ve bene doing theater for a long time. I am a three times national producer and actor from India. This is my first Hollywood film. I live in LA and am based out of LA now. I am working on a couple more projects, but my main focus is to do action, drama, comedy and I just love LA.
Describe yourself in 3 words?
Sincerity, hard work, and grace.
How did you get started into acting?
When I was in 10th grade, my father had an accident that put him in a coma for two years and caused him to lose his memory. It was a big time for my education. I started working as a host for different events and throwing pamphlets/flyers at students. That’s how I was able to pay my fees for school and college. At the time, one of the directors/writers, offered me a TV Commercial when she saw me in a stall working. That’s how I started modeling and acting for TV commercials. I was doing commercials for about a year and a half. One of the directors for the commercials launched me with two huge stars and that’s how I started my acting career.
How has this changed your life?
It has changed my life a lot because as a kid, I used to wonder which career I would accept or pursue rather, i.e. an air hostess, a pilot, housewife, doctor, etc. My life changed when I could play all of these characters in one life, which I have as an actor by playing characters on screen. It also got me very close to myself. I was able to explore myself more and more, and evolve. I feel like I’ve evolved when it comes to seeing people genuinely. It also made me respect all of the artists in the world at a higher level and all of the different professions. I know it takes a lot of hard work to reach wherever people are in their careers.
What is the best and worst part of being an actress?
The best part is that you can be yourself and you can explore different characters/lives of different people. The worst part is, your privacy is no more. You are no longer your own and you become literally a public figure. Everyone wants to know everything about you.
How do you prepare for a role?
To prepare for a role, I want to always write a back story of the character from where the screen starts. I like to write the mood, the nature, the smell, the feel, the thought, what other characters think of mine and the temperature of that person so that when I come on screen, I can carry that whole feeling to the character and play it that way. There are many more things that go into getting ready for a role, but these are the basics of what I do.
Tell us about your leading role on franchise “NEVER BACK DOWN: REVOLOT?”
NEVER BACK DOWN: REVOLT, I play Jaya. I’m a cold-blooded fighter champion in the dungeon. If you want to survive in the dungeon, you need to fight. Girls are abducted and thrown into this dungeon. I got this part because I met Danny Sussman at a screening for BAD BOYS in Sony Studios. I told him that I was an actor and a martial artist, and a good one at that. That’s how I was able to get that movie. I think I was able to carry the confidence I have in martial arts into my role and that role.
What other projects you have been part of?
This is my first Hollywood film, but I have done more than thirty movies back home in India. If you google my name, you will see all of the movies and characters I’ve played in actions, comedies, thrillers, horrors, and all different genres. I am very pleased and thankful. It is a humble start and now I’m here in Hollywood.
What kind of roles do you like or would like to play and why?
I would like to play all kinds of roles so that I can evolve as a human being, as a person, and I can explore different characters/professions while I am acting.
What is the most rewarding part of your work?
The most rewarding part is that I get to travel and meet new people all of the time. I get bored very fast. In this profession, I get to meet interesting people and learn from them. I look up to a lot of high-achieving people.
What’s your advice for the newer actresses?
Give a hundred percent in what you are doing, because I believe that ninety-nine percent is also equal to zero percent. We need to be active when we are working in acting. There are a lot of opportunities that you will not get ever again. Be aware of where you are and be very focused because you, your parents, and friends have worked hard to get here. You should have your own expectations for yourself and be very sure of what YOU want to do. Enjoy your world.
What did you learn from your biggest failure?
The biggest failure was also my biggest learning experience. Never take your work for granted. People come and support you if you are working hard. I have failed a lot of times, let me tell you. I am a success story of a lot of failures. I have been rejected from many projects and have been thrown out of a lot of them. I do not carry those burdens with me, but I have learned from them. I use it to get ahead in life in a positive way.
Tell us about your experience and expectations of being one of the faces of NBA basketball in India?
I am very happy and excited to promote NBA in India. It is a huge association where all of the players and managers come together to play a team game that I call a family game. I have been playing basketball since I was a kid and have always been a good rebounder/three-point shooter. When NBA came to India, I was thrilled because I grew up watching and loving basketball. I am so proud to be one of the faces because I love it. It is one temple where you can focus and meditate. Basketball is meditation for me. Thank you to NBA for getting it to India.
You are followed by so many people. How do you feel about that pressure of doing always the right thing, and encourage people to follow their dreams?
I have many followers virtually and sometimes I feel physically. However, there is no pressure. I just am myself. I don’t know what is right or what is wrong. For some people, some things are right and some things are wrong and vice versa. So, I just like to be myself and I encourage others to be themselves. Dream big and follow your dreams with grace, with values, and with a lot of respect. I think this is what I have done.
What would say are the greatest lessons you learned so far in this business?
In this business, I would say you have to be very honest to your talent, hard work, and skills. What you get on the table for the people who are putting money into you. This business is a mix of talent and funding mixed together. When they’ve invested in you, you have to come back and keep working on your talents, skills, and put in as much hard work as possible. If the film is a success, you get more work and they keep investing in you.
How would your best friend describe you?
My best friend describes me as first, unique, nobody is like you, honest, loving, caring, funny—for sure—and full of energy. A lot of positive energy.
If you are a book, what would be the title of the book and why?
If I was a book, the name would be, “Positivity Personified” because I am positive even in my negative times. That is my biggest strength. I always feel that positive things are going to come to me and this is how I manifest the right people at the right time.
What book should every entrepreneur read?
“The Secret” is one book I think every entrepreneur should read because it is all about putting the calculator right in business, but with honesty and truthfulness.
What’s next for Nitu Chandra in the last months of 2021?
I am doing a lot of events, charities, and a lot of work with a few directors. I am auditioning, meeting people, and trying to do more projects. I am looking for agencies.
What is your favorite healthy food?
My favorite healthy food is greens with grilled salmon—basically a salad with grilled salmon.
And your favorite cheat food?
My favorite cheat food is always going to be Indian. It would definitely be sattu, which is from my hometown. It’s a powder of baked lentils. A lot of teas and broths are made with it. I can have tofu, lentils, chicken, masala, etc. All Indian food is my cheat food.
What is your own definition of happiness?
Well, happiness is something you feel inside. If you are successful in saying no in what you do not want to do, that is happiness for me because I did not have to push myself to do something I did not want to do. That makes me happy.
If you could meet someone living or dead, who would it be and why?
I would love to meet Mother Theresa. She is no more, of course. But I would love to know why she did so many selfless things. Everyone wants to know what you get out of doing things for others with no reward. I am a brand ambassador for the Teen Cancer American Association for the past four years. I do a lot of things that make me happy. I am also the brand ambassador for the Cancer Association in India for the last 10 years. I keep doing things for cancer patients in India and in America. I feel that it is satisfying to spend time with them. I would love to know how Mother Theresa felt while she was doing all of her good deeds and if it was the same feeling I feel while helping others. I would love to know why she did all of the things she did—holy and great things.
Best advice ever given?
The best advice I’ve ever been given is, “Live today, yesterday is gone. Tomorrow you do not know.” So, live today, laugh today and spread positivity.
Do you support any charity?
I support Teen Cancer American Association in LA and in India, Cancer Patients AIDS Association for the past ten years.
Where do you see yourself and your career in 5 years from now?
I see myself in a lot movies, brandings, and a lot of charity work. If one of my works changes the life of even one person or anybody, I will continue to do it. In Hollywood, I see myself staying.
Favorite song? Why?
Nothing’s going to change my love for you… you want to know by now how much I love you. I sing this song for my life, which I thank the Universe, my mother, and I have not seen God, but I see God in my mother. This song is my favorite song in my life and my mother. Life is precious and we need to respect it.
What do you think of Social Media?
I think social media is good for networking and making people aware of where you are in life. I think it has its limits though. We do not need to go berserk on social media and show everyone what we are doing 24/7. We don’t need to be inquisitive about what people are doing at every moment in their life. Social media with limitations is good.
Where we can follow you?
Book: The Secret
Quote: Give 100% in whatever you do, 99% is also equal to 0%.
Movie: The Sound of Music
Tv Series: Quantico because it is Priyanka Chopra’s show.
Favorite Food: Salad and Biryani.
Travel Destination: Paris, London, and Rome.
Sports Team: Lakers, of course.
Photo credit: Tuhan Bedi